Negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, or worry are transient feelings, as well as feelings of pleasure and happiness. Most people avoid negative emotions and try to pretend to feel happy. But actually, negative emotions have several benefits for mental health.
The benefits of feeling sadness and other negative emotions
A study shows that negative emotions can have a positive effect because this is part of the evolution of human emotions. Negative emotions act as a way of adaptation that causes the body to recognize and remember the situation, so that we can maintain ourselves better, and improve the cognitive abilities of one's brain.
Here are some positive effects that can arise from feeling negative emotions:
1. Improve memory ability
Basically, the ability to remember can be disturbed by other information, so we tend to remember less. But this can be reduced when someone feels negative emotions.
An experiment was conducted to test the memory strength when it was raining, compared to on a sunny day. Apparently, the effect of rainy weather which is thought to trigger negative emotions actually causes the information to be remembered to be even more detailed, and fewer information errors occur.
2. Improve communication skills
When you are experiencing a bad mood, someone tends to pay more attention to details and more attention to what someone is talking about. These negative emotions also encourage someone to use persuasive opinions in convincing someone, and make it easier to understand ambiguous statements.
3. Trigger better decision making
Concerns about past failures can give you a lesson in what should be done and should be avoided. So that, if used properly, this anxiety can be used as a material for planning and decision making in the future.
4. Increase focus
As a mechanism of adaptation, feelings of bad mood also increase the ability to focus on problems or situations that are being faced. This can also encourage the brain to be better at thinking critically in finding problem solving.
This is inversely proportional to feeling happy, which acts as a signal that shows a familiar or safe situation, and causes the brain to process information with less detail and focus.
5. Improve analytical and assessment skills
Negative emotions such as worries or fears can minimize the occurrence of bias in judging something, because someone tends to be more sensitive to mistakes. Besides that, facing fear and anxiety can also encourage someone to process information more effectively.
6. Acting as a catalyst
Basically, fear is a natural thing for every human being. On the one hand, fear is a mechanism that protects itself from danger, but fear of failure can also trigger the strongest drive to do something and make a change. That is why, avoiding fear or anxiety to change can also cause someone to lose the opportunity to develop.
Negative emotions are different from mental disorders
Even though it is often associated with mental disorders, negative emotions are something very different. Mental disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders can interfere with health with the appearance of various symptoms that interfere with activity, reduced energy, disturbed sleep patterns and difficulty concentrating. While negative emotions within reasonable limits only provide very little influence on daily activities because this is a reasonable response and can still be controlled.
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, basically the emergence of negative emotions acts as a counterweight. Be aware that negative and positive emotions can come alternately. Both of them have their respective roles so there is no need to avoid them. Feeling sad or happy to help ourselves adjust to the situation at hand and encourage things that need to be done.
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