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Why Being Counter-Intuitive Is The Quickest Way To Happiness

How Saying Yes To Your Negative Feelings Stops Them In Their Tracks

It's just about the last thing you instinctively think to do, but embracing negative feelings really works.

When a negative feeling arises, whether that be anger, stress, worry, or something else like jealousy or regret, the first thing you want to do with it is to get rid of it and make it go away. Negative feelings don't feel good and we don't want them around.

Ironically, this approach doesn't work at all well and only actually serves to perpetuate the feeling. It fuels it, gives it energy and so the feeling stays, and often gets worse. The 'get out of my head NOW' approach to negative feelings is essentially a judgement - it's basically saying 'I don't like this feeling, I shouldn't be having this feeling, and I don't want this feeling'; and all of that is just fodder for negative emotions. They absolutely thrive in this kind of environment. It's like fuel to the fire.

What I've learnt that really does work is when you take the totally counter-intuitive approach to this, and welcome these feelings in. Embrace them. Allow them. Accept them. Make friends with them. Welcome them in for a cup of tea, just like you would with a good friend. Indulge them. Celebrate them. It sounds ridiculous I know. If you wake up one day and you feel angry - go with it, feel it, embrace it.

The mind wants to understand these feelings, analyse them, dissect them, find a reason for them, find someone or something to blame for them. That's never a road to anywhere good, and it's a terrible waste of energy.

When you embrace your feelings you are actually doing something really quite remarkable. You are stopping any self-judgement or condemnation, and essentially saying to yourself 'I'm okay with this, no matter how uncomfortable it feels I'm alright with it right now'. This starves these negative feelings of oxygen. They can't flourish in a loving, welcoming, open environment like this. They lose their power and soon enough they fade away.

It isn't an instant thing, it's very subtle but slowly their hold over you lets up and they gently dissolve back into the nothingness from which they came.

Acceptance is truly a superpower.

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