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How Negative Emotions Help Us

Negative emotions warn us of threats or challenges that we may need to deal with. For example, fear can alert us to possible danger. It's a signal that we might need to protect ourselves. Angry feelings warn us that someone is stepping on our toes, crossing a boundary, or violating our trust. Anger can be a signal that we might need to act on our own behalf.

As human beings, feeling sad, stressed out, anxious, afraid is a natural consequence of daily events. Furthermore, it is acceptable to feel that way.

If we always tell ourselves to smile when all we want to do is cry, we are psychologically mistreating ourselves, which on the long run will negatively impact our psychological welfare.

Negative emotions make us aware!

Negative emotions exist for a reason. They protect us, makes us aware of dangers,and let us know something is not working for us.

For instance, fear help us react to danger, anxiety make us more aware of potential threats around us, and guilt make us reconsider past actions that may have been harmful to others and make amends with them (Rosen, 2008; Tibbetts, 2003).

Negativity is a motivator!

Negative emotions however, serve as a motivator. They tell us we are not happy with the path our lives are taking and when they reach a certain level of intensity, they motivate us to act. Therefore, we should listen to them as soon as we start to feel them, regulate their intensity and start acting in more healthy ways towards the changes we wish to establish in our lives.

How Positive Emotions Help Us

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Article by: psychologist Sadia Javaid

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