'It's human to feel.' Five emotions you try to avoid, but shouldn't.

We all want to be happy

It's something we strive for. We design our lives and invest endless mental energy into the perpetual pursuit of happiness. But no one is happy all the time, and ironically, that steadfast refusal to embrace other emotions can be counterproductive to happiness. 

While actively seeking joy is absolutely important, part of doing that is understanding that life brings an array of emotions, and learning to experience those emotions consciously — even the ones we think are bad.

In fact, experts say, many of the emotions we deem negative, and proactively try to avoid or mask, are actually good for us. And when processed properly, can actually make us happier.

Watch: Laura Henshaw on But Are You Happy? Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

"Emotions are an integral part of the human experience, and each one serves a purpose in our lives," says psychotherapist, Karen Phillip. 

"When you suppress or deny your emotions, they tend to resurface in less productive or even destructive ways. By working through them, you can process and understand the underlying issues, leading to personal growth and improved emotional wellbeing."


Psychologist, Phoebe Rogers says repressed emotion can lead to disconnection and low self-worth. 

"At worst, I have seen repressed emotions lead to physical illness in the gut, disturbances in sleep, and loneliness."

With this in mind, here are five emotions most people try to avoid... but shouldn't. 

1. Anger.

Anger can be a powerful motivator for change, yet many women feel as though they're not supposed to express anger. 

"I love anger," says Rogers. "Anger is such a powerful messenger — about injustice, unfairness, imbalance in a relationship, about not feeling heard or validated."

It can also be a catalyst for problem-solving and self-assertion.

"It can signal that a boundary has been crossed, prompting you to take action to protect yourself or others," says psychotherapist, Karen Phillip. 

Anger can be a wild emotion though, so it's important to manage those feelings in a healthy way. 

"To ensure anger doesn't get out of control, practice mindfulness, deep breathing, and self-awareness," says Phillip. "Choose constructive ways to express your anger, such as assertive communication or physical activities like exercise."

2. Sadness.

Sadness is part of our human experience, says Rogers, whose clients often say crying is a therapeutic and integral to their healing.  


As the experts say: "Sadness is a natural response to loss or disappointment."

Not only does it help to process and heal from emotional wounds, it can also foster empathy, as it helps you connect with others experiencing similar emotions. Don't be afraid of your sadness day to day, says Rogers, but if it becomes chronic and persistent, it's time to get help or speak out. 

"Use your sadness as a clue to self-reflect, and enact change," she explains.

Phillip also notes that acknowledging and validating your sadness can help prevent it from becoming overwhelming. So if your feelings start to feel out of control, seek help from a therapist. 

3. Boredom.

We live in a society where most of us feel we're supposed to be busy and productive at all times. Either working or socialising or parenting. As a result, many of us struggle with the feeling of boredom.  

"Sometimes boredom means we are overly sensation or stimulation seeking, and struggle with stillness — we must all learn to embrace rest and the simplicity of life," says Rogers. 

Alternatively, boredom might be trying to tell us something. 

"Boredom can be a signal that you need a change or a new challenge. It can encourage creativity and innovation as your mind seeks stimulation," Phillip tells Mamamia

Practice being fully present in the moment, even during mundane tasks. Aim to avoid excessive escapism through distractions like social media or television. And if you're experiencing boredom too frequently, take it as an opportunity to explore new interests or activities. 


"Find things in life that truly engage you, bring purpose, and meaning," notes Rogers. 

4. Envy.

Women are taught from a young age that envy or jealousy is bad. And processed the wrong way, it can be. The feeling itself though, is natural, and you don't need to hate yourself for it. 

"Envy is a very human emotion, and one that is pathologised too often," says Rogers. 

Instead, ask yourself why you're feeling that way. 

"Envy can serve as a mirror, reflecting unmet desires or goals," says Phillip. "It can inspire you to set and achieve your own objectives. It may also highlight the need for self-improvement."

To keep envy in check, try not to focus on the source of your envy, instead focus on self-improvement and avoid direct comparison with others.

5. Insecurity.

Calling someone insecure is rarely meant as a compliment, so it's little wonder women feel shame when they experience this emotion. But feeling insecure is a human emotion that's difficult to control, and most of us experience it at one time or another.  

"Insecurity is a vulnerable feeling and can be very bonding and connecting when shared," says Rogers. 

If properly processed, insecurity can provide you with the emotional intel to propel personal growth and improve self-esteem. But if insecurity is consuming you, or impacting your relationships, Phillip suggests engaging in self-reflective practices and personal development. 


"Work on accepting you are a worthy person and deserve to feel wanted and accepted by others," she says. 

You can do that by naming the root cause of the insecurity and trying to counteract those. 

"See if you can write concrete bits of evidence to your self-worth, achievement and lovability," says Rogers. 

And make sure to seek support from a therapist or counsellor if insecurity is causing significant distress.

How to process emotions healthily. 

Being emotional is not the dis you think it is. Emotions provide valuable insights into our needs and desires, and when processed effectively, can ultimately make you happier. 

"Authentic happiness comes from easy achievement, as we are neurologically wired for success," explains mental health expert Tracey Horton. "So, working with our emotions and processing them creates not only a healthy mindset but a happy one."

Rather than try to escape your emotions, ride the wave. Horton says three critical steps can help you do so, without getting dragged under. 

1. Breathe — stop and concentrate on deep breathing. We can't think about complex things when we deep breathe, so it gives our logical mind a second to catch up with our emotions.

2. Remove yourself — if you have been triggered and a wave of emotion is hitting then remove yourself to somewhere you can self-soothe or relax.


3. Talk positive affirmations out loud — your subconscious does not know right from wrong. We actually tell it what to believe. For example, say to yourself: "This anger is here to remind me I deserve better, I have many people in my life that love and support me."

If you're riding your emotional waves, but still find specific overwhelming, take some time to process them further. Horton suggests:

Acknowledge — name what emotion is showing up and how strong it is.

Assess — look at why it's shown up, and find the reason and the cause. Is it internal or external?

Analysis — ask yourself, what can I do to feel differently? How can I move this to a positive or learning viewpoint?

Allow — allow the moments of change, allow yourself the time to learn more. Allow yourself the privilege of putting yourself first and doing what is necessary.

Ask — ask for help, find a coach, a counsellor. Talk to someone in your life that you admire,read a book on it, listen to podcasts.

"If these emotions are attached to abuse of any kind, then you must engage help — you cannot ever process deep emotions when abuse is present," says Horton. "And most importantly, be kind to yourself, and know you're not alone in these emotions. It's human to feel."

Feature Image: Getty

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