“I wished to cry but could not….
I wanted to yell but I could not…
Because all I allowed myself was to smile…”–
You open your Facebook and get bombarded with positive quotes and electrifying messages. You check your WhatsApp messages and find that a plethora of inspiring words have been waiting for you. All this is definitely an awesome start for the day. If we look around, in today’s world, wherever we go, whatever we watch, whomsoever we talk to, we are being constantly reminded that we must ‘Be Positive’. This “being positive” is a lullaby, till we get comfortable with negativities, vulnerabilities, and flaws. However, if you have a good look around yourself and observe closely the people and their feelings, you will not be surprised to know that they are still singing the classic song: “I should be positive”. This ideal template for human interactions, thinking patterns and emotional freedom is an amazing concept to embrace but obsessions for this rigidity of the positive structure is where the concern lies. “BEING POSITIVE”, as a mental set has undoubtedly filled our lives with wellbeing, happiness, health, and success, but on the flip side, it has also taken away our natural freedom to feel the full spectrum of emotions be the negative or positive.
This lack of space and freedom in our vocabularies, in our lives, in our thought processes for anger, fear, disgust and sadness; the negative or darker side of our emotions is something worth contemplating and challenging.
Need for Negative Emotions
From an evolutionary point of view, all the negative emotions serve a specific purpose which makes them as crucial as being happy or surprised. To be more specific, let us understand their purpose in general:
• Fear – It is important to get into escape mode, to escape from a threatening or dangerous situation.
• Anger– it is necessary for our own safety, it helps us protect ourselves by attacking the dangerous stimuli.
• Disgust – This also helps us stay away from potentially harmful things by making us detest a particular place, food or odor.
• Sadness – This serves as an alarm signal, asks us to pay more attention and to be more focused.
Positives of Negatives
Many pieces of research and findings suggest that there are many ill effects of being sad or angry. To name a few consequences: these may cause pain, or even exuberate it; these may create distress in our bodies and even affect our relationships, along with developing low self-esteem.
However, the effects of denying negative emotions are as cataclysmic as feeling or being negative. For instance, when we deny negatives emotions and try to suppress them, these will get into our subconscious, starting a chain of problems, varying in nature and intensity such as feeling empty, decreased interest in life, stagnant relationships, developing cynicism, having physical pain in different parts of the body, stomach problems, headaches and the list goes on.
As we know now, feeling negative emotions and having negative emotions are both harmful. The only thing that differentiates these two phenomena is “Suppression or denial of negative emotion is choice or habit which can be changed to a much healthier alternative’‘. BUT “Feeling negative emotions is completely natural, having negative emotions is part of our basic structure, disturbance in which can cause more trouble and pain.”
The crucial thing here is, we must embrace what is natural to us, we must understand that being negative is fine, we must acknowledge whatever emotion we are feeling without any sense of resistance, we must give ourselves the freedom to cry, to yell, to be fearful and to feel disgusted. Because in the end, everything is OK
Positives Of Negatives
1. Label your emotional state – Just pay attention to yourself consciously, observe your physical responses and then label the emotion very specifically. Ask yourself “Is it anger?”, “Is it fear?” Or so on.
2. Remind Yourself – Once you have labeled the emotion, next you need to remind yourself that it is okay and it is completely justified to feel the way you are feeling. No Emotion Is Wrong.
3. Be in the moment and feel it completely – Now as you understood it is okay to be in this state. Feel your emotion completely, do not try to rush into future or past but just be in the present feeling, the current emotion entirely for a few minutes.
4. Express it and make peace with it – Once the intensity of your emotion has gone considerably low, ask yourself about the healthiest and safest place to express it?? Is it someone who can listen to you? You have a punching pad or a bedroom pillow? Is on a piece of paper? Once you pick the best plan for yourself, implement it and move ahead. Negative emotions in the mind are like a tide in the ocean, once it comes out it gets settled down. So once you let it out, it gets settled out and this is how you make peace with it.
The Beautiful Emotional Rainbow
Rainbow looks less alluring with the absence of any of its color, similarly to have a gracious and satisfying emotional fitness it is important that you experience every emotion without any hesitation or judgment. It is also equally important that you let people around you be negative, offer them empathetic ears and comforting presence. And yes, “Do Not Forget, It Is Okay to Be Negative, As Negative Is the New Positive.”