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The importance of 'negative' feelings

In a society where some feelings are labelled positive and others are labelled negative, it can be challenging to feel.

The pressure to use your feelings as a metric for success can be a trap to depth, growth and relating.

In other words, it seems that many of us carry the limiting belief that in order to be successful, you need to feel what we collectively name as positive feelings. The assumption is that if you feel anything less than happy, joyful or exciting; if you experience sadness, frustration, disappointment, grief and depressive episodes, it probably means there is something wrong with you, something damaged.

But the reality is that all the emotions we experience have a function and that everyone tends to experience a plethora of emotions, ranging across the spectrum.

That is being alive!

In order to help those emotions effect their function, and continue to be functional, it really helps to accept that you will feel 'negative feelings' as part of your existence, and that these emotions do not need to be hidden in shame. You can indeed express them and share them and in fact increase the intimacy of your relationships throughout these process.

This will reduce isolation, a word that keeps popping up in my sessions....

Observing, witnessing and understanding our emotions is part of the process of coaching. And sometimes we do not need to change or replace these emotions for 'positive' ones. We can't re-wire the brain before accepting what is, experiencing it deeply and integrating somatically what we sense.

So next time you feel those 'negative' emotions, don't be afraid to be pulled into the gloom. This is only a part of you, not your whole self. Share the feelings with a trusted friend, relative, therapist or coach.

Feel the feelings and do it anyway.

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