Emotions – good or bad – play a big role in your mental health. Whether it’s anger, fear, joy or gladness, each of the emotions we experience have a purpose. However, when not handled well, they could backfire and put our mental health in danger.

Your emotions impact how you think and behave. So understanding your emotions is very much important.

FEAR: It holds you back.

Fear gives us an uncomfortable feeling. It signals our body that something wrong may not happen. Fear is our emotional response to perceived threats. Without fear, we could end up risking our lives every single day. So we should all be thankful that we have this very helpful emotion. But most of the time, the fears we have are irrational. It prevents us from seeking a better work opportunity, pursuing a business venture, traveling to other places, entering a relationship, and so on. Our fears hold us back from being the person we want to be, and from achieving our short and long-term goals. Learning how to overcome your fears allow you to enjoy life even better and explore the world around you, test your capabilities, and ultimately reach your aspirations.

SADNESS: It makes you disconnected.

Sadness is something we all don’t want to experience, same thing with fear. And when we are feeling sad, we feel like isolating ourselves and disconnecting from other people, including our friends and family. Sadness also pushes us to withdraw from the things we love doing, such as our hobbies and interests. It makes us want to focus on negative thoughts, reminisce negative experiences, and worry about the future. But then again, sadness is something we shouldn’t avoid or repress. Sadness has a special role of making us know that something needs attention, whether it’s our relationship with someone or our relationship with our inner self. Reflecting on the cause of your sadness might be the best way to overcome it and feel better and happier. 

ANXIETY: It makes us illogical.

Are you fond of worrying about the future? Do you think of problems way before they come? While some things can really make you feel anxious, too much worrying doesn’t really help. And most of the time, it just makes us irrational. It leads us to pointless ‘what ifs’ and catastrophic predictions. Anxiety, like fear, is our emotional response to a perceived threat. But when we are not able to control it, anxiety takes over our life and makes us feel miserable. On a piece of paper, write down the things you keep on worrying about. Then beside each item, list down why you should worry. Making a clear analysis of your worries and where they are coming from will make you realise that most of the things you worry about are not really substantial.

SHAME. It makes you want to disappear.

Shame is a very powerful emotion that can break a person. When you did something embarrassing, you feel like you want to disappear, reset the time and redo the things you’ve done. Feelings of shame can last for long, and really affect our mental health. It makes you want to cover up the mistakes you are ashamed of, or cover who you really are. It is important that we realise that we can’t undo our mistakes. Mistakes are mistakes. Ruminating about them does not change the fact that we committed a mistake. What is important is we focus on correcting those mistakes and preventing them from happening in the future. No one is perfect. Everyone fails. Everyone commits mistakes. Everyone does shameful things. Be true in who you are and take accountability of what you’ve done. At the end of the day, you would be thankful for that mistake as it has made you a better, wiser person.

DISAPPOINTMENT: It makes you give up too soon.

When things don’t turn out like what we’ve expected, we feel frustrated. And the more we feel frustrated, the more our confidence and self-esteem decline. Ultimately, it can cause us to exert less effort and finally – give up. Disappointments are part of life. Everyone, even the most successful people in the world, have their own stories of disappointment. What is important is that we are able to pass through this stage and pursue our goals. If you feel like the task you’re in is getting too difficult to bear, pause if you have to. Take a break. And then come back when you’re feeling recharged. Spend time to increase your knowledge and skills on the craft you’re at. They say ‘practice makes perfect’, so don’t stop trying.

ANGER: It makes you regret in the end.

Anger is a very powerful emotion as well. When we are angry, we don’t think clearly. All we are focused on are the burst of negative thoughts in our head. It is normal to feel angry when someone has done you wrong, when you make a mistake, or when your plan hasn’t turned out alright. Anger is a normal emotion. Who doesn’t get angry from time to time? But we should all be careful about this emotion. Too much anger can lead us to doing things and saying things we might regret in the end. Whenever you feel like your anger level has come to its highest point, do not confront the person yet. Take a deep breath. Go out for a quick stroll. Let your thoughts come into place. Allow yourself to calm down. You will realise how great it feels to be in control of yourself.

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