Many of us label our emotions as either “positive” or “negative” and quickly push negative emotions away. We minimize them, distract ourselves away from them, numb them, or try to skip over them altogether to move quickly on to the next thing. Anything to stop feeling the painful emotion. Avoiding pain seems like it should be a good thing.
But what if these emotions have very important messages for us? What if we cozied up to the feeling so we can hear what it has to tell us? What if, through experiencing painful emotions, we start to make decisions that work better for us? What if we gain greater insight and understanding of ourselves?
For example, boredom can help us examine what is missing in our lives and make new choices to bring more joy – a new hobby, perhaps. Sadness can help us to grieve and move on, as in letting go of a failed relationship and looking for someone new. Loneliness can also inspire us to make new friends or reconnect to loved ones we haven’t seen for awhile.
Listen to your emotions, even the painful ones. Then, take action to make your life better and more fulfilling.