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Feeling Bad About Feeling Bad Can Make You Feel Worse

An intriguing study shows that accepting your negative emotions may be a necessary step in moving on to a more positive place in psychological health, Berkeley News reports. In the long run, constantly judging yourself and basically feeling bad about feeling bad not only may exacerbate your distress, but lengthen the time you have it. Study authors said allowing bleak feelings to simply run their course, rather than dwelling on them, may be a better way to cope.

This is indeed food for thought. But what if you don’t know how to just accept those bad feelings so you can move on? Even barring any major stressful events like job loss, health problems or a death in the family, most people deal with stress day in and day out. It's a fact of 21st-century life and one that can quickly derail your healthy habits and goals — if you let it.

Fortunately, there are several relaxation techniques you can employ to help you reduce stress, accept negative feelings and elevate your mood. From breathing exercises to meditation to biofeedback or exercise in various forms, you can destress calmly and deliberately, sometimes with just a few minutes’ effort. For example, controlled breathing is one way to trigger your relaxation response, as it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn may slow down your heart rate and digestion while helping you feel calm.

You can also reframe your thoughts to shut out chaos by refusing to catastrophize and focusing on other people or things, as studies have shown that generosity, volunteering and giving to others may be a key to happiness.
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