4 Negative Emotions That Can Actually Help You

You may not realize it all the time but experiencing negative emotions can actually benefit each of us.

Sep 28, 2019

(Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com)

Without a doubt, we all strive to do our best to achieve optimal happiness. Self-love becomes a daily practice for many of us in our everyday lives. However, it is not only positive emotions that get you there, sometimes it's the negative emotions that prove the most effective. 

Negative emotions reveal your body's natural feedback when something is not right or needs attention. By acknowledging this signal, you can explore a deep understanding of the message that your body wants to send. When a negative emotional state arises, individuals tend to ignore and avoid this as a coping mechanism. This only builds up over time and leaves you feeling worse.

Researchers have explored the relationship between negative emotions and adult achievement. Researchers discovered that experiencing the negative side of the spectrum of emotions, in fact, allows us to learn and grow. Acknowledging, accepting, and embracing internal negative feedback can have an overall positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being.

1. Facing Fear  

Our bodies are evolutionarily designed to protect us and promote survival through fear. If we didn't experience fear, we could end up in dangerous and vulnerable situations. Fear comes in all different forms, but the good kind can promote safety and even motivation. Fear is a lifesaving sixth sense according to Learning Mind

Life throws unpleasant situations at us from time to time. By exploring our emotions, we know the best response to protect ourselves. If you find yourself face-to-face with one of your biggest fears, your first reaction may be to turn around and run, never looking back. However, if we become strong enough to confront our fears, we can overcome various obstacles in our lives. 

The feeling of being under threat puts you in a position oh having to make a make a decision, and usually a fast one. Fear heightens our senses and awareness, allowing us to create a sharp solution to our problems. Listen to your body and respond accordingly. 

2. Frustration Implements Change

Whenever you feel frustrated, take a minute to go within and ask yourself, “Why am I angry? What is the source of my frustration?” 

By exploring this emotion, you can understand what needs to change in your life. No-one voluntarily chooses to feel angry or frustrated. Once you know what ticks you off, you can accept the situation for what it is or remove this from your life. Some people even transform frustration into compassion, with the right mindset.

Frustration allows us to practice patience and tolerance, a key element for self-growth. Experiencing frustration encourages us to take time out and just breathe. Shining light on our negative emotions and dealing with them as they arise creates self-awareness.

3. Anxiety Encourages Presence

Anxiety is our bodies natural response to life events and can result from overthinking. Feeling anxious may not feel pleasant, but to some degree, it can be beneficial. Whenever you feel anxiety creeping up on you, focus on the present moment. By living in the now, you will observe your feelings in a nonjudgmental way, especially the negative ones. 

Mindfulness meditation is the best practice for managing anxiety. Taking a few precious moments out of our busy lives can be extremely beneficial for our mental health. 

Anxiety motivates us to explore the nature of what makes us uncomfortable and the chance to go beyond that. Fight or flight mode comes on, telling you to run from a threatening situation or challenge it. 

In some cases, anxiety can actually lead to better performance.  A study showed that athletes who felt anxious before competing showed improved results. So, channel your inner anxiety into self-improvement.

4. Guilt Promotes Healing

Guilt is our body's way of showing us we have done something wrong. We feel our mistakes through a strong sense of guilt flowing through our entire body. As uncomfortable as it may make you feel, this negative emotion allows us to learn from the past to help us do right in the future.

No one is perfect. We all have our faults, but it is vital to acknowledge these. We can learn from our mistakes and towards our highest self. 

Guilt promotes healing within by admitting to ourselves that we have done wrong and will not make the same decision again. Accept that you have messed up and forgive yourself. Transform guilt into forgiveness, and you will flourish. 

Negative emotions are healthy for us to experience. So, embrace them, do not eliminate. Feel negative emotions as they arise and turn them into something good. 

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.