You can’t have positive emotions without negative ones, but you can change how you react to the negatives in your life.
Bad emotions often give you an advantage, because you can channel all of those negative feelings into energy that spurs you on to a happier life.
Think about these five common emotions and how you can turn them into something good…and become happier!
How To Use Negative Emotions To Be Happy
Sometimes guilt can be as small as what we call “guilty pleasures,” like indulging in an extra-large piece of cake. Then there are the big mistakes that are much more serious and fill you with crippling regret.
Both can stifle your emotions and make it difficult to feel good about yourself.
However, you can treat guilt as a positive emotion, because it means your moral conscious knows right from wrong. It means you’re learning from your mistakes; therefore, guilt leads to better decision-making in the future.
Consider it healthy when you experience guilt at first, but remember to use it to turn yourself into a better person and become happier.
It’s impossible to be happy all the time. Every once in a while, something will knock you down and leave you gloomy for a time, but there are plenty of good things that can come of this.
Everyone knows that you can’t have happiness without sadness, but it’s true. In order to know what real happiness feels like, a little venting and suffering is necessary. Sadness also creates empathy and allows us to draw closer to one another through shared experiences. It helps us appreciate what’s good in our lives and hold onto the people that make us happy. So cling to the good things in times of sadness.
Related: 10 Ways To Shake Off A Bad Mood
Second-guessing yourself when we face a decision or a challenge is a part of human nature, but doubting yourself can actually help you overcome these trials.
Self-doubt appears when we’re afraid to do something—most likely when we’re afraid of failing. Often, we tend to ignore our fears and those nagging voices that say we can’t do it, but ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. Pushing fear aside is unhealthy, so instead of disregarding it, recognize it and do your task in spite of those feelings. Self-doubt reminds you that you can do something and challenges you to prove yourself wrong.
Anxiety is actually considered healthy by many psychologists—provided that it’s not self-harming. It’s normal to feel nervous before a test or presenting in front of a crowd, but it’s important to channel that anxiety into performing well.
Anxious feelings push you to get through a tough situation. They keep you alert and fully in the moment, and when you finally reach the end, the resulting relief is wonderful. Besides, those moments take the greatest amount of effort, which makes us better or helps us accomplish something worthwhile…helping us to become happier.
Envy is something we’re taught to fear, and others discourage us from it because we’re supposed to be grateful for what we have. Maybe in some cases this is true, but jealousy can be a good opportunity for self-improvement.
Jealousy reveals what you want most in life and gives you the courage to work up to where you want to be. Maybe you secretly want a promotion at work or to be center stage on a karaoke night. Feelings of jealousy sparked by those who stand in those positions can motivate you to work harder and stop you from holding back in life.
Whenever we’re struggling through hard times, it seems like they will never come to an end, but each conflict comes and passes with time. It’s that period in between where we can make the choice to battle through it and not let it get the better of us. Let the bad times make you become happier.
Photo by Olia P