You may think you need to suppress negative emotions, but here’s why you shouldn’t

We all know someone who is perpetually positive and optimistic, even in the face of significant setbacks and challenges. Someone who always looks on the bright side – “There’s a pandemic? Well now I’m at home all the time I can grow that vegie garden”! You know the one, when you complain about something to them you know you are going to get told to look at it differently and be grateful, and you might wonder why you can’t and what might be wrong with you. Or maybe it is you that needs to remain positive in the face of any adversity.

While maintaining a positive mindset is important, denying yourself the ability to admit that things are not going well and that you are not feeling good about it is not healthy. Denying negative emotions can lead to emotional dysfunction. Healthy emotional functioning involves acknowledging both good and bad emotions and expressing all emotions in a healthy way that does not create additional difficulty in your life.

Denying something that you are experiencing is a form of avoidance and avoiding anything takes energy. Not only can denying that there is a problem become exhausting, it also may prevent you from taking action to resolve the issue.

Being able to experience and sit with uncomfortable emotions is an empowering life skill that is necessary if you want to reach your full potential. There are many reason why you may not be fully in touch with your emotions, so if you experience difficultly feeling and expressing emotion in a healthy and constructive way, consider finding a qualified therapist to help you take the next step in your journey to greater fulfilment.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

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