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Sad Emotions Are Not Negative


Our culture prizes positivity over emotional truth.

Tough emotions, like sadness, are not negative. They are normal.

At the heart of it, a failure to acknowledge difficult emotions through forced, false positivity, is a failure to see ourselves.

And unseeing of our humanity.

Susan David


  1. They’re normal.
  2. They’re a warning signal.
  3. They provide release.
  4. They build resilience.
  • They’re Normal: In a world where we are encouraged to be present, grateful, and happy, perhaps we lead ourselves to believe that emotions are not a natural part of life. We should recognize they are a normal and even useful and adaptive part of being human; they help us cope with our challenges and losses.
  • They’re a Warning Signal: They identify something that’s going on. When we’re out of alignment with our natural and best disposition, we experience sad emotions as signals that are telling us, “Hey, listen up, something’s not right here”. Something happened and it needs Tender Loving Care.
  • They Provide Release.: What the mind conceals, the body reveals. When we conceal or try to hide or ignore emotions, they don’t just go away. They go deep within us. They eat at our insides. Feeling our emotions allows us to release the feeling and move forward. When we allow the feelings to rise and persist, they can pass.
  • They Build Resilience: By allowing yourself to feel everything you need to feel, you learn to cope and build your toolbox of coping strategies. Then, next time you feel that same feeling, you know what to do and what works for you. You realize the feeling won’t kill you. It doesn’t make the sensation any less, but it makes you more aware of how to respond to it.
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