Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. It is perfectly human to have them – after all, you can’t be happy and cheerful all the time.
Moreover, without negative emotions, we wouldn’t be able to recognize and appreciate the positive ones. How would you know that you are happy when you have never been sad and despaired? What would calmness feel like if you’ve never experienced anxiety and anger?
At the same time, when you have a tendency towards a particular emotional state, there could be some deeper reasons than you might realize. Here are 10 most common negative emotions and the hidden reasons behind them:
When you do not get what you want, your subconscious mind reacts with the feeling of anger in an attempt to force things to go your way. Thus, anger creates an illusion that you can take control of the situation.
Anger helps us get the upper hand in a conflict and even protect our rights. This negative emotion is an unconscious attempt to get your opponent to back down in an argument.
At the same time, anger with yourself can be a way to force yourself to get down to work and get things done.
Annoyance is a weak form of anger. It occurs when someone’s behavior provokes you and makes you irritated. When you get annoyed with someone, it means that they don’t behave the way you want them to and you can’t change that. So the hidden meaning of annoyance is that you are basically unable to accept people just the way they are.
Behind all the negative emotions of annoyance and anger, there is a hidden desire to bring the situation under one’s control. It means that we get irritated when something goes wrong and not as we expected.
This is our way of expressing dissatisfaction with ourselves and our achievements. It makes you feel that something is missing from your life and you would be happier if you had a different job, house, relationship, etc. Sadness prevents you from enjoying all the good things you have in your life.
Feeling nostalgic is another form of sadness when you recall happy memories of the past. While you can’t call it a negative emotion, the common thing here is that you are tricked by the illusion that it was much better back then. This again demonstrates that you are not content with your present life.
If you feel sad and nostalgic too often, then your life may indeed require some changes. It may be that you don’t make any progress and are stuck in life or that you’ve made some choices that led you to a wrong path.
Guilt is a form of self-punishment which often affects overthinkers and deep people. In rare cases, guilt involves a hidden feeling of superiority which makes you think something like, “I’m so highly evolved that I feel bad about my own mistakes.”
The feeling of guilt is a very destructive emotion which signals that you need to change something about yourself. First of all, you need to figure out where it came from.
Is it just a product of overthinking that has to do with you being too tough on yourself? Or did you indeed do something bad? If you did, then you need to analyze the cause of your action, forgive yourself and promise that this will not happen again. You will also feel much better if you take some real actions to undo the damage and apologize to those you offended.
5. Fear and anxiety
These negative emotions which are incredibly common in today’s world are associated with self-preservation. Their evolutionary mission is to protect us by preventing dangerous situations. In fact, anxiety is a sort of life-saving sixth sense, as revealed by one of the latest studies.
Fear creates the images of unpleasant surprises and unexpected obstacles, failures and accidents. But its primary aim is not to distress you but to help you: to warn you of danger, to show you the real situation, to indicate the hidden pitfalls so that you are ready for the difficulties.
It is necessary to find a grain of truth in these negative emotions. If you manage to use them to your advantage, they can boost your creative problem-solving and motivate you to action.
6. Discouragement and despair
Despair occurs when multiple efforts to achieve something do not bring the desired results. It is a hidden way to give yourself an excuse to give up and desist from further attempts to succeed.
Discouragement and despair may also signal that you have to take some time off work. Maybe you’re just so tired and need some rest, and your mind is trying to let you know.
Apathy is a hidden form of rebellion against something. As a rule, it manifests itself in those who do not have the power or the ability to rebel openly. It is a passive-aggressive way to express protest and disagreement with something.
Apathy may also be a hidden way to shift responsibility from yourself to someone else. It is when you fall out of the flow of life to the point that other people can’t achieve anything with you. So they have no choice but take over your duties to get things done.
8. Disappointment and frustration
Disappointment comes from discontent when you face situations where you do not get what you want. It can also be that other people don’t do what you want.
In any case, the hidden meaning behind the feelings of disappointment and frustration is that you fail to accept life and people the way they are. So you end up feeling frustrated with unfair life and people who didn’t fulfill your expectations.
As you see, negative emotions have a much deeper meaning than it may seem. If you are prone to one particular emotion, it would be wise to analyze yourself and find the hidden roots of it.