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In a society that promotes gratitude and positivity, there is pressure to suppress or conceal negative feelings.
But psychological studies reveal that acceptance of your negative feelings promotes emotional resilience, with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Acceptance doesn't mean handing yourself over to a stressful, negative situation. We need to accept death, but we don't need to suffer through unfair treatment.
When we try only to think positively, we put ourselves in a striving state of mind, which is the opposite of calm contentment.
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A study found that people feel less sad if the feeling of sadness is personified, as it leads to a certain distance between the person and the emotion.
By imagining that Sadness is a person, the sad person becomes detached from his/her sadness.
They can picture the sadness to have human traits or mannerisms, leading to an internal regulation of that particular emotion.
While this approach of humanizing the emotion appears to work for sadness, it can make a happy person less happy, if that feeling is humanized.
Other complex emotions like guilt and embarrassment may have any kind of effect and are yet to be studied.
"Look on the bright side." Amid a pandemic and widespread social unrest, experts caution us against phrases like these that are not only unhelpful but also toxic.
Positivity makes people appear more well-adapted and popular with their peers.
The issue is not the people who are genuinely upbeat but when people are forced to appear positive in situations where it's not natural, like illness, homelessness, food insecurity, unemployment, or racial injustice.
Forcing positivity denies a very real sense of despair and hopelessness and alienates those who are struggling.
Internalizing these messages can also be damaging. We judge ourselves for feeling negative and then feel bad for feeling bad. It postpones any healing or move toward problem-solving.
Resilience is the ability to walk through bad experiences.
It generally means adapting well in the face of chronic or acute adversity.
There are three elements you can focus on: