The flip side of understanding that 'bad' feelings are alerts, not threats, is to understand that for the very same reason, 'bad' feelings are tools, not your friends; so don't keep them around, once they've served their purpose.
Indeed, for your own happiness, well-being, and peace of mind, and to be able to let go of 'negative' emotions and get rid of depression for good faster and easier, it's important that you:
- Stop treating 'negative' emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, unhappiness, regret, and so on, as if they are good, important, valuable, meaningful friends you want more of in your life
- Start using these types of 'bad' feelings as tools to identify opportunities for improvement, then make those improvements to naturally eliminate the bad feelings (much like you get a fire alarm to stop ringing once you put out the fire)
Here's why it's important to do this.
Use 'bad' feelings as tools, don't be friends with them
There are 3 main reasons why it's in your best interest to use 'bad' feelings as tools to improve your life and then eliminate them as soon as possible, rather than treat them as friends and continue to feel bad:
- When you treat 'negative' emotions as if they're very good, important, valuable, worthwhile, and meaningful, you naturally feel bad for the sake of feeling bad: this has a negative impact on your life
You might be thankful a fire alarm rings when it detects a fire in your house, but don't you want it to stop ringing as soon as you put out the fire?
After all, the shrill noise from the fire alarm is unpleasant, hurts your peace of mind, and makes life more miserable for you, in general, when it's not serving a useful purpose.
It is the same thing with 'negative' emotions.
Unfortunately, if you don't appreciate this, and you treat 'bad' feelings as if they are good, important, valuable, meaningful friends that you want more of in your life:
- Your mind is naturally energized and motivated to feel bad on a regular basis, no matter what might be happening in your life, so you predictably feel bad consistently whether or not there are issues to address
- This is like rewiring your house so that your fire alarm rings on a regular basis, whether or not there is a fire; among other things, this is tampering with your alert system in a destructive, nonsensical manner
- As a result of doing this, you naturally deal with 'false alarms' more frequently, where you feel bad for no good reason at all, much like a fire alarm that rings when there's no fire to put out
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- This means that your emotional 'alert system' is not nearly as reliable or trustworthy anymore, so it is not nearly as beneficial or as useful to you
- Also, since you tend to feel bad more often, simply for the supposed value of feeling bad (!), you predictably suffer the negative effects of consistently feeling bad, just as you would suffer the negative effects of consistently listening to a shrill fire alarm
- Indeed, you naturally have less happiness, enjoyment, peace of mind, restful sleep, and as a result of this, less energy, and also less success and achievement; this is what makes these 'negative' emotions negative and destructive, when they continue 'ringing', without you improving your life so that they naturally stop sounding
- When you use 'negative' emotions as tools to identify ways to improve your life, and you naturally stop feeling bad as you make those improvements, 'bad' feelings serve a useful purpose without harming you: so this has a very positive impact
Think of a fire alarm in your house, and how you use it as a tool: when there's a fire, the alarm starts ringing to get your attention and let you know about it, and once you put out the fire, the alarm stops ringing and lets you know the issue has been resolved.
You can use 'negative' emotions as tools in a similar manner: when you feel bad, identify improvements in your life that you could make to feel better, such as improvements in your thoughts and actions. Then, make those improvements and naturally feel better and stop feeling bad.
When you use 'negative' emotions as tools to help you improve your life in this way, and see no other use or value for them:
- You have a clear, simple, and sensible relationship with 'negative' emotions: they are tools and an alert system, not your friends
- This means you don't build up a lot of other value in your mind about 'bad' feelings; for example, you don't see feeling sad, unhappy, or depressed as a sign of profound intelligence, or a sign of being a more thoughtful, 'real', 'deep', person, and so on
- Since you don't see this kind of additional value in 'negative' emotions, your mind is less energized and motivated to feel bad on a regular basis, regardless of what's happening in your life, due to thinking that it's good to feel bad no matter what (!)
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- This means you naturally don't feel bad nearly as often, and when you do, you're naturally more motivated and energized to identify improvements you can make to feel better, and to then make those improvements so that you stop feeling bad
- In such a way, you have a much more reliable, trustworthy, and useful emotional 'alert system' that helps you improve your life faster and easier, and at the same time your natural reaction is to take steps to improve your life whenever you feel bad
- The overall result is that you improve your life much faster and easier, and stop feeling bad much faster and easier, simply by sensibly treating 'negative' emotions as tools, not valuable friends
- It makes sense to use 'bad' feelings as tools, and to naturally stop feeling bad by improving your life: indeed, this is like getting a fire alarm to stop ringing by putting out the fire
It makes complete sense to understand and use negative emotions as tools, in the same way you use a fire alarm as a tool, since:
- 'Bad' feelings alert you in a powerful, 'loud' way that there are opportunies for improvement in your life; once you've made those improvements, it makes sense to stop feeling bad, since you've taken care of the reason for the alert
- For example, let's say you're in a room filled with snakes, and you're terrified of snakes; this fear is a loud alert that there are immediate improvements you can make in your life
- One possible immediate improvement is to leave the room, and not be around the snakes anymore, thereby eliminating the potential 'danger' that the snakes pose to your well-being; once you do this and are no longer near any snakes, it makes sense for you to stop being afraid, since you've taken care of the issue
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- On the other hand, let's say that you are a snake handler, and you realize that your fear of the snakes is putting you in a more dangerous situation, since it is paralyzing you and clouding your judgment when you handle the snakes
- In this case, you can address the negative thoughts that make you afraid of the snakes, rather than making you feel calm and confident around them; as you eliminate those negative thougts, it makes sense to stop being afraid of the snakes, since you're addressing the reason for the alert in the first place
- Regardless, in either scenario, it makes complete sense to use any 'negative' feelings as tools for identifying possible improvements in your life, and then to stop feeling bad naturally by making those improvements
Click on any reason for more information.
Then, eliminate and replace any negative thoughts that make you feel bad on a regular basis, regardless of what's going on in your life.