nugget from a therapist to help you accept and embrace negative emotions

let it hurt then let it go. accept negative emotions
image via womensmagick (instagram)

in this post, i’m going to share a golden nugget from a therapist which will help you accept and embrace the negative emotions (which we so often run from). it will make it “okay” for you to feel negative emotions. it will normalise feeling sad, crying, to feel hurt.

i truly believe it is important to acknowledge, accept and embrace negative emotions. doing so will lead to a better quality of life, better mental health, and also to self-awareness. 

but we don’t usually welcome negative emotions, we don’t like to feel them. we want to be as far away from them as possible (at least that’s how i was). part of it, according to me, is due to our upbringing or the social narrative in general. we grow up hearing things like “be strong”, “be happy”, “strong people don’t cry”, “don’t be so sensitive”. “you shouldn’t feel this way” etc. (the word “shouldn’t” is a topic for another post altogether.)

the social narrative in general is such that it makes it wrong to feel certain emotions. this idea or desire of not wanting to feel sad and only wanting to feel happy leads to avoidance of emotions. and ironically that is what keeps us from genuinely being happy. being happy does not mean not feeling sad ever. 

the word happiness would lose its meaning if it wasn't balanced by sadness. carl jung. accept negative emotions

the word happiness would lose its meaning if it wasn’t balanced by sadness.

carl jung

recommended read:

6 habits to live a happy(er) life

thought provoking lyrics on happiness 

resistance to feeling negative emotions keeps those feelings there, at least in the background. they leave only when you have felt them completely. and once you do, you are free of them, and you can genuinely feel happy. 

resistance causes persistence. acceptance causes disappearance. accept negative emotions

resistance causes persistence. acceptance causes disappearance.


now, before i share the nugget, i just want to mention that this came up in a conversation i had with my cousin. she shared this conversation from her therapy session. and as soon as i heard it, i said to her, i’m going to share this in my blog. so here we are… please note i’ve paraphrased it. 

nugget from a therapist to help you accept and embrace negative emotions

the therapist asked -- why do you laugh when you go to a stand-up comedy show, or when you're watching a comedy movie?

you laugh because it is you acknowledging your emotions, feeling them and expressing them, she continued. the comedian delivers a joke, you find it funny, and you laugh -- naturally, involuntarily. 

so why is it that we do not want to feel what comes naturally in response to certain situations which call for negative emotions?

if it's "okay" to laugh at something we find funny, why is it not "okay" to feel sad, hurt, or disappointed in a situation that calls for those feelings or emotions?


i was already on a journey of acceptance, and healing when i had this conversation with my cousin. i was acknowledging my emotions/feelings instead of running away from them. i proudly shared my love for crying. i believe crying is therapeutic and freeing. but this conversation normalised feeling negative emotions on another level.

accept how you feel then move through it. accept negative emotions
image source: unknown
treat emotions like visitors who are just passing through. accept negative emotions
via u/MysticImpala (reddit)

next time you’re experiencing negative emotions, treat yourself with extra love and care. validate your emotions. acknowledge them. tell yourself its okay to feel what you’re feeling.

feeling negative emotions can be hard in itself, don’t make it harder by giving yourself sh*t and saying “i shouldn’t feel this way.”

please remember, you are allowed to feel what you are feeling. there’s nothing wrong with feeling the emotions that come up for you, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with you for feeling those emotions!

i hope this helps you accept and embrace the emotions that come up for you. 

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