Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being

Feeling sad, mad, critical or otherwise awful? Surprise: negative emotions are essential for mental health. Scientific American, June 5, 2013.

Extracts:”…A crucial goal of therapy is to learn to acknowledge and express a full range of emotions…Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time…anger and sadness are an important part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment…Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life’s ups and downs. “Remember, one of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences,” says psychologist Jonathan M. Adler of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. “ Read whole article by clicking here.

Amongst these extracts we find an example of an order that we may give ourselves which is not rationally acceptable : there is no scientific evidence which proves the “we must be upbeat all the time” in order to survive. We can continue being down, and the world will continue turning. We will continue living. You will see, try it! There are few things we must do: eat, sleep, etc. Our brain receives such an order and gets confused, as it is not strictly true that we must be upbeat all the time. Conflict is set up. If we changed that predicament for “We would like to be upbeat all the time, but we accept that this is not realistic. We may have down moments, but these will pass and better moments may come”: this is much more realistic and acceptable to cope with. This predicament does not provoke anxiety. Rehearsing a predicament such as this one from a hypnotic state can contribute to its assimilation and integration into our subconscious mind. In other words, it may make it faster and easier for us to “really” believe it.

Clinical hypnotherapy offers relaxation exercises similar to the meditation ones described in this article. In a hypnotic state we can manipulate our own imaginary in order to create a safe place, somewhere we can travel to mentally, when emotional situations or negative thoughts appear to be overwhelming. The use of hypnosis can contribute to give us relaxation, strength and confidence so that we can allow ourselves to think about those emotions and thoughts. Although they may appear negative, these are some of the experiences which will help us develop as human beings, enrich our personality and achieve a greater level of maturity.


About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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