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Negative emotions as anger, anxiety, and guilt are necessary parts of our lives. For a rich, complete life, your healthy mind must accept and embrace the dark side of human nature. Without the presence of these emotions from the dark side, your journey to a happy life will remain a distant dream. Psychological health involves accepting our dark sides also, and thereby living a life of wholeness rather than one only of happiness.
The Upside of Your Dark Side is a book that peers into the dark depths of the human psyche, and brings to us the practicality and utility of our painful emotions – the ones that we mostly wish we could do away with. Backed by many fascinating psychological studies, the authors Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener make it clear that our negative emotions are vital for our survival.
The authors argue:
- Anger sparks creativity
- Guilt leads to improvement
- Self-doubt increases performance
- Selfishness perks up our courage
- Mindlessness opens us to better decisions
Kashdan and Biswas-Diener call our attention to an optimal state of “emotional, social, and mental agility,” wherein we make use of our full range of emotions and behavior – both ‘bad’ and ‘good’ – to deal with every situation that life throws at us.
Remember that this post is not a book you are reading from – these are just a few ideas taken from that book to give you a glimpse into the span of research that has gone into exploring the benefits of negative aspects of human emotions. Get the book if you like this.
Here we present a few nuggets of wisdom from the book in picture-quote format.
Wisdom From The Dark Side of Human Nature
Our negative emotions are there for a reason: they give us guidance, motivate us to pursue our goals and keep us out of the way of trouble.
Here’s a short video you will enjoy:
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