Take the Bad with the Good this Monday

accept the bad with the good

The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness, but it isn’t always the easiest time of year. Negative emotions have a way of creeping in and spoiling our good mood – but only if we let it. If you’re feeling down or stressed this Monday, learn how to embrace your negative emotions rather than run away with them. The result may surprise you!

It sounds counterintuitive to look your negative feelings in the face as a way to feel better. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, that is what happened to several participants. Of the 1,300 adults studied, the ones who were the most stressed by the end of the study were the ones who resisted their bad feelings or “judge[d] them harshly.” The participants who let their bad feelings “run their course” reported feeling less moody after six months.

As the end of the year approaches, many people may experience an increase in stress at work, school or home. Pressure from the holidays and family obligations may also build up to higher levels than normal, and that’s okay! Emotions attached to this stress shouldn’t be avoided or resisted. They should be confronted, accepted, then let go.

To put this into practice, imagine your sources of stress as clouds passing through the sky. Acknowledge that the clouds are there, that they’re moving away, and after a little while, they’re gone. Another way to address your feelings is to imagine filling a red balloon with all your stress. Use the GIF below to help imagine your red balloon. Let the balloon approach you, then watch it float away!

Negative emotions will always arise, but when we dwell on them, they may do more damage than they should. Challenge yourself by facing those negativities then letting them drift away gradually. Remember, negative emotions are not only common, but they are also normal.  If you find yourself stewing in bad vibes this Monday, let yourself simmer for a little while, then get ready for a jollier future!