Featured Self Help

It’s Okay to Have Negative Feelings

March 28, 2022
It's Okay to Have Negative Feelings- Picture of woman's face looking sad

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If you spend time online you will no doubt see plenty of people who talk about focusing on positive feelings. The truth is we all want to live a happy, joy-filled life. We want to feel good! But as humans, we were designed to experience the full spectrum of emotions during our lifetime. And we’ve been taught that having negative feelings is bad. But that’s not true…it’s human to have negative feelings.

It is a fallacy that you can live a life where you are completely happy 100% of the time. That will not happen. If the world around us was only seen in shades of one color, that would be rather boring. It is the vast array of colors around us that brings depth and beauty to the world. Just as it’s the full palette of emotions that color our lives, teach us, and help us to grow as well.

Having negative emotions isn’t bad. It becomes unhealthy when those negative emotions take over and start running the show. This can lead to a lower quality of life. And the stress of holding onto that negative energy can even lead you to chronic health problems…yikes!

It’s about finding a better balance and not allowing negative emotions to rule your life. But to do that you must also honor the negative emotions.

Chasing happiness

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time attempting to pursue never-ending happiness. And the harder I ran after happiness, the more miserable I became. To the point that I was having panic attacks regularly, and having some pretty unpleasant health issues. Many people spend their lives “chasing” happiness. They believe that if they have a large enough house, expensive car, or the perfect relationship, job or money…then they will be happy.  But I’ve learned through the years that happiness doesn’t come from external sources. Those things can only give you brief moments of feeling good. But they aren’t a long-term fix to make you happy. Happiness is an inside job!

The good news is that you can learn to be genuinely happy, and live a satisfying life. In fact, many people live that way the majority of the time. And you can learn to become much more resilient when you face experiences that bring out more challenging and uncomfortable emotions. But it’s going to take a little internal work.

If you’re reading this, then most likely you are an adult who has lived decades of life experience. You have many good memories along with the bad. You’ve had life experiences that can range from joyful to traumatic. Of course, the negative is much easier to focus on and hold onto. Most people hold onto negative emotions for longer periods of time than they do positive emotions.

How to release negative feelings

As an empath or highly sensitive person, you undoubtedly have been absorbing plenty of heavy, dense, “negative” energy that is not even yours. And it can be easy to feel as if you want to fight that or stuff it down so that you can be happier. I’ll tell you from experience that it doesn’t end up well when you do that.

We’ve been taught to fear uncomfortable emotions. And many people live with the idea that when they are feeling emotions such as grief, anger, or fear that they are at the mercy of those emotions. But you actually can allow yourself to release negative feelings so that they no longer weigh you down. And it’s a pretty simple process to do. And it is important for all sensitives to practice this regularly to release pent-up energy!

When you have an uncomfortable emotion such as sadness, fear or guilt come up, do you honor the emotion or do you try to push it away or stuff it down? Those negative feelings ARE uncomfortable and many never actually deal with the emotion at all. They find ways to distract themselves from feeling it. They look for ways to soothe it or use things like food, alcohol, or drugs to stuff it down. But avoiding a feeling will just keep that energy trapped in your body.

Be present with the feeling

The next time you face an emotion that is uncomfortable, take a few moments and allow yourself to be present with the emotion. Yep, just sit there and allow yourself to feel the emotion, without any judgment. Don’t grab your phone and scroll social media or binge-watch videos on YouTube or Netflix. Just be with that emotion, and don’t make any judgments about it or try to fix it. You honor the emotion by doing this.

What you will notice is that in just a few moments, the energy of that emotion will dissipate and the emotion will go away.

In facing the emotion without trying to get rid of it, we allow it to dissolve. Most people are never taught how to be in the moment with their emotions, and wind up spending years and even lifetimes attempting to not fully feel them. But this way of being in the world leads to a lifetime of misery!

Taking the time to sit with, and honor your emotions is the best way to release the negative energy associated with them. It is a simple, but a liberating way to live!

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