Why we get angry, sad and scared …

emotion icon
emotion icon (Photo credit: Łukasz Strachanowski)

Name a person who does not want to be happy and haven’t complained for being struck by miseries, sadness, fears, anger. We all want to get rid of our negative emotions. Feeling anxiety is no fun at all: Your heart races, your mind goes blank or weird thoughts shake your existence, you get sweaty, dizzy, breathless and generally freaked out.

Question is why do feel or have such negative emotions in us? Wouldn’t it be great that we be bestowed with just good emotions like happiness, pride, satisfaction, joy only. Surprising fact is we would be in big trouble if we don’t have negative emotions. Here’s why!!

To understand why our negative emotions are so important- and why thousands of years of evolution have hardwired humans to feel them- you need to know what they are for.

Take anger for example, a perfectly natural emotion but one which, when distorted, causes untold suffering ( violent, crime, war, terrorism, domestic violence). this highly charged emotion is inextricably linked to our fight-or-flight response, a threat-protection mechanism that’s triggered by a primitive part of our brain. when we feel under threat, this powerful response kick in, readying us in microseconds to either fight or just run away off the scene for saving our life.

If our brain decides fighting is the best option, its sends a ripple of anger throughout our body which, along with a healthy shot of adrenaline and the blood pumping to our major muscles, readies us for action. If we are confronted by a gang of gangsters, and fleeing seems rather more optable, we feel a powerful surge of fear. This tells us that fighting is a very bad idea and its time to make a quick exit.

Pain is also a blessing this way: When we have some problem in our body we start to feel pain, pain is an alarm that there is something wrong in our body. Due to severity of our pain we use to feel anxiety and to kill the pain becomes our top priority hence, indirectly we are getting our body out of danger.

Fear of something also keeps us safe. Like we never attempt to do an unlawful act because we fear that we might be at risk of being caught or prosecuted, for example. If you take it religious way, we are afraid of being questioned in hereafter for our action in this world.

So powerful negative feelings are simply and emotional alarm bell, propelling us into action. Without these feelings, our lives would be rather short and we would be stupid parents, because this threat-protection system also warns us of impending danger to our loved ones- as any parent whole child has veered towards a busy road can testify. We feel a jolt of fear and grab them before we are even conscious of what we are doing.

In fact, our problems start when we develop an aversive reaction to these kind of emotions- thinking, for example, the we should never get angry, or that its somehow a sing of weakness to feel sad or cry. We then find ways of pressing those emotions, which means they bury deep inside, causing all sort of complications for our physical and psychological health.

So, be thankful for your wrong emotions and don’t try to suppress them, instead try to identify which cause them to trigger and rectify that fault only.

I would like to credit this handy information to Mr. Dan Roberts: @danroberts_1


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