“Negative emotions are toxic to your physical health”
I hear this often. This is one of those statements I found needs expanding on, by itself it can be misunderstood.
Yes it’s true that our mental and emotional state affect our physical health and can contribute to illness. It’s good to be aware of how everything is connected. Yet the idea that our emotions are toxic can, ironically, contribute to the very toxicity we want to avoid.
Here is why...
No emotion in itself is toxic. Even rage. What makes it toxic is repressing it. When we believe the mind that judges an emotion as “wrong” or "bad" or “toxic” we are repressing that emotion.
Anything repressed will cause problems
Judging all my anger as toxic = repression = more struggle and fighting with myself = suffering = staying unconscious of the messages life is sending me = toxic.
We will also end up taking it out on other people because it will find an outlet. It has to. It will either come out passive-aggressively or as an explosion because emotions are not meant to be forced away or pushed down. If we reach a reactive explosion point, we can feel shocked and guilty and try to control ourselves more. In an attempt to avoid the shame we might rationalize or blame someone or ourselves. This all keeps the unhealthy repressive cycle going until we have a deeper understanding.
I think stress is misunderstood too. Chronic stress needs to be addressed, but avoiding all stress to me would mean to avoid growth. For example we can certainly feel great pressure in the midst of transformation. If we are stepping into something new we will feel uncomfortable. If we only saw the pressure as toxic and felt we should always feel peaceful and calm, would that be helpful? It could be very limiting.
Accepting our "negative" emotions and finding healthy ways to express and explore them benefits us in so many ways.
Our emotions are wise messengers.
Acceptance of our emotions doesn't mean we believe and act on them without awareness. Emotions themselves are not necessarily the wisdom, but allowing them and exploring them with genuine curiosity opens us to wisdom.
Do you have certain feelings that you want to avoid the most?
What ways do you like to express/explore your feelings?
Share here in the comments.
Leela Haris - Expanding Consciousness