There aren’t really any emotions that are unhealthy.
The problem comes when we don’t feel through the emotions and we let them linger or we hold on to them for a lifetime. Of course, I’m not talking about the happy loving emotions. I’m talking about negative emotions.
It’s perfectly normal to have negative emotions. Negative emotions teach us important lessons. They let us know when something is harmful. They let us know when to set healthy boundaries. They help us truly appreciate the good times and loving relationships.
The negative emotions that people tend to hold on to are:
What can you do to make sure you are not holding on to negative emotions and living with low levels of cortisol at all times?
We hold on to fear of judgement, fear of being abandoned and fear of illness. We can also hold on to sadness over loss too long. Anger and resentment over job loss, arguments with family members or life’s unfairness can really trip people up sometimes.
I think that society teaches us to work towards happiness at all times. We feel guilty for feeling negative feelings, so we stuff them down and don’t deal with them. They fester and cause us to have low levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in us at all times. Not allowing ourselves to work through feelings, causes symptoms of anxiety and depression sometimes as well.
If we hold onto these negative emotions over many years, the cortisol and inflammation can cause disease, like autoimmune diseases, heart disease, dementia and even cancer.
First of all, you have to be aware of emotions you are feeling. Name the emotion you are feeling and allow yourself to actually feel it and work through it. Sometimes it is obvious what emotion you are feeling, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what that emotion is.
Here are some things you can do on a regular basis to help you feel all of your emotions, good and bad, and work through the more difficult ones.
Sit in quiet- You can do this by meditating, prayer, walking in nature, or just sitting in a quiet room.Too often, we fill up our time with television, scrolling social media and other business. Silence allows time to listen to your body and your thoughts.
Journal- Write out your feelings. Sometimes just writing your feelings down can help you gain clarity and work through them.
Do yoga- Yoga is an exercise modality that teaches mindfulness. It promotes both physical and mental health. A regular practice can really help regulate emotions.
Find a support system- Spend time with others that you feel comfortable with and who allow you to express yourself. This can be family, friends, a church group, counselor or a coach.
Get quality sleep- The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and you keep your bedroom temperature between 68-72°F.
Find a job or life purpose that brings you joy- Job stress is one of the largest causes of raised cortisol levels. If a job change is not possible, follow a few of the strategies above for reducing stress.
Have healthy relationships- If you don’t have healthy family relationships and friendships, work on creating healthy boundaries and finding people that are more supportive and loving. You don’t have to cut people out of your life if you don’t want to, but you can reduce the amount of time you spend with them if they are causing you emotional distress.
Over time, even low levels of cortisol can cause major health issues. Try a few, or even all, of the suggestions above to help you feel through emotions and create a healthier, happier life.
Lori Booty is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach with over 20 years of experience teaching elementary school and a Masters in School Counseling. She is the owner and creator of
Lori began her health transformation after watching her mother battle a traumatic illness and she realized her own health was not as good as she wanted it to be. She found out that nutrition held the key to improving her symptoms and not medications with terrible side effects. Throughout her journey, she's found that there are many natural remedies she could turn to for her family and not always have to rush to the doctor. One of the most surprising remedies she found was that her thoughts actually impact the quality of her health. She now helps empaths and highly sensitive women to reclaim their health and set healthy boundaries so they can find the peace and joy they’ve been searching for.Visit the social media links below to connect with Lori.