A number of people on my Facebook page say they suffer from depressions from time to time. The condition leaves them debilitated but they usually apologize for having shared their pain. When I read these Mea culpas I wish I were close enough to give them a hug. Today, however, I can do more than sympathize. Today I can share research that justifies venting as healthy and therapeutic behavior.
While much as been written about the importance of keeping a positive attitude, new research indicates that “Negative emotions also aid in our survival.” (“Taking the Bad with the Good,” by Tori Rodriguez, Scientific American Mind, May/June 2013 pg. 27.) In fact, those emotional troughs, the lows as well as the highs, serve as a rudder to help us evaluate our experiences. If we repress our negative feelings, we pilot with half a rudder and at our peril. Just as a dieter who suppresses a craving may end up binging, the same rebound can occur when we suppress our moods. Even if we succeed in burying them, they may surface again in some way. Our mind/body connection is a two way street.
One recommendation the article gives to pull out of a negative trough is to admit to it. Write a journal, talk to a friend and, I’ll add, share your feelings with your friends on Facebook. When you do, you’ll probably learn you’re not alone. Knowing others have gone through the same experience can help. Support groups work on this principle of sharing and learning from each other. When you let it all hang out, you’re not being a misery. You’re being human.
(Courtesy of www.depressionx.org)