Finding The Silver Lining: What Your Negative Emotions Can Teach You

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You

Curious about what your negative emotions teach you?

As a kid, I was told over and over again that I was “too sensitive”.

Yet funnily enough, one of my biggest life lessons ever was learning that being “sensitive” is actually not a bad thing! It’s part of how I communicate with all of you and have empathy for where you’re at. It’s actually a superpower not a character flaw.

But on the other hand, I can see why my family told me this! When I was a kid I was absolutely ruled by my emotions. I didn’t have a safe space to process them. I didn’t know how to manage them and I absolutely didn’t know what they were really here for.

So I felt ruled by them simply because I didn’t know how to handle them.

While they can still leave me feeling out of control on occasion, I’ve learned a lot about my emotions by tuning into them instead of turning away from them. I’ve learned how my thoughts create my feelings, so I can learn how to turn them around (even if it takes a little time!).

But most importantly, I’ve learned that negative emotions are not a bad thing!

However, that flies in the face of what many manifesting teachers will tell you. Instead, they’ll tell you to keep your vibe high at all costs–which to me leaves a lot of knowledge and power on the table.

Spiritual bypass is where you try to use manifesting (or whatever) to artificially avoid something in your life.

But it’s actually a total myth that you have to be happy 24/7 in order to manifest your desires!

For one thing, that’s impossible. You’re human! Things go “wrong” occasionally. You’ll mess up. Others in your life will mess up. And for another, they won’t drag you down! They’re here to teach you something valuable.

Being in pain and desiring something different is so often the catalyst for a journey of self-discovery.

We just create extra pain for ourselves when we resist our emotions or judge them as being wrong. So why not learn how to look at them as tools for personal growth instead?

Your life isn’t just random and your emotions aren’t either! It’s time to lean in and learn from them before you do the work to shift and heal them. I created this guide to help you get started:

Here’s What Your Negative Emotions Teach You

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #1:


Truth: 99% of the time fear is actually a sign to lean in instead of running away! Our brain just loves to make mountains out of mole hills with the secret real motive of keeping you safe. That means your brain is going to freak out and sense danger any time you get ready to up-level your life.

When you stop thinking that fear is an actual signal to stop, then you gain the freedom to feel the fear and do the damn thing anyway! So don’t fall for your fear lies! Start learning to live with it instead of running away from it.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #2:


Anger is a fiery reminder that you’re passionate about something. But honestly, being passionate isn’t a bad thing! It’s a sign of life (as opposed to apathy). Anger often comes up when we see a wrong in the world around us.

While we can’t control everything (too bad!!) honing in on what we feel passionately about can be a great tool for expansion. You can’t change the past but you can use your anger to change the world. (But think big picture, not focusing your rage in one specific person!)

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #3:


Sadness is a reminder about the incredible power of your caring for the world. While it doesn’t exactly feel good, it reminds us of the intensity and depth of our own love. Anytime we care deeply about something we simultaneously run the risk of losing it or seeing something happen to it.

But caring about something isn’t a bad thing! You get to open yourself to love or close yourself off to the possibility entirely. Once you deeply understand this, sadness becomes a much more bearable side-effect of our deepest relationships.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #4:


Anxiety occurs when we try to plan too far into our future. Our brain just loves to believe it can control every last little thing by worrying about it all. But unfortunately, that’s not true! You can plan all you want but the only true test is reality. Your brain might not like that very much because acknowledging that fact means also acknowledging its lack of control. But surrender is a powerful tool.

The more you can step away for your need to control everything, the more you’ll be able to relax into the current moment. Being present and mindful is a truly powerful gift so see your anxiety as a nudge to come back to your now.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #5:


Resentment is a clear signal that you’re living in the past. We all have our own Coulda Shoulda Woulda’s; but no matter how much you wish things were different, the past is already over.
Spending too much time in the past will leave you feeling powerless (and maybe even angry) because you can’t change it.

No matter what’s happened to you, it’s time to accept it. While you can’t change the past, you can change your feelings about the past and you still have plenty of opportunity to change your future.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #6:


While not as strong as the other emotions, discomfort is another signal to look in and learn. Where are you feeling resistance? Sadness? Unexpected surprise? Discomfort means something is slightly amiss, giving you the signal to either change your thoughts (and attitude) towards something or to change the situation (by setting boundaries, leaving etc.). Either way, just remember that learning what you don’t like in life is always just as valuable as learning what you do!

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #7:


Disappointment occurs when our reality doesn’t match up to our own expectations. So this one is a sign to pull back and assess: why were you so attached to your vision of how things should be? All too often we cling to our beliefs about the way things “should” be, even without any evidence to back it all up.

Disappointment is very often a sign that we need to release our grip on the “how”. While you can manifest almost anything for yourself, you can’t control every last detail! It’s time to lean back and accept reality, instead of wasting your energy fighting against it.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #8:


Guilt is a signal that you’ve let someone take up too much real estate in your own mind. Your life is meant for you alone! Of course we care about the others in our life but at the end of the day, your opinion is the only one that matters.

The reality is that you could live your entire life trying to make others around you happy and still fail! People-pleasing is a losing game. When you feel guilt, it’s a powerful signal to double-down on your own self-love and respect.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #9:


Shame is another sign that you’re worrying more about other people’s thoughts and opinions about you than your own. But why let anyone tell you that being you is not enough? Shame trips us up because it puts our brain into fight-or-flight mode. We have a biological need to be accepted because we used to need that acceptance for our own survival.

However, once again, our brain is making much more noise than it needs to. Sure, you might not be perfect and not everyone will like everything you do or say. But the same goes for all of us! Don’t you dare hide your light because of your feelings of shame. Learning that shame comes from other people is the best way to live your life shame-less-ly.

What Your Negative Emotions Teach You #10:


Bitterness is never fun but again it’s just shining a light on what you still need to heal. Holding onto the past and feeling wronged by life is not the way to create a happy new future for yourself! It’s just a signal to release any lingering judgments about yourself or your circumstances (or for the other people in your life).

Letting go is an act of power not cowardice! There’s truly no reason to drag your past around with you. Put a line in the sand and challenge yourself to move forward without those old burdens. You’ll feel so much better for it!

Negative emotions are not something to be afraid of or to deny. Once you’ve leaned into feeling them and understanding their message, then it’s time to shift your thoughts and feelings around them. Every feeling comes from one core phrase or word. You need to stop and listen long enough to find out what yours is before you can do the work of shifting and releasing.

Self-knowledge is always power! The more power you can feel from working with your emotions, the less likely you’ll be to feel powerless about them.

Jenn Stevens The Aligned Life

PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about how to face your fears or this one about finding your life purpose.

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Finding The Silver Lining: What Your Negative Emotions Can Teach You


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