Why are we so afraid of ‘negative’ emotions?

I’m actually not very fond of dividing emotions into positive and negative. There is nothing negative about grief, sadness, fear or anger. These emotions may be painful and dark but they are not negative.

The so-called negative emotions have been getting a very bad rep recently as more and more research is showing that they can impair our immune system, cause heart disease or cancer. Therefore, we are advised to control and overcome our ‘negative emotions’. Is that the whole truth?

Miriam Greenspan explains that dark emotions turn toxic only when they are not experienced, when they get stuck in our system. Like all energy, emotional energy doesn’t just disappear. It changes form.

Numbed fear or despair can turn into toxic anger. Unmet grief can lead to depression. Thus, it’s not the dark emotions that harm us but our attitudes and unskillful ways of coping with them.


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