Positive and negative emotions
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Positivity opens us up. The first core truth about positive emotions is they open our hearts and our minds, making us more receptive and more creative.
All Emotions Are Natural
Let’s say you start to brainstorm a list of all the emotions you’ve ever experienced. Just for fun, try it now. What’s on your list? Chances are, you included things like happy, sad, excited, angry, afraid, grateful, proud, scared, confused, stressed, relaxed, amazed. Now sort your list into two categories — positive emotions and negative emotions.
Feeling both positive and negative emotions is a natural part of being human. We might use the word “negative” to describe more difficult emotions, but it doesn’t mean those emotions are bad or we shouldn’t have them. Still, most people would probably rather feel a positive emotion than a negative one. It’s likely you’d prefer to feel happy instead of sad, or confident instead of insecure.
What matters is how our emotions are balanced — how much of each type of emotion, positive or negative, we experience.
How Negative Emotions Help Us
Negative emotions warn us of threats or challenges that we may need to deal with. For example, fear can alert us to possible danger. It’s a signal that we might need to protect ourselves. Angry feelings warn us that someone is stepping on our toes, crossing a boundary, or violating our trust. Anger can be a signal that we might need to act on our own behalf.
Negative emotions focus our awareness. They help us to zero in on a problem so we can deal with it. But too many negative emotions can make us feel
When negative emotions are out of balance, problems might seem too big to handle. The more we dwell on negative emotions, the more negative we begin to feel. We create a spiral of negativity that we simply can’t get out of.
How Positive Emotions Help Us
Positive emotions balance out negative ones, but they have other powerful benefits, too.
Instead of narrowing our focus like negative emotions do, positive emotions affect our brains in ways that increase our awareness, attention, and memory. They help us take in more information, hold several ideas in mind at once, and understand how different ideas relate to each other. When positive emotions open us up to new possibilities, we are more able to learn and build on our skills. That leads to doing better on tasks and tests.
People who have plenty of positive emotions in their everyday lives tend to be happier, healthier, learn better, and get along well with others.
The Health Benefits of Positive Emotions
Among the many health benefits of positive emotions is a reduction in stress and a boost to general well-being. Positive emotions can actually act as a buffer between you and stressful events in your life, allowing you to cope more effectively and preserve your mental health In addition, in researchers confirmed that experiencing positive emotions helps you modulate your reaction to stress and allows you to recover from the negative effects of stress more quickly.