Negative Emotions and their Positive Side

What are Negative Emotions?

Negative emotions are not usually welcomed, unlike the positive ones which are pleasant. Generally, the emotions you enjoy having and want to last forever are positive, while those you wish you could never feel are negative.

Emotions you find unpleasant and intolerable toward a person, an object, or an experience are negative. You wish you can put an end to these types of emotions. With unpleasant emotions, you experience intense psychological pain, and inner peace seems hard to come by.

Negative Emotions are Normal

However, although they are negative, they are innate and exist for a reason.
As an individual, you are like a planet with two extreme polarities. There’s nothing wrong with negative or positive emotions.

Emotions are like the weather. At times it’s cold, at times hot, and at times it’s something in between. But, ultimately, how you choose to view the different seasons decides how you will behave.

The problem arises when your emotions become imbalanced and one extreme outweighs the other. Hence, you lose touch with reality or behave in harmful ways. 

Constantly experiencing more negative than positive emotions can mess with the health of both your mind and body. Negative emotions make us appreciate the positive ones.

Read: The Mark of an Emotionally Intelligent Person

Negative emotions are destructive when they are out of control. Also, trying to avoid the negative emotions will do more harm than good. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to negotiate through them when they occur. The emotions don’t define you, but your reactions to them do.

Emotions don’t define you, but your reactions to them do.


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Negative Emotions Examples

Grief

The negative emotion concerning the pain of loss that makes you sink into despair for not being able to keep what you want to keep. Grief doesn’t arise due to death only. Other losses also cause grief including loss of love, income, and power. Loss of material things you are attached to may also cause grief.

Anger

Anger is a negative emotion triggered by disappointment, frustrations, and unfulfilled expectations. It’s related to vengefulness, resentment, and annoyance. Anger makes you aware of your needs and desires. Since, if it doesn’t’ matter to you, you won’t be angry about it. Although anger is often directed to others through aggression or meanness, it destroys you most if you fail to manage it.

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Fear

Fear is the emotion that you experience when you are in danger of losing something or someone or facing obstacles. It ignites self-preservation and prepares you to face the presenting challenges.

Anxiety

Anxiety is similar to fear and they often occur at the same time. It’s a sense of uncertainty and lack of control of events in your life. It may cause restlessness and constant worry. Anxiety also ignites a sense of self-preservation, getting you ready to respond to challenges. It only becomes problematic when it causes significant negative effects in your life.

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Apathy

Apathy is the emotion of not achieving the things we want and a sense of not being in control. It’s related to hopelessness and disillusionment. It results in passiveness because you are discouraged.

Sadness

Sadness is caused by a state of dissatisfaction, with people or experiences. Sadness communicates to you what you need and can be a great motivator of change because you’d want to get out of the unfavourable state.

Disgust

Disgust is an emotion related to pride. You may look down on others and feel superior. When you see something you don’t like and it makes you critical about it. The positive side of disgust is it makes you have a standard and helps develop your morals. Too much of it though backfires because you may become boastful, judgmental, or overcritical of others.

Read: Why Someone You Know is Overcritical

Guilt

When you do something and you feel bad about it that is guilt. It’s based on your beliefs. Guilt makes you more understanding and caring toward other people because it determines a sense of right and wrong behaviour. However, failing to manage guilt may lead to other negative emotions like apathy and sadness. Hence, you become overwhelmed.

negative emotions list

What to Accept about Negative Emotions

Based on the above discussion of negative emotions, it’s clear that negative emotions have a positive effect too. They can help you to maintain a positive state and help you to survive in the world.

However, falling into a dark pit of the negative emotion from which you cannot get yourself out of what makes the negative emotions destructive. Referring to them as negative doesn’t mean the emotions are “bad” and not worth feeling. It means they are unpleasant for a while. It’s like a bitter fruit, say a lemon. Being bitter doesn’t make it less nutritious.

There will be times when you will have negative emotions. The promises of lasting bliss and everlasting happiness is an illusion. What you want to do is to gain the ability to recover from the negative emotions when they occur.

Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.

You might also like…

5 Ways to Let Go and Move on Past Emotional Pain

Negative Mindset vs Positive Mindset: Meaning and Effects

Promise Yourself by Christian Larson: 12 Lessons

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