About Negative Emotions

Published on 10th August 2022

There are no negative emotions. 

Let me explain. There are unhelpful emotions, such as the ones which generate unpleasant feelings and sensations and may trigger negative behaviours. But no emotion in itself is negative. As human beings, we can and should be able to feel a broad range of emotions. Consider instead that emotions are information that our senses translate into feelings and physical sensations. We may experience them as pleasant or unpleasant and we judge them as good or bad. When we are feeling angry for instance, we are experiencing unpleasant sensations in the body. A thought or an experience has triggered our response. For example, we “see red”, clench our fists and shout in reaction to something. Or we seethe and repress, internally. It happens instantaneously. Does it mean anger is bad? 

“Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power, that is not easy.” So wrote Aristotle.

Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioners explain that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. That disruption is experienced as unpleasant feelings or negative emotions, unwanted behaviours, distressing thoughts and beliefs, and interfere with our health and wellbeing.

EFT or tapping on acupoints allow us to restore flow and resolve the disruption. An acupuncturist uses needles to restore flow in our energy system, our meridians. With EFT, we tap lightly on our own acupressure points with our fingertips. Tapping doesn’t ignore or dismiss the emotion.  Quite the opposite: it helps us acknowledge it and allow it to transform. We bring kind attention to what or how we feel, in order to allow feelings and sensations their rightful place and, by tapping, we discharge the excess energy we feel as distress or negative emotion. We gain clarity and understanding and eventually free ourselves from the hold some emotions have over us. I sometimes say that with tapping we uncouple the thoughts or memories from the feelings and limits they impose on us. Put another way, we release the emotional impact or stressful events from the body-mind system. When we are no longer in the thrall of our emotions, we can make better choices for ourselves. We are free. With this emotional freedom, we can create new perspectives and adopt new healthier strategies to navigate our lives.

Next time you feel overwhelmed or distressed by thoughts and emotions that accompany them, try tapping. Start with the simple intention of feeling calmer so you can feel better about yourself and your life.


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