If you’ve ever been told to “calm down” when you were angry or “cheer up” when you’re sad then you know how infuriating it feels to get such inane advice in the face of strong emotion. Social media itself has become one big happiness quote after another, each telling us all to look on the bright side. I raise my hand high as a perpetrator of that last one. But is all this forced happiness getting in the way of your ability to truly live healthily? Could be.
Researchers of the concept of willpower have discovered that it is a finite resource that can be depleted. Doesn’t it stand to reason that withholding the so called “negative” emotions of sadness and anger will deplete you of willpower in other areas of your life? Yes! Turns out that there is some research that shows that people who over regulate their emotions often lapse in other areas like eating and sex. Sound familiar? Why? Because the work of holding things in is stressful!
Feeling anger and sadness are NOT negative but the way you express them can be. I consider both of these emotions as revelatory ones that allow you to understand yourself better and to face what ails you. They are not spaces you should live in because they are really uncomfortable. I would even go as far as to say that emotional suppression can breed disease in your body which is clearly my nonmedical opinion. So I say, FEEL angry and FEEL sad because being either doesn’t negate the happiness in your life. If anything it confirms and clears the way for it. Notice I did not say “BE” angry or sad. Allow the feelings to catalyze your life and let them pass. Also, stay away from people that tell you that either are bad. They are obviously medicated and perfect. Perfectly medicated, if you will.