We live in a world where it is natural to categorize things: good versus bad, healthy versus unhealthy, strong versus weak, happy versus sad, positive versus negative, and so on. While categories can sometimes be helpful, they can also create an inflexible and judgmental way of evaluating both ourselves and other people.
A good example of categorizing and assessing mental health is labeling emotions as positive or negative. Positive emotional experiences bring us joy, happiness, and contentment; They are the ones we want to feel, the ones we want to hold on to and enjoy. In contrast, emotions that we label negative tend to be pushed away, ignored, diminished, avoided, and removed from our experiences.
Many of us have been taught and conditioned to believe that "negative" emotions are problematic and related to being of flawed character, being ungrateful, or doing something wrong with us.
In reality, emotions are neutral – they are just data and neither good nor bad. Emotional experiences show us what to look out for in our lives, in ourselves, in our relationships or in our experiences. Emotional reactions also tell us how we react to our inner world and outer experiences.