Feeling negative is Healthy: The Brighter side of Darker emotions
So you switch on the television & you encounter a peppy, bouncing guide/host blinding you with their dazzling smile and a glowing face promising you 365 days of “Happiness and Positivity”!
These emotions or feelings have turned into a lucrative brand that has acquired cult following. So much so, the feelings at the other end of the spectrum such as Sadness, grief, sorrow are deemed bad and are considered the villains of life’s happy journey.
But are they really Vampires sucking up the goodness from our life..?
According to Todd Kashdan (author of “The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self — Not Just Your ‘Good’ Self — Drives Success And Fulfillment) Feeling NEGATIVE is HEALTHY! The trend of “be positive 24*7” may actually be leading us astray.
According to Kashdan, the tendency to chase the Chimera of ‘perfect happiness’ along with our habit of avoiding unpleasantness and discomfort is making us psychologically weak.
Even when life is a bed of roses, there are hidden thorns within. Trouble arises when we choose to ignore or avoid the thorny part and focus only on the soft, velvety petals. These selective choices lead to reduced productivity, increased stress in life.
The solution to an emotionally rich life is not avoidance rather it is embracing the whole gamut of emotions – both negative and positive as a useful feature of everyday life. A way to a satisfying emotional life lies in developing “emotional switch” – a way of harnessing and utilizing appropriate emotions to suit the situations.
The 4 ‘main’ Negative Emotions that play a Crucial role in our LIFE
Guilt is the fiber of our emotional life. It toughens us, makes us more sensitive to social norms and responsibilities. For instance, a man is less likely to steal when shopping or try to cheat a helpless person.
People consider self-doubt as a form of weakness. But doubt can be a valuable asset. Doubt enables us to do a mental self-evaluation of our strengths and weaknesses. Doubts nudge us towards reflections, goads us into strengthening our weaknesses and prepares the person to accept the upcoming change.
When feeling threatened or when pushed to a corner, anxiety can be a strong counter-weapon. In an uncomfortable situation where a ‘wholesale positivity’ may entangle us in deeper trouble, anxiety will make us doubly sensitive to cues & clues, it will sensitize us to the atmosphere helping us to resolve the problem quickly.
A team or a group has a high rate of success if it includes an individual who has an anxious-type personality.
4: The Eureka Moment
Most would have read about Archimedes and how he discovered the ‘Archimedes principle’.’ For those who are unaware, here goes – Archimedes a famous physicist, mathematician, and an engineer was pondering about a problem. Exhausted and feeling grimy, he decided to take a bath. He descended into his bath and noticed that the water rose and overflowed to accommodate his body weight. He ran out naked shouting ‘eureka’.
So what does it prove? It proves that an unfocused mind can provide the solution when logic fails. A chaotic mind need not be a bad thing.