Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Learn to Love Your Emotions - We Need Them to Survive; MIND MATTER OVER WITH DR ELLIE MILBY

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Learn to Love Your Emotions - We Need Them to Survive; MIND MATTER OVER WITH DR ELLIE MILBY

Article excerpt

Byline: DR ELLIE MILBY

THERE are many myths about emotions but two in particular that bother me.

Firstly, the idea that emotions are either good (e.g. love, happiness) or bad (e.g. anger, sadness and guilt). Secondly, the idea that it is better to be more rational than emotional.

I can understand how these myths may have come about. It's not surprising that emotions that feel unpleasant or uncomfortable are labelled bad for example, or that reason is more highly valued by people who have experienced destructive behaviours driven by intense emotions.

However, these myths can be highly damaging as they perpetuate the idea that we should avoid aspects of our emotional experience, turn away from our emotions, suppress them or ignore them completely.

In my experience, avoiding our emotions is rarely an effective strategy and one that can cause more harm than good.

I believe learning to love our emotions is the key to understanding and managing our emotions. In this sense, by love, I mean being curious about our emotions, open to and accepting of emotions when they arise and respectful of the many functions that they serve.

Ultimately, if we didn't have emotions we wouldn't be here. We need them to survive. If we didn't experience fear, then we wouldn't bother getting out of harm's way. …

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