5 reasons why negative emotions are NOT entirely undesirable!

5 reasons why negative emotions are NOT entirely undesirable!

Now, it won't come as any surprise to any of you to read/hear that I, Dr. Happy (Chief Happiness Officer of The Happiness Institute) am a fan of happiness and, more generally, of positive emotions. 

There are many reasons for this, most of which I've outlined in more detail in other articles, but in short the research clearly indicates that (real and meaningful) happiness is good for our health, wellbeing, relationships and even for our career (just to mention a few). 

But, that being said, this does not mean that the so called "negative emotions" are all bad for us. I'm not necessarily suggesting we should actively seek out negativity but the reality is, we will experience it and again, negative emotions are not all bad. 

How so? and why? 

Well, here are 5 reasons why negative emotions are not entirely undesirable: 

  1. Bad stuff happens and it's appropriate and normal for a resposne to these situations to include "negative emotions" (a lack of response including at least some negative emotion might be cause for a different type of concern) 

  2. Appropriate experiences of emotions such as fear and anxiety protect us from danger (without fear and anxiety, for example, we'd very likely do things that we shouldn't do…such as get too close to cliff tops or wander in to other dangerous contexts without taking adequate precaution)

  3. Different types of "negative" emotions such as guilt and remorse help us learn where and when we've done the wrong thing (and then hopefully help us to make amends) 

  4. Without any dark, it's difficult or impossible to experience the light (so sadness, in a way, helps us to enjoy happiness) 

  5. We're human and we make mistakes; with mistakes comes regret and a whole range of other  "negative emotions". But these need not be entirely negative experiences if we learn from these situations and become wiser, stronger, better etc

And I'm sure there are many, many more reasons why negative emotions and unhappiness are not entirely bad. What do you think? Although most (if not all) of us want to do our best to enjoy and to create as much happiness as possible why do we need negative emotions? I'd love for you to share your thoughts HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook page. Thanks in advance… : )