Using Advantages of 5 “Negative Emotions”
I began practicing meditation around twenty years ago, and like many others, I did so to foster positive emotions like serenity and self-assurance while taming so-called “bad emotions” like resentment and grief.
I believed that emotions can either be positive (like happiness) or bad (as do most people) (like worry). I made use of my meditation routine to generate more happy thoughts and less negative ones.
You might initially believe that this makes sense. Because “negative emotions” hurt, they can also have an impact on our health. For example, excessive anger might raise blood pressure. Positive feelings, meanwhile, are enjoyable and can improve our health. For instance, there is a connection between happiness and longevity.
However, if you believe that emotions can only be positive or negative, then you are completely missing the point. Because all emotions actually have a purpose, and even the most painful ones can be channeled for positive purposes.
Let’s take a look.
Take Advantage of These “Negative” Emotions
1. Use anger as a change agent
It has long been believed that anger is a “bad” feeling. In fact, according to the Roman philosopher Seneca, anger is a type of “short madness” that might result in “self-destruction.” And according to The Dalai Lama, anger is a form of retribution for mental defilement.
However, if you believe that your clenched fist and red face are always a bad thing, you need to reconsider. There is a reason to be angry, and that reason might actually be good.
Anger may be a potent catalyst for change for the better.
According to Brett Ford from the University of Toronto, “Anger is a type of emotion that mobilizes and activates the body physically. You can employ that activation to accomplish a physical objective.
What we must do is a channel that ferocious anger’s energy in a constructive manner.
Getting your anger under control so you can use it is the first step towards doing so (sure, be angry, but not mad). Use anger management meditations to achieve this.
Once your anger is under control, pay attention to the anger’s energy. Watch how it is a strong energy that can motivate you to take action. Ask yourself now how you could make good use of your anger. Finally, just get started!
2. Use sadness to get through tougher, longer obstacles.
You might believe that sadness is a wholly detrimental feeling with no positive aspects. However, sadness—believe it or not—plays a crucial part. Naturally, we wish to end the agony when we are upset. And our desire to end suffering might spur us on to make important decisions in our life.
Sadness is the antithesis of happiness. We typically don’t feel the urge to change all that much when we are content. We’d much rather just continue to be content. So, even if we have a difficult but vital task to complete, we will put it off and instead concentrate on being joyful.
Sadness has the opposite effect. Greater Good at UC Berkeley asserts that when we are under emotional suffering, we are highly driven to put a stop to it. We will also take significant action that we would not take if we were happy since we are so eager to change things.
Because of this, the best moment to make significant, challenging changes in our life is frequently during times of despair. Just remember that sadness differs greatly from depression. Read my meditation guide for depression if you’re depressed.
3. Use guilt and shame to reflect on your actions and make amends.
According to J P Tagney in The Handbook of Self and Identity, shame is a feeling that causes one to start controlling their emotions. When we have done something wrong, we typically feel ashamed and judge ourselves harshly, believing that we are awful people.
Similar to shame, guilt functions as a self-conscious feeling. Shame and guilt vary primarily in that shame make us believe that we are horrible people, whereas guilt is more focused on a specific event and makes us feel bad for what we did without necessarily making us believe that we are bad people.
Shame and guilt can both be tools for introspection. Why do I feel awful about what happened, you could ask yourself? Additionally, “How can I alter my behavior to prevent future feelings of guilt or shame?” Ask yourself if your guilt or shame is justified. Maybe you are being too harsh on yourself. And if you are actually being overly harsh on yourself, try developing self-compassion.
4. Use anxiety to reduce risks
I’m not exactly a fan of it because I’ve had clinical anxiety since I was a teenager. Those panicky emotions might convert life into a nightmare. But I must acknowledge that worry can be useful since it alerts us to potential risks so we can take precautions.
Let’s take the scenario where you are worried about a presentation you need to give at work. It’s likely that you’ll have anxious, stressed thoughts. You may consider a wide range of potential problems. Of course, you don’t want to consider it going wrong. However, by being conscious of the potential negative outcomes, you may also take action to avoid them.
In general, anxiety can help you recognize potential risks and then take action to lessen those risks. What risk is my anxiety letting me know about? How can I minimize that risk?”
5. Use jealousy to focus on yourself
The evolutionary function of jealousy, according to Baland Jahal, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine, has been to drive us to act in ways that ensure the survival of ourselves and our progeny. So it stands now.
When you next experience jealousy, consider why. Is your envy justified in any way? Do you deserve to possess the object of your envy? Where will you find it? Now, take advantage of the jealousy’s energy. Utilize it as motivation to act in a way that will result in you getting what you want.
You can see that even what is considered “bad feelings” have value. Use those unfavorable feelings to your advantage the next time you feel jealousy, sadness, guilt, or wrath.
Paul Harrison is a dedicated meditation instructor who supports sincere, real meditation. He has been practicing mindfulness and meditation for over 15 years. He received his degree from Staffordshire University after studying meditation in the lovely cities of Hamilton, Ontario, and Oxford, United Kingdom.
Paul Harrison once said, “My mission is to offer the most genuine meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation.”
If you want to read more meditation information, the links below here belong to you:
Deeply Breathing: How it reduces your stress