There is no doubt that positive emotions are worth cultivating. But must we be upbeat all of the time? Is there a healthy side of negative emotions and some value in experiencing them?
Many philosophers (Schopenhauer comes to mind here) argue that embracing the full range of our emotions (including feelings of dread, doubt, and anxiety) is important to the understanding of our nature/self and to concepts such as responsibility, duty and freedom. And practices such as mindfulness encourage people to become aware of their emotions in ways that allow them to fully experience them without passing judgment on them. This includes feelings that are often thought of as “negative.”
In keeping with these strains of thought, this article from Scientific American explores why negative emotions might be important to our mental health. Read more…
NOTE: Thank you to the National Philosophical Counseling Association for bringing this article to our attention.