We all experience negative emotions, but are they good for us? Well, yes, and no.
Negative emotions are part of what makes us human! A part of our brain is wired to look for threats and experience pain. Negative emotions are our alert that something is askew and we best pay attention! So, while they don’t feel good, those negative emotions are good for us for that.
Some will say they are good for you because they push you to take action. If you are in fear of losing a client, losing a job, or losing a relationship, negative emotions can push you to do something out of that fear of loss. But an emotion like anger, which carries a lot of energy, can also create a lot of damage. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “channel that anger into action!” Yes – take action! The anger alerted you to something that needed to be addressed. The question is, do you need to stay in that anger to do that? The answer is no.
Once you’ve received the “pay attention” alert, staying in negative emotions for more than one second is unnecessary and stressful. The cost to you is steep — your health, happiness, and contributions to your family, work or audiences. It’s akin to putting your hand on a hot stove and instead of reacting and immediately removing it, you leave it on the stove.
Letting go of those negative emotions might not feel like a choice. Why? Because that same part of our brain that registers threats and pain also carries within it several voices that provide the thoughts and habitual responses that justify and create our negative emotions. They are written into our brain neuropathways from years of repeated use. Willing them away just doesn’t work.
And yet, with the advances in science, we now know we do have a choice. Our brains can continue to grow and adapt throughout life through the wondrous process of neuroplasticity! We can interrupt those mental “saboteurs” and strengthen the neuropathways that bring an innovative perspective to all of our experiences. We can purposefully create new neuropathways to experience clarity of mind, empathy, and creativity.
What it takes is our commitment to learning a new “mental fitness” methodology and practicing specific techniques to strengthen those new neuropathways for as little as 15 minutes a day.
There is one exception – grieving. We’re all experiencing pain and loss these days. When we experience a deep loss, we need time and possibly therapeutic support. However, these techniques will help you move through that grief. Remember to be kind, gentle and patient with yourself and others when grieving.
I’m using this “Positive Intelligence” program myself and experiencing success! If you’d like to learn more, please email me at Andrea@AndreaBeaulieu.com and let’s have a conversation.
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