Expressing negative emotions with intelligence is synonymous with health

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Louise Hay

Expressing negative emotions with intelligence is synonymous with health

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Expressing negative emotions doesn't mean losing your mind. Getting angry, saying “that's enough, I've reached the limit”, reacting to those who want us to be submissive, predictable and silent is a healthy and even necessary reaction. Our temperament, after all, has full right to overflow from time to time to allow us to express ourselves, to let ourselves channel these negative emotions.  

Winston Churcill biographers recount that the celebrated British Prime Minister inherited leadership skills and Victorian aplomb from his father. From his mother she had the stubbornness, energy and an innate capacity for seduction. However, as the same politician said more than once, his family was also distinguished by a peculiar coat of arms that he too kept with resignation in the basements of his mind: depression.

His "black dog", as Churchill called him, haunted the deepest intimacy of his life. From the outside he was an energetic and iron-tempered man who was able to prevent Britain from succumbing to Nazism, the one who excelled as a journalist and who even won the Nobel Prize for literature. Inside, however, the accumulated tension, contradictions and anxiety were swallowed up like stones, like plates to be digested one by one in rigorous silence.

Because the politician had full right to lose his composure every now and then to show courage and energy, but the man always hid with his "black dog", his books and his endless bottles of brandy ...

We can express negative emotions without losing composure

Our society has wrongly taught us that there are noble emotions and unclean emotions. If at this very moment we say that anger and anger are healthy, many will probably find the statement contradictory. How can emotions traditionally related to aggression, dispute or even violence be noble?  

Well, these attributions so common among the population are a further example of our poor competence in emotional matters. We must be clear, in fact, that there are no noble emotions and unclean emotions. What's more, if we make the mistake of repressing, swallowing or covering up our anger, in the long run, in addition to emotional indigestion, the emotions we call "noble" will lose their intensity.

We have full rights to express negative emotions. The ideal, however, is to do it with intelligence and assertiveness. Let us give ourselves permission to show our anger at anything that causes us contradiction, annoyance or nervousness. Associating these emotions with malaise does not at all mean that they are "unclean". With them, among other things, we obtain an indispensable element for our psychological well-being: assert ourselves and resolve conflicts in order to be able to adapt much better to the contexts in which we move.

Adaptive anger and right anger

Anna is a high school teacher and teaches mathematics to several third year groups. In addition to being an excellent teacher, she has excellent leadership qualities for her profession. She knows how to communicate with her pupils when they are not paying attention to her or when they are not performing as they should. She is agile to communicate, quick to select and knows how to bring out her emotions so that they have a positive impact on her pupils. With the energy she gets from her emotions, she manages to incite, direct and inspire them.

However, All these qualities that Anna demonstrates in class are unable to manage them in the private sphere, with her family and her partner. He does a thousand stunts to satisfy them all, finds time that he does not have and is unable to say "no" to any favor, question or whim his family asks of her. Our protagonist accumulates such a level of anger and frustration that she senses that at any moment she will negatively affect her work.

Below we propose that you reflect on some simple principles that would be of great use to Anna and to any other person in the same situation.

Strategies for expressing negative emotions in an intelligent way

First of all, one detail must be remembered: to express negative emotions without losing reason, we must make use of functional, adaptive and controlled anger. We refer to that communication with which the person does not use screams or insults or useless reproaches. That communication with which every spoken word first passes through the filter of respect, calm and firmness.

Feelings are not to be repressed or disguised. If there are things that annoy us, that limit us and that hurt us, let's not bite the bullet like someone who swallows a food they don't like with a stuffy nose.

The ideal in these cases is to plan in advance what to say, how and when. This plan gives us the ability to be smarter, and that doesn't necessarily mean fake or artificial.

To conclude, as we have seen, well-managed anger has great potential, meaning it gives us the strength we need to resolve many situations. Losing composure in an intelligent, respectful and assertive way, therefore, gives us the opportunity to get rid of that knot in the stomach and even that "black dog" called depression that Winston Churchill took for a walk on numerous occasions and in secret for much of the time. life of him.

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