Negative emotions are an inevitable part of life, often forming when people are faced with undesirable events. However, if not controlled, this condition can last for a long time, causing many negative effects on both health and quality of life.
What are negative emotions?
Negative emotions are simply understood as unpleasant and disruptive emotional reactions. For example, sadness, fear, anger, jealousy, etc. These feelings are not only unpleasant, but they sometimes make it difficult to function in your daily life. It also hinders your ability to achieve your goals.
It’s important to keep in mind that no emotion (including negative emotions) is bad. It is perfectly normal to feel these things in certain contexts or situations. However, if negative emotions persist and interfere with your ability to live normally, they become a problem.
Therefore, negative emotions should only appear for a short time with an acceptable degree. If the bad emotions persist, you will face many serious consequences on both your health and quality of life.
How to recognize common negative emotions
There are a number of different feelings that fall into the category of negative emotions. While feelings like these may be a normal response to certain experiences and events, they tend to be distressing and upsetting.
Some common types of negative emotions include:
1. Sadness and suffering
It can be seen that sadness and grief are the most common negative emotions. This emotion can be accompanied by many other bad emotions such as shame, guilt, jealousy, anxiety, insecurity, etc.
Sadness often has varying degrees of severity depending on the severity of the situation. It can be severe, leading to distress when you have to go through serious events. For example, losing a loved one, losing a job, making a serious mistake, missing a chance in life, etc.
Shame is simply understood as a self-conscious emotion when you feel yourself inferior to others or realize you have just made inappropriate words or behaviors. This type of emotion can be accompanied by sadness, pessimism, depression, low self-esteem, guilt, and grief.
Depending on the severity of the incident, shame can be short-lived, but it can also be long-lasting. Prolonged and uncontrollable shame can be a warning sign of many forms of mental illness. Such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, etc.
Guilt is the type of negative emotion that often comes up after you’ve made a mistake. This emotion tends to be accompanied by feelings of pessimism, depression, sadness, and distress. Moreover, many people also lead to self-blame and self-pity.
Prolonged guilt and torment can drown out any positive emotions. If this condition is not overcome, it will cause a number of psycho-psychiatric disorders. Such as anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, paranoia, etc.
4. Insecurity, anxiety
Insecurity and anxiety are common negative emotions that can be experienced by people of all ages. This emotion tends to arise when you are faced with a fear or significant stressful event. Such as exams, weddings, births, lawsuits, etc.
Besides, the pressure of study, work, financial problems or conflict in relationships are also factors that can cause anxiety for you. When faced with feelings of anxiety and insecurity, people tend to think a lot, have a negative and pessimistic view of the future.
Fear is one of the most powerful negative emotions. This is considered a higher level of anxiety and insecurity. Fear often arises when you are faced with events of a serious nature. For example, bankruptcy, yourself or a loved one is diagnosed with an incurable disease, an accident, is threatened, intimidated, suddenly loses a loved one, etc.
In addition, some people with anxiety disorders have excessive and irrational fears of ordinary objects. Such as enclosed spaces, natural phenomena, crowds or insects. However, the fear can diminish over time as you become more exposed and understanding about the world around you.
6. Anger and indignation
Anger and resentment are very common types of negative emotions. They often appear when you are faced with deception or unexpected events.
Anger is said to be human instinct. However, the extent of this emotion depends on the personality, life experience as well as the level of the incident.
Anger and resentment are bad emotions that cause a lot of bad health effects. This emotion can make it difficult for you to control your words and behavior.
7. Jealousy and envy
Jealousy and envy are also a common negative emotion. It usually occurs when you witness someone with more power, charisma, or totality than yourself. Basically, jealousy in life is inevitable.
However, many people because of this emotion seek to harm and speak ill to humiliate the other’s honor. Meanwhile, many people use envy as a motivation to help themselves strive to be better every day.
Causes of negative emotions
Negative emotions can come from many different sources. Sometimes they are the result of specific experiences or events. For example, you feel angry when your partner is late for a date or upset because your favorite team didn’t win a game.
However, negative emotions can also stem from some of the following reasons:
- Relationship Conflict: Problems arising from interpersonal relationships are a very common cause of negative emotions. Such challenges may arise in relationships with family, friends, co-workers, or with a “romantic” partner.
- Unmet Needs: When your needs are not met (whether these are physical, emotional, psychological, social, or spiritual), experiencing sadness , anger, loneliness, jealousy or other distressing emotions are normal.
