Monday, September 1, 2008

Six Unhealthy Emotions

How do you deal with painful emotions? Most people just want the emotional pain to go away. This is common sense. However, did you know that some type of painful emotions can be healthy while the others are unhealthy? Unhealthy emotional pain needs to be dealt with by learning specific strategies for minimizing the impact.

Fortunately, only six human emotions are unhealthy and destructive. They might be familiar to you: depression, clinical anxiety, guilt, irrational fear, helplessness, and resentment. Learning specicfic techniques is a must for anyone who wants to live a more joy-filled life. In future blogs we will talk some more about each of these six unhealthy emotions, why they are so destructive and where they come from.

Since we all have the capacity to experience dozens (hundreds?) of emotions, most painful emotions are healthy for us. Once you eliminate the nasty six, you will find that all other emotional pain can serve a purpose in your life. You have probably known someone who has stated they have become more mature because of past emotional difficulty. They were able to experience this because healthy emotional pain does not last as long as the unhealthy variety. We are able to learn because of the healthy type, while each of the six unhealthy ones just keep us running in circles -- for years or even decades.

Learning to accept healthy emotions is the technique for managing these types of emotions. This is not easy nor automatic. When our brains are screaming at us to shut the discomfort down, we often find ourselves resorting to self-defeating behaviors to deal with an emotion that we would be better off to accept.

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