Catharsis or How to Direct Negativity For Your Own Good

People who often worry, worry about any reason. They are exposed to stress, experience internal disharmony, and are in a constant depressed state.

However, there is a way that can help transform negative energy into a positive one. It is called catharsis.

Catharsis – what does it mean?

Catharsis (translated from the Greek katharsis – purification) is usually called the process of transformation at the maximum point of a negative acute experience into a positive one. In simple terms, this is a kind of release from hyper-traumatic in the past emotions by returning them from the unconscious to consciousness.

Thus, a complete spiritual renewal of a person takes place, he becomes morally stable, happy. To achieve a positive effect, you need to clearly realize and vividly express those thoughts, emotions, feelings that suppressed you. So you will achieve complete emotional release, anxiety will be weakened, and internal conflicts will be resolved.

In addition, feelings that arise in the process of perceiving works of art or self-expression can also lead to catharsis.

Catharsis as therapy in psychology

Back in 1880, two great men, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Breuer met to discuss a patient. The woman had all the obvious symptoms of real hysteria.

The Austrian Breuer made a sensational discovery – it turned out that under the influence of hypnosis, the patient got rid of hysterical symptoms, expressing and living everything that had previously worried and disturbed her. Joseph shared this discovery with Freud.

Scientists wrote a joint book 15 years later (1895), calling it “Studies of Hysteria.” It was based on a method called the cathartic method. This is how the definition of “catharsis” first appeared. The grateful patient found her own name for this method – she called it “talking cure.”

A little later, Z. Freud decided to exclude hypnosis from the chain – he completely focused his attention on conversations with a sick person, and the cathartic method served as a kind of transition to psychoanalysis. Its main link is a conscious understanding of the essence of the problem.

Freud put forward a theory in which he argued that the human psyche includes 3 main elements:

  • superconsciousness;
  • consciousness;
  • unconscious.

In fact, in the conscious is everything that a person is aware of, what he can evaluate. In the unconscious, there is a huge amount of thoughts, memories, feelings and emotions that are outside of human consciousness. All this is characterized by a powerful emotional charge.

Freud came to the conclusion that all mental trauma of people, conflicts are hidden in the unconscious. They “successfully” influence a person’s decisions “here and now”, his well-being and behavior in general.

To gain access to the mysterious unconscious, Sigmund Freud used psychological techniques – free association and interpretation of dreams.

By his definition, catharsis can be called everything that causes great harm to a person, but it works below a conscious threshold.

In fact, catharsis in psychoanalysts is a kind of relaxation of affect, which is strongly associated with events that traumatize the psyche. These events were at one time suppressed, and with the help of catharsis they return for a second experience. Only in this way can the psyche have a negative impact on the conscious life of a person.

Catharsis contains a hyper emotional component, has a strong cognitive content, and this allows a person to gain new understanding and knowledge. To do this, he first accepts emotional wounds, and then leaves them behind, no longer returning to them.

It is for this reason that catharsis frees your unconscious from negative emotional influences through acceptance.

It is widely believed about the dangers of suppressing and hiding feelings and emotions. This behavior is a threat to health, while the expression of feelings has a revitalizing and healing effect.

Physicians working in the field of psychotherapy, psychoanalysts, often note the fact that patients receive significant relief after they express previously suppressed feelings, put them up for discussion and analysis. Even in one session, with a competent approach, the patient can get an instant positive result. But more often several sessions are required – it all depends on the degree of “neglect” of the problem.

Psychotherapists also note that in the initial stages of catharsis, the patient may experience deterioration. But without this there will be no cure, because it is necessary to go through traumatic events and situations in order to say goodbye to them forever.

Expressing emotions is important!

It is not customary in society to clearly express those emotions that are not encouraged in society according to the rules of behavior and etiquette written by someone. It is for this reason that most people have to suppress feelings in themselves, burying

This is the most important thing a person needs to do. Accepting feelings and thoughts is a huge step towards catharsis. Try to completely get rid of the belief that there are negative emotions that you need to suppress, because they will put you in an unfavorable light in front of others.

You do not need to resist them, you do not need to fight – you should listen to yourself in order to realize exactly what benefits these emotions can bring specifically to you. Without looking back at strangers. So, for example, the feeling of powerlessness or sadness is “covered up” by anger. By fencing off from them, you will not be able to resolve the internal conflict.

Choosing the right catharsis method

How many people, so many options for catharsis. What is good for one person may not help or bring harm to another. Choose your own personal way of expressing emotions that works perfectly in your situation.

For example, punching a punching bag is perfect for someone, while someone needs to walk around the museum all day and admire the paintings. Someone sings songs, and another fills out a personal diary.

Nowhere without a cognitive aspect

The cognitive (cognitive) element is one of the components of emotional release. It is based on thinking about what happened.

Limiting yourself to just one emotion, you cannot go all the way to catharsis. Reflect on what exactly was the source of the disturbing emotion. This will make it easier for you to define their method of expression.

Examples of catharsis

Going to the gym or watching a movie are not the only examples. So, you can talk frