While we have been taught time and time again to push our negative emotions to the side and pay more attention to the positives, recent studies have found that embracing our downward thoughts may actually lead to productivity and happiness. The Huffington Post put together a list of commonly felt negative emotions and gave advice on how to turn them into creativity and compassion. Continue reading to find out how you can deal with anger, shame, and jealousy.
If You’re Feeling Angry
Anger can be creatively paralyzing, clogging up your normal free-flowing way of thinking, however, anger can also be used as fuel for creativity. In a study at Ghent University, researchers rated the emotions of creative professionals at the beginning and end of a typical work day. Those who began the day with negative emotions and ended with positive emotions had the highest creative output. In a different experiment, researchers found that subjects could use negativity to help them focus for longer periods of time.
David Burkus, author of Myths of Creativity wrote, “Think of the negative emotion as fuel you can burn on the path to creation.”
If You’re Feeling Ashamed
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly and acclaimed researcher of shame and vulnerability, found that shame can keep us from making deeper connections with others. If you can be vulnerable and learn to work through your feelings of loneliness and deficiency you may be able to find a closeness with a friend or partner you didn’t even know existed.
“Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone. Shame cannot survive being spoken … It cannot survive empathy,” states Brown. You can combat shame by being vulnerable and speaking about your misgivings. Shame, and the crippling feelings that come along with it, can only endure if not spoken about.
If You’re Feeling Jealous
While we’re used to being told that envy is a bad feeling and is a negative emotion we should avoid, if we consider where the feeling is coming from we may be able to live a happier life. According to an article in Scientific American, envy has two faces, one of which may actually be productive. Aristotle suggested that “envy could encourage people to strive harder to reach a desired state,” instead of attempting to harm the person they’re jealous of.
For example, if you see a couple having fun and you start feeling jealous, perhaps it’s time to make a date for the county fair. If you’re jealous of your brother’s travel plans, maybe it’s time to take some time off for a road trip.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
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