As a child, when you were sad, do you recollect your elders and everyone around telling you to hush and stop crying? Or when you were angry, they would say “Come on now, give us a smile”. Ever wondered why?
Each time you were upset and wanted to express a certain amount of animosity, you weren’t given the permission to do so. And now that you want to express love, there is a realization that this whole emotional system within you is topsy-turvy. It simply cannot function. Sadness, anger, hate: you were not allowed to express these openly, so now how do you express love?
A crucial goal for a positive well-being is to learn to acknowledge and express a full range of emotions. The problem arises from our culture’s overriding bias towards positive thinking. Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, it takes a downturn when people start to believe that they have to be upbeat all the time.
We Need the Negative
Coming back to the first question; why is it that people refrain from dealing with negative emotions?
You often find yourself crying alone; even when you are seen crying, people usually back-off. On the contrary, when you celebrate, the whole world stands by your side. Why is that?
As humans, it is imperative to understand that there is nothing termed as negative emotions. Every individual has good and bad days. It is okay to not be peppy all the time and let the “negative” emotions sit within, as these emotions are an aid to our survival. Really!
Bad feelings are important cues that health issues, relationship or other important matters need attention. The survival value of these negative thoughts and expressions may help you explain why suppressing them is fruitless. Even if you successfully avoid confronting these emotions, they linger in your subconscious which comes back in the form of fears or recurrent dreams. One should learn how to deal with them.
A Meaningful Misery
Your mind is a natural being in itself. It is designed in a way to react to certain situations. Suppressing one emotion in order to forcefully retain another is what leads to anger issues and suicidal thoughts. Consider this- in a streamlined factory with conveyor belts the workflow is smooth. However, if you try to adjust or forcefully change the course of the machinery, the entire system shuts down. Similarly, when you forcefully convince your mind to suppress emotions and bottle it up, you are forcing the mind to act against its natural ways- which often causes damage beyond repair.
To learn how to let go of negative emotions, you first need to know how to acknowledge one. Make yourself aware of your feelings and surroundings. If it is pain, so be it. If it is anger, so be it! Acknowledge and come to terms with your emotions. This makes the rest of the process easy.
Know When to Let Go
Sure, it is okay to not be okay. But don’t allow the “I’m not okay” to become your home. Once you have accepted the emotions you are battling, embrace them with all you have. It is necessary for us to live in the moment and feel every bit of what we are going through. Soak in your emotions completely, and when you know you’re done, let go, because nobody likes a guest to dwell in your home for too long.
Let’s embrace it all - the bad, the good, the ups, the downs, the positives and the negatives.