Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

The Gift Of Negative Emotions

Our emotions are such a big part of our lives.

No matter what circumstances we are going through, it is how we feel about these circumstances that creates what we experience.

Sarah Boyd

Many people are in pursuit of happiness and peace. Although this pursuit is not a bad one, it is not necessarily in consideration of the powerful gift that negative emotions place in our world.

I believe that negative emotions get a bad wrap.

Although they are not emotions we would like to experience in an overwhelming way, the role they play in helping you identify when something’s hurting you, when you need to make a change, and when you need to let go of something; is not something that positive emotions can help you with.



All your emotions are a response to a stimulus, whether external or internal. They send us a message about our psychological wellbeing and the strategies we’re implementing in our life.


Sadness is a healthy response to loss; when we have to let go of something, or a situation didn’t work out as we would have hoped.

Anger is a healthy response to being hurt or disrespected, or someone breaking an internal rule.

Frustration is a healthy response to an endless situation that has required a lot of you; when what you’re doing isn’t working anymore.

Grief is a healthy response to deep loss; when we have to say goodbye to something or someone of deep immeasurable worth to us.

Disgust is a healthy response to unfairness; whether we witness injustice or it happens to us.

Disappointment is a healthy response when something you were hoping for, didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.

Guilt can be a healthy response if we break our own internal rules. (But sometimes it can be used to manipulate us. See my previous article on 9 signs you’re dealing with a dangerous person).


I don’t believe that healthy, well adjusted individuals are happy all the time. Life comes in waves of light and dark, happy and sad, good and bad.

Resilience iss believing that there are better days ahead than what you are facing.

But in the mean time, you have to face it… Life, normality, mundane, challenge, trauma… whatever form it comes in, large or small, you still have to face the daily challenge of being in a reality that you would probably rather escape from.




1 Don’t Live In Denial

Surpression is the worst strategy of emotional regulation.

Studies with brain scans of individuals show that those who suppressed their negative emotions experienced more stress than even those who obsessed about the situation; and those who suppressed the negative emotions, also stressed out those around them to a higher level.

Sometimes we believe that we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ feel a certain way about what we are going through. As if there is some ‘wrong’ way to feel about something.

By telling ourselves this we invalidate our own feelings, creating another level of anxiety over what we are already experiencing.



2 Don’t Allow It All Control

Obsessing over our emotional states (or as psychology calls it – rumination) can lead us into a dark place.

Our emotions are a big part of our life, but if we allow them to completely dictate our daily lives, we would experience a lot of instability.


3 Find Insight

Find insight in the emotions you are experiencing through the situations you’re going through.

This requires noticing what emotion you are experiencing, & then why you might be feeling that way through a process of reflection.


Insight might mean acceptance of an uncontrollable situation; it might mean release of an old situation in order to transition into the new; it might mean forgiveness so another’s hurt doesn’t control your whole life. 

Whatever the message, there is a hidden gift in the negative emotions you experience. They add depth to the richness of your life.

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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.