Negative emotions are normal. A daily part of life, they warn and often protect us. But negative emotions can also be dangerous and destructive. The difference depends on how long we allow them to hang around.
NEGATIVE EMOTIONS: FRIEND OR FOE? A negative emotion can warn a child to avoid a stranger. But if that child fails to understand his fear and begins to automatically fear anyone who is different, well, that’s another matter. Then fear is no longer a friend but an enemy. Failure to understand and let go of a negative emotion is the problem, not the emotion itself.
5 WAYS NEGATIVE EMOTIONS CAN HURT US Negative emotions we hold onto hurt us in five major ways. First, they use up energy. Second, they lock in painful and distorted thoughts and mental pictures. Third, they can lead to unhelpful behaviors. Fourth, they keep us in conflict. Fifth, they can lower our immune system and our ability to fight off disease. As Woody Allen implied in a film, he didn't deal with his feelings, he stuffed them and grew a tumor instead.
WHAT TO DO? What’s the answer? Simple enough. We must stay aware of our negative emotions, acknowledge them, and let go of them safely and appropriately. By "safely and appropriately" I mean without playing the victim or deliberately hurting others. This is a learned skill. We can train ourselves to do this.
I have been a counselor/therapist in private practice for twenty plus years, taught graduate students at George Washington University, and recently published my first book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be - The Choice-Cube Method http://amzn.to/uHGKQ5I would love to share with you what I have learned about the skill of managing negative emotions. Visit my website www.choicecube.com.