Accepting Negative Emotions is Key to Mental Health
Updated: Mar 1
We often have to force ourselves to hide our negative feelings such as anger and resentment according to social decorum.
When we're being wronged, we might not know what we should say or do immediately to counter the issue.
When we're being left out, we might not know how to reach out to be included.
When we're frustrated with completing a task, we might not be able to sort out our logical thinking and calm ourselves down to solve the issue at hand.
All these negative emotions are being bottled up inside of us waiting to explode, often in the wrong place or at the wrong time.
But psychological studies have shown that instead of suppressing our negative emotions, we must try to accept them.
Acceptance of negative emotions does NOT mean trying to change how we are feeling but instead staying in touch with your feelings and taking them for what they are.
How can it be that accepting negative emotions is paradoxically linked to long-term psychological thriving?
According to psychological researchers, the magic of acceptance is in its blunting effect on emotional reactions to stressful events. It’s that mechanism that can, over time, lead to positive psychological health, including higher levels of life satisfaction.
In other words, accepting dark emotions like anxiety or rage, won’t bring you down or amplify the emotional experience. Nor will it make you “happy”—at least not directly.
Accepting the negative emotions can help us to maintain our peace of mind and will lead to better mental health. Studies have shown that it helps us to become emotionally resilient.
Also, acknowledging the dark emotions lowers anxiety and depression. A study conducted by three researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that over time acceptance leads to positive psychological health and increases the feeling of satisfaction in one’s life. The research also proves that when people habitually began accepting negative emotions, they feel elevated levels of well-being.
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