Negative emotions

We often learn more from negative emotions than we do positive ones, but I wouldn’t suggest anyone hold on to them.

They can be damaging to our health but over time, as we learn to accept we have negative emotions we can start to let go of the influence and hold they have over us and the pain and distress they cause. By accepting our emotions, we come to realise that our emotions are in fact real and valid.

This doesn’t mean we approve of either the distress or the events that lead up to them. We can have negative emotions without the need to carry, accept or be approving of them. When we come to understand that we just have to acknowledge and let those feelings in and accept them in that way, it doesn’t become such an impossible task to let go.

As we learn to accept we have negative emotions, we’re less likely to approve of them. We struggle because we unconsciously choose to hold on to our emotions. When we come to reconcile and move on, it’s easy to see how the issues we held on to were of such little consequence, but just couldn’t see that at the time.

Although our emotions are real, it’s often our reactions to those emotions that can make us feel worse. Learning to accept isn’t such an impossible task once we understand why. I usually stand back so that I’m looking at a complete picture and that allows me to make an informed choice on whether it’s important for me to let go.


13 Sep, 2014

10 thoughts on “Negative emotions

  1. I try not to have those negative emotions, but sometimes they do get the best of me. I try to think positive most of the time and have greater comfort in the positive emotions.

  2. My life is not completely at the mercy of my emotions. But I generally act according to my emotions and I sometimes sink to an emotional level that’s unacceptable to me.

    Negative emotions will keep us passively suffering the past if we fail to examine the complete picture of our circumstances, void of emotion and based on the facts.

    I think many of my negatives emotions were spurred by my defiance of reality and my refusal to see clearly what’s in front of me.

    1. Thanks Tim. I am sure many people who may read your response will resonate with you. I absolutely agree with you.

      I believe some of us genuinely don’t always see or understand what’s staring us in the face, or we’re in denial because we don’t always want to have to deal with things. If we don’t think about things, they’re not happening, we don’t have to deal with them!

      The emotions are a very powerful tool. Unfortunately not dealing with negative emotions can make us very ill. I have seen that happen.

  3. The only thing that really kept me alive as a child were the negative emotions! Hatred,resentments and fear were most of what I really knew so I learned how to use them to keep me going.

    I wasn’t always exactly sure of why I wanted to keep going, but I think it was mostly the fear of going to Hell if I killed myself! I find myself feeling a lot better now that I haven’t been dealing with such negative emotions all the time.

    I spent far too many years hanging on to all those emotions, so it’s no wonder I was so depressed all the time! Most of them I gave back to my mother before she passed so that was quite a burden lifted off my shoulders.

    My father will be passing eventually so I think that I will get rid of so much more! I just don’t need the chaos like I used to.

    1. Thanks Randy. Talking to a parent about our grievances with them, is so hard to do. I’ve done it myself and agree with you it really has to happen if we’re to unburden ourselves, but it should always be handled sensitively.

      Over the years and before my father passed I had various conversations with him about ‘things.’ If it’s handled correctly, both parties can come out feeling much better.

      It’s important not to go in with the intention of a complete off-load. I believe when we put in what we have to say into context, the other person will begin to understand the reasoning behind our struggles and won’t be so offended.

      I find it all very sad that parents’ don’t know how to parent in a way that benefits their children, but agree we have to say something if we’re to get rid of those negative emotions.

      Good luck talking to your father Randy… I hope you find your resolve soon.

  4. I am a very emotional person. I try to live life with a positive attitude, but sometimes negative emotions creep in. Luckily they fade away with time.

    1. Thanks Maria. I used to have that too, although given my childhood my emotions were more negative than positive. I did, however, through the passage of time and understanding my life, manage to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones.

      It’s good that your negative emotions eventually fade. I’m really pleased Maria.

  5. I couldn’t agree more Ilana, when you say we need to acknowledge and accept negative feelings!

    I don’t believe it’s necessary to be positive all the time. As a therapist I often advise my clients to cut themselves some slack if they’re feeling blue.

    I’ve got a 5-step process for dealing with negative feelings that I call the “T-R-U-T-H Technique.” I find it helps painful feelings move through you faster.

    It goes like this:

    T – Tell yourself the situation (e.g., “I didn’t get invited to a relative’s wedding.”)

    R – Realize what you’re feeling (come up with a feeling word like “rejected,” “dismissed,” “unworthy,” or “angry.” Whatever fits for you and reflects how you’re feeling right now.)

    U – Uncover self-criticism. (It usually sounds something like “I shouldn’t feel this way; it’s not that big a deal; I’m too sensitive,” etc.)

    T – Try to understand yourself (e.g., “I’ve experienced rejection many times before; no wonder I’m sensitive to it!”)

    H – Have the feeling. (Replaying a hurtful conversation in your head over and over is NOT the same as having a feeling. Feelings occur in the here-and-now; replaying scenes in your head requires a there-and-then focus.)

    This process is a distillation of what I call “constructive wallowing.”

    I hope someone reading this finds it helpful.

    1. Thanks Tina and welcome to The CP Diary.

      We all have good intentions to change so that we begin to see our life in more positive ways; but the reality with what we have to deal with in our lives, together with our experiences through childhood usually stop us in our tracks, as we begin to cope less with our life and our emotions.

      We fail at the first hurdle because we struggle to understand how to change things. I am sure people who read my blogs will also read your response and will find your 5-step process VERY helpful… thank you.

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