Acknowledging Darkness – Key To Survival?


Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new research.

“We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said study senior author Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

At this point, researchers can only speculate on why accepting your joyless emotions can defuse them, like dark clouds passing swiftly in front of the sun and out of sight.

“Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you’re not giving them as much attention,” Mauss said. “And perhaps, if you’re constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up.”


The study, conducted at UC Berkeley and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tested the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Denver, Co., metropolitan area.

The results suggest that people who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed.

By contrast, those who generally allow such bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months.

– The above is an extract of a post from the Good News Network website.

[Note: In my healing practice (reiki), I have come across clients who spontaneously burst into tears, during a healing session, despite them not acknowledging having any unresolved issue. The Archangels I work with, have explained that such people were holding onto negative emotions which they didn’t process properly. The reiki energy I channeled helped release those trapped emotions and my clients cried correspondingly. As such, I resonate with the UC Berkeley research above. This reminds me of the saying, “What we resist, persists.”]

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