Think back to the last time someone asked you how you were feeling. How did you respond? Did you provide a long, nuanced explanation and really consider the emotions you were experiencing or did you opt to provide an all-or-nothing answer such as “I’m feeling good” or “I’m feeling bad”?
While many people report feeling all good/positive or all bad/negative, new research has revealed that human emotions rarely ever exist in such a single dimension. Mixed emotions are much more common than the existence of purely positive or purely negative emotions. This means that while you may notice yourself experiencing a negative emotion, there is also room for positive emotions to exist at the same time. This article suggests potential benefits of the existence of mixed emotions. While purely negative emotions may work against us and discourage us from moving toward our goals, mixed emotions can foster flexibility and greater tolerance of uncertainty.
Paying more attention to our emotions and remembering that there is room to have mixed feelings can allow us to honor our experiences, feel better, and even experience a greater sense of flexibility and tolerance of uncertainty as we move through life. Increased flexibility and tolerance of uncertainty can even decrease anxiety and enable us to live a mindful life with fewer worries.