Eve Menezes Cunningham on balancing your positivity with productive ‘bad’ feelings
Eve Menezes Cunningham
As much as I love a lot of what has come out of the positive psychology movement, the idea that only positivity is allowed is a distortion and not helpful. Life offers us the opportunity to grow from all sorts of things. If it were all sunshine and butterflies, we’d get bored and our lives would become stagnant. Long, cold, dark winters make the warmth and sunshine of summer even better.
Experiment with positive tools like gratitude (whether you want to write a list, review things at the end of the evening, or simply say ‘thank you’ throughout your day).
Learning to re-frame our lives and look for the good in order to build on what’s working can make an enormous difference. But honour everything. ‘Bad’ feelings are there for a reason – they guide us to make changes. We go to the doctor, check the cause of the pain, find relief and potentially life-saving treatment. We’re wired for the ‘negative’ – we spot potential danger as it’s safer to mistake a twig for a snake than a snake for a twig. That doesn’t mean we need to beat ourselves up for getting things wrong.
And allow yourself to experience pain, sorrow, grief, loss and other feelings that may feel terrifying but which, when we actually allow ourselves to feel them, shift far more quickly. Don’t overwhelm yourself – find a good therapist, someone you trust, and do it gently. Nothing needs to be forced.
In psychosynthesis, our accessing the more ‘negative’ feelings and thoughts allows us to process them better than denial ever could. It also enables us to experience greater heights.
Find out more about Eve’s therapeutic mind, body heart and soul practices at feelbettereveryday.co.uk. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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