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Guilty? Turn Negative Emotions To Advantages

Update Date: Jan 27, 2017 09:40 AM EST

Negative emotions like boredom, guilt and jealousy can be turned into a person's advantage. A psychologist believes that those dark thoughts and emotions have a valuable purpose to help people become better and contented.

Guilt affects nearly everyone, regardless of age. A survey of 500 business travellers revealed that 62 percent of them felt guilty when they are out for work. The guilt usually comes from missing their family, being absent on special occasions, and even to indulging in eating while on the trip.

Dr. Lim Lomas, a psychology lecturer of The University of East London, wrote that when people go through challenges and testing, they usually come out of the situation as a changed person. They become stronger and their priorities have changed.

Lomas said that guilt can transform a person into his best personality if he will not wallow. If the source of guilt comes from the way a person treated someone in the past, he cannot really go back in time and undo his actions. But instead, he can try and make another interaction with the person and treat them differently.

Guilt is a useless and unpleasant, but according to Science of Us, the negative emotion does have its purpose. It makes the person less likely to indulge in self-defeating behaviour leading him to do something that has a long-term benefit.

It further suggests that people could actually listen to their guilt and accommodate it, rather than suppressing the emotion. A person could link a short-term reward to a positive action.

Howard Rachlin, author of "The Science of Self-Control," compares a workaholic who takes a day off to a teetotaler who takes one drink. If the workaholic let guilt overflow just because he takes a day off to be with the family, it could even damage the family in the long term.

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