• All Emotions Matter: A Literature-Based Exploration into the Value of Emotions that can have Negative Connotations in Today’s World

      Colam, Veronica (University of Chester, 2019-05)
      This research explores the value of integrating all emotions for well-being, including those that can have negative connotations in today’s world. Contemporary Western culture, possibly influenced by the positive psychology movement, has placed emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. Emotions that may be classified as negative can be rejected, distorted or denied as they may be viewed as undesirable or harmful. This study has the potential to contribute to the understanding of the vital functions that emotions with negative connotations can serve. The basic emotions of anger and sadness are highlighted for closer examination. The study is literature-based using thematic analysis as the qualitative research method. The key findings indicate support for emotions with negative connotations such as anger and sadness making a constructive contribution to the maintenance of healthy, close interpersonal relationships. Influences on how emotions are experienced and expressed are diverse and can include the following: biological, historical, cultural, social and gender role stereotypes. Assertively expressing emotions can be beneficial whereas chronic suppression may be detrimental to health and well-being. The ability to choose flexibly between both expression and suppression of emotions is the most valuable approach, depending on the context, relationship and the individual. The main conclusion drawn from the study is that the experience and expression of emotions that can have negative connotations can contribute to our health and well-being, when used intelligently. This dissertation recommends promoting the potential value of emotions that can have negative connotations through emotional intelligence competencies, emotion regulation and therapy.