The Healing Power of Negative Emotions

The Healing Power of Negative Emotions

After his wife’s cardiac arrest, the 70-year-old man carefully avoided saying anything negative. He feared upsetting her — and thereby inviting another heart attack.

Nor did his wife express her worries — her frustration, her sadness — for fear of upsetting him.

Through this mutually protective collusion, the pair accentuated the positive so avidly that their rapport became superficial and stilted. Like so many caregivers and care recipients, the couple subscribed to “the power of positive thinking.” What they missed out on was the healing power of sadness.

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