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Why we should say no to positivity — and yes to our negative emotions

https://ideas.ted.com/why-we-should-say-no-to-positivity-and-yes-to-our-negative-emotions/

ideas.ted.com

Why we should say no to positivity — and yes to our negative emotions
It sounds paradoxical, but accepting our negative emotions can make us happier in the long run. Psychologist Susan David explains how.

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Susan David

“Being positive has become a new form of moral correctness.”

Susan David

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Forced positivity

Suppressing or avoiding our difficult emotions is not healthy or helpful.

Doing this impairs our capacity to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. And this leads to lower levels of resilience, lower levels of wellbeing, and higher levels of depression and anxiety.

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Labeling difficult emotions

Labeling difficult emotions

An important way of dealing with a difficult emotion is to label it effectively.

Labeling your emotions more accurately helps you understand the cause of those emotions and triggers your ability to set goals and to make real concrete changes.

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Emotions and compassion

Identify your emotions with compassion.

Compassion allows you to foster a safe space inside of you, a space in which you feel capable of taking more risks: you’re ready to analyze and explore the world and you know that if things don’t go right, everything is still ok.

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You are not your emotions

Create space between you and what you’re feeling and act as an observer by naming all the aspects of your experience.

Don't identify with your emotions. Doing this puts you in charge rather than the emotion.

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How we deal with our emotions affects how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead.

We should not view our emotions as good or bad, positive or negative. We need our emotions for real resilience.

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When we go through tough situations, we cannot ignore our negative emotions with the hope that they don't matter.

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Self-compassion can work wonders

Self-compassion enables you to take risks while being positive about the fact that even if things do not turn out your way, everything will eventually be fine, as you are still the same person.

Self-compassion and its effect

The main difference between individuals who show a certain level of self-compassion and the ones who show none or lower is that the first ones have the strength to stand up after having made a mistake, learn something from this mistake and be successful next time.

Learning self-compassion

A sure way of practicing self-compassion is by actually trying to learn lessons from all your experiences, especially the negative ones. 

You should stop judging these experiences as being good or bad, but rather look for the meaning of each and every one of them.

Emotions

They are basal responses that begin in the subcortical areas of the brain responsible for producing biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli that have a direct impact on our physical state.&n...

Feelings

Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

Negative Emotions

They can be defined as unpleasant or unhappy emotions evoked in individuals to express a negative effect towards something.

Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.