We all have feelings that we experience as difficult, and most of us usually seek to avoid those feelings, suppress or deny them. We also develop defensive strategies to protect ourselves when we feel vulnerable because of those feelings. However, the toll for managing our feelings this way can be damaging and counter-productive.
In this article from Psychology Today, the dangers of ignoring our negative feelings, or our negative reactions to uncomfortable feelings, are outlined and explored.
Negative feelings may make us uncomfortable, but avoiding them is downright destructive to health. . . . "People who deny psychological distress may be paying a very high price for their self-deception."
I found a good link, too, which provides a simple meditation for overcoming difficult emotions. As we learn to be braver and more self-aware around our emotional challenges, it's important to uncover tools for helping us and encouraging us along the way. Most of all, it's important to be patient and compassionate with the process.
In the spirit of growth and discovery, which of these emotions causes you the most distress or makes you feel uncomfortable and fearful?