Negative Emotions: Why you should welcome them.

I discovered that my boyfriend (of many years) had cheated with a close mutual friend. At the time, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. We were inseparable – or so I thought.
Fortunatley for me, and while I was in a very low and negative place in my head, a very wise person told me that I should be “thrilled about the discovery.”
Record Scratch. *JAW DROP* WHAT?!
I’ll tell you that I had to dig REAL deep to understand what the hell that even meant. I was completely at a loss for words but was facinated at the same time because it was the polar opposite of what anyone else said to me. 
I started with: “How does this relationship fit with who I am and who want to be?” The answer came quickly like a smack in the face.
I realized that, at best, I had been putting up with a bad relationship. And, if I was really honest, I was unhappy in that realtionship for a number of reasons.
As I drilled down, I discovered that I had been avoiding, shoving away and running from my emotions at every turn. I had pushed away the very thing that was trying to help me.
My final drill down revealed what the key to my negative emotional state – me. It was ME! I was the key to my negative emotions through the lack of honesty with myself. OUCH. Sure they cheated and they suck for that – truly. However, if I had acknowledged my emotions when I first felt that the relationship wasn’t working, I would have made much better decisions.
Negative emotions are not fun or sexy, but they are necessary… and they can help us!
Here’s how:
Negative emotions lead to wonderful discoveries if you allow them to. I know it sucks big time when you’re dealing with them – believe me, I’ve been there. However, negative emotions can be turned into priceless lessons when you learn how to process them in a healthy way.
Here’s the thing… usually, people don’t actively invite anything negative to come into their life, right? We all try our best to repel negative emotions the second they start to crop up. 
In fact most of us try to avoid negative emotions like the plague: We ignore them. We wish them away. We stuff them down. We run screaming the other way. But, what we never do is open the door, invite them in and get to know them! But you should.
The Benefits of Negative Emotions:
  • They help you identify people and behaviors that aren’t consistent with who you are
  • Negative emotions scream at you that your relationship to something (or someone) needs to be re-evaluated   
  • They’re letting you know that more self-care is needed in your life
  • They’re excellent motivators – nothing promotes change like negative emotions
  • Negative emotions alert you to dangers that could save your life
Can you see how powerful and helpful negative emotions can be? 
How to Make Friends with Your Negative Emotions:
Next time you experience a negative emotion, take some time to do the following…
  1. What’s the negative emotion you’re experiencing right now? Name it outloud. Examples include: sad, angry, jealous, frustrated, shame, lonely, defeated – there are many more…
  2. What (or who) is the source of the negative emotion? 
  3. Now, imagine stepping back and looking at the negative emotion from 10,000 feet above – so you can only see the BIG Picture
  4. Ask yourself, “What about being [insert negative emotion] in this moment bothers me the most?”…. This answer will tell you the actual cause of you feeling the negative emotion. 
  5. Now ask yourself, WHY does [insert actual cause] result in feeling [insert negative emotion]?”  
  6. Now you have your drill down starting point. Ask yourself, “WHY does [drill down starting point] result in feelings of [insert negative emotion]?
  7. Keep asking “why” about each answer at least five more times until there are no more answers. By doing this, you’ll find the key to your negative emotion.
  8. Each time you have an answer to “why”, acknowledge how you feel about it. Take no action; just acknowledge how you are feeling about each why answer. You’ll make decisions later. 
  9. Going through this process will take you deeper into the significance of the negative emotion which, in turn, will lead you an “ah-ha” moment of clarity. I’ll share major personal ah-ha moment with you in a minute… 
This process can seem challenging – at first… however, the results can be very powerful and healing – so keep practicing! 
Need Some More Help?
Another extremely effective technique that you can use to process negative emotions is guided breathwork meditation. To help you, I have made a free guided meditation for processing difficult emotions. You can grab it just below.
So the point of the exercise is to help you pivot in the way you think about negative emotions.
Instead of immediately avoiding or ignoring them, this exercise will help you make friends with your negative emotions and consider their deeper meaning. You’ll discover things about yourself that you may have been subconsciously doing (or accepting) that cause pain in your life. 
So if you’re feeling some negative emotions, whether that’s now or in the future, use this exercise to make friends and discover what your negative emotion is trying to tell you!
Remember, whatever the outcome of your self-reflection, don’t beat yourself up. In hindsight, I was way too hard on myself. No one is perfect and we ALL make mistakes. It’s what we take from our life’s lessons that matters – so keep learning.
Sometimes self discovery leads to making a life change. If you find yourself in the process or just wanting to make a life change, read this helpful article: Difficult Life Changes: 7 things to Consider.

Without a willingness to learn from our mistakes, we will never become everything we are meant to be.