START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

6 Ways to Find the Positive In Negative Emotions

  • 1 of 3
6 Ways to Find the Positive In Negative Emotions

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

Do our negative emotions hold the key to living a better life?

The obvious answer may seem to be, no—what could be good about feeling bad?

However, John Sharp, M.D., psychiatrist and author of “The Emotional Calendar,” points out that, it’s impossible to deny that negative emotions play a significant role in the life of every human being.

“It would be nice if we could live in a world where there’s no cause for negative emotions—but that’s not the world we live in. The key is figuring out how we can see them as potentially positive and useful,” he says.

Embrace the undesirable

No one wants to feel sad, anxious, afraid, or angry. This can make it difficult to tease out the advantages of being subjected to these emotions.

The first step to finding the positive in the negative, according to Sharp, is not to let the unpleasantness of an emotion deter you from feeling it fully.

Some people try to evade emotional aches by drowning them with food, alcohol and drugs. Others simply try to deny the existence of painful feelings. In either case, it’s never healthy for a person to reject their natural reactions. “Trying to avoid pain seems like a good idea, but if you’re always running from it, you can make a lot of trouble for yourself,” Sharp says.

Read More:
Gratitude Gives You Wings: 6 Tricks For Rising Above Negativity
Your Life: Pleasantly Purposeful, Or Dull Drudgery? You Decide
Finding and Maintaining Your Personal Space

  • 1 of 3

Read more: Depression, Health, Life, Mental Wellness, Stress, , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.


+ add your own
11:46AM PST on Feb 7, 2013


12:27PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

interesting perspective. thanks for the article!

10:20AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012


12:36AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Interesting article, thank you.

12:35AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Interesting article, thank you.

8:30AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

.. good food for thought

7:52PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:53AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you!

3:30PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

thanks for sharing

10:58PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Emotions could be natural reactions, the thoughts should be assisted.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Sigh.....I just can't win it seems!! I try not to blast the flame on my bbq but I still believe tha…

Thanks for sharing.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!