- Poor coping skills: Daily stress can lead to a variety of unpleasant feelings if you don’t have the coping skills to manage it. Poor coping skills don’t just stop at ineffective ways to manage stress and negative emotions, they also make matters worse. Or even lead to new problems for the situation.
- Influence from those around you: Your negative emotions can sometimes originate from the people around you. For example, when you listen to negative stories from others, it will more or less affect your emotions. In addition, if you live and work with people who hold negative emotions for a long time, you will also face similar emotions. However, the level is usually somewhat milder.
- Some other factors: A number of other factors such as personality, living conditions, genetics, experience and life experience may also be involved. This is why people who live in difficult circumstances or have experienced trauma from childhood are more likely to develop negative emotions. Meanwhile, people who live in happy families, have a full life often have a cheerful, comfortable and optimistic spirit.
Effects of negative emotions
Most people don’t want to deal with negative emotions because it makes them feel uncomfortable. However, some negative emotions such as envy, jealousy, anxiety, etc. can motivate individuals to strive to improve themselves every day.
If life is full of positive emotions, then sometimes it is hard to avoid feeling bored and lack of motivation. Having a few extra negative emotions to the extent allowed will enrich life experiences. At the same time, motivate yourself to work hard to have a better life.
However, if you don’t know how to control it, negative emotions can linger. This causes a lot of consequences for both health and life. When faced with bad emotions, levels of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline are likely to rise dramatically.
Over time, this condition will cause disorders of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This is the cause of high blood pressure, insomnia, hyperglycemia, heart rhythm disturbances, digestive disorders.
In addition, long-lasting negative emotions drown out positive emotions. If there is no timely intervention, it will create conditions for psychological problems to develop. Such as stress, depression, anxiety disorders, paranoia. Furthermore, it significantly reduces the quality of life.
How to overcome negative emotions to help you relax
Negative emotions will also sometimes give you the motivation to try harder in life. However, if you do not know how to control and relieve it, “benefit and harm”. As analyzed, long-term bad emotions can have many consequences for both your health and your life.
Here are some ways to help you overcome negative emotions for mental well-being:
In fact, you may face problems that are not easy for you to share with others. At this time, it is advisable to keep a journal to release emotions instead of talking to relatives and friends.
Journaling will help you release all your pent-up thoughts and feelings. In addition, you should also practice for yourself the habit of recording your feelings and views before everything that happens in life. Especially the events that bring you a lot of negative emotions.
Instead of thinking too much and wandering around in negative thoughts, writing it down will make it easier to think clearly. Besides, you can read the diary again to reflect on yourself and try to change in a positive direction.
Many studies have proven, the habit of journaling can significantly help eliminate bad emotions. For example, fear, anxiety, restlessness, anger, insecurity, sadness, etc. When you journal, you can be comfortable and honest with yourself. At the same time, it is easy to regain composure before making any decisions.
2. Confiding in friends and relatives
Another simple way to help you release negative emotions is to find a way to vent your heart out to others. In life, there will be times when you encounter unexpected events. However, if you always keep bad emotions in your heart, your mood will become even more melancholy and heavy.
In the long run, hiding your heart for too long can cause a lot of effects on your own health, especially psycho-mental health. You may experience stress, nervous breakdowns, insomnia or even worse, depression and anxiety disorders.
When encountering undesirable things, you should pour out your heart to relieve the accumulated negativity in your body. Ask a friend or loved one if they are available to talk and listen to you.
However, make sure that your venting is a way to relieve yourself instead of overdoing it. Releasing hatred and anger can increase feelings of affliction, making negative emotions worse instead of making them go away.
3. Change your mind
In most cases, negative emotions are short-lived. However, in people with pessimistic and over-thinking personalities, bad emotions tend to linger.
To release negative emotions as well as find joy in life, try to change your thinking. Do not keep pessimistic thoughts, but need to direct yourself to the positive things in life.
While it’s not easy to change your mind, thinking positively can actually help you feel lighter. Therefore, you should list the benefits of positive thinking to motivate yourself to change.
4. Make time for physical activity
Regular physical activity is an effective way to release negative emotions and stress. Exercise will help improve overall health and help improve problems caused by bad emotions. Such as fatigue, insomnia, weakness, shoulder pain, digestive disorders.
During physical activity, levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline tend to decrease significantly. Meanwhile, increased levels of the hormone endorphins help relax muscles, bringing about feelings of joy, comfort and happiness.
You should spend at least 30-45 minutes/day in physical activity. Choose the right exercises and pay attention to practice properly. Maybe walk, swim, do yoga or meditate. In it, yoga and meditation are great solutions for both body and mind.
5. Learn to accept negative emotions
Learning to accept negative emotions is also an effective solution to help you manage these difficult emotions. Acceptance means admitting that you are feeling fear, anger, grief, or disappointment.
Instead of trying to avoid or suppress bad emotions, allow them to exist without thinking about them too much. This will help put your mind at ease, making bad emotions an inevitable part of life.
6. Do favorite activities
When dealing with negative emotions, schedule time to do activities you enjoy. During the free time of the day, you can read books, cook, listen to music, take care of plants, …
Your favorite activities will bring you a happy and uplifting mood to somewhat alleviate the bad emotions. If you can arrange a few days of free time, give yourself a trip to regain your spirit.
7. Eat healthy
Building and maintaining a healthy diet is also a simple way to help you release negative emotions. In addition to providing energy and essential nutrients, a healthy diet will help you reduce stress and improve mental health.
In addition, healthy eating also helps limit physical problems associated with negative emotions. Such as bloating, poor appetite, constipation, stomach pain, weakness, insomnia, weight loss, etc.
To release bad emotions, you need to build a healthy diet based on the following tips:
- Add foods rich in vitamins and fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, mushrooms, etc. These foods can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
- Eat whole grains instead of refined grains. Because whole grains contain a lot of amino acids, fiber, minerals and have a low glycemic index. From there, it helps to reduce fatigue, improve digestion and stabilize blood sugar when suffering from anxiety and insecurity for a long time.
- Increase foods rich in Omega-3 such as nuts, avocados, fatty fish, etc. This nutrient helps reduce symptoms related to the brain, heart and immune system caused by bad emotions. .
- Add some foods that contain high levels of tryptophan. For example, chocolate, milk, honey, etc. Tryptophan is an important amino acid for the production of serotonin (precursor of melatonin – the hormone that induces sleep and helps sleep more deeply).
- Pay attention to eat 3 meals a day and balance nutrients in each meal. If you don’t eat, your body will be very weak. This will create favorable conditions for negative emotions to linger, causing many psychological problems.
8. Get rid of toxic relationships
Psychologists say that toxic relationships often cause a lot of damage as well as the development of long-lasting negative emotions. In toxic relationships, you will become tired, depressed, and worse.
If you find that the bad emotions you’re going through come from toxic relationships, find a way to get rid of them soon. To do this, you must first identify what is a toxic relationship and put it aside soon.
Toxic relationships often have manifestations such as deception, physical abuse, disrespect, constant criticism, jealousy, blame, always controlling the other, etc. If your relationship with a person gets better, you may want to consider leaving or limiting contact with that person.
9. Psychological counseling to eliminate negative emotions
In some cases, long-lasting negative emotions affect your spirit and life, but you can’t overcome them on your own. At this time, you should actively seek psychological counseling for help.
Counseling is a process of talking between you and a psychologist to solve a problem. Specifically, in this case, it helps you deal with negative emotions to move towards more optimistic and positive thinking.
First, the expert will listen to you share about the emotional expressions as well as the problems you are facing. Then the expert will help you to see the problem properly and find ways to get rid of the negative emotions. It may include skills for managing stress.
With the help of a psychologist, you can easily see and solve your own problems. From there, form positive thoughts and feelings and have a better quality of life.
10. Stay away from unhealthy coping strategies
Some people may use unhelpful or even “toxic” ways to deal with negative emotions. This can make the problem worse and increase the risk of other, more serious conditions.
Therefore, when encountering negative emotions, avoid the following unhealthy ways of coping:
- Ignoring Emotions: Ignoring true feelings is not the healthiest way to deal with them. This does not make them go away, moreover may cause them to appear in another way. Because emotions are what signal to you that what you are doing in life is working or not.
- Thinking about emotions: Many people can think over and over and wallow in resentment, anger, and other uncomfortable feelings. This amplifies negative emotions, but it also has many health consequences. It is therefore essential that you listen to your feelings. Then try to take steps to remove them.
- Withdraw or avoid: When something is causing you pain, you may find yourself trying to avoid it so as not to experience unpleasant emotions. For example, if an event worries you, you can try to avoid it. The problem is that this avoidance makes negative emotions worse in the long run.
- Destructive Behavior: While you don’t deal with negative emotions, they can cause problems with both physical and emotional health. This is especially true if you look to risky behaviors such as substance use or self-harm to cope with traumatic emotions.
Negative emotions, although not pleasant, sometimes contribute to motivating people to try and diversify life experiences. However, absolutely do not let this situation last, must know how to relieve it to quickly find joy and optimism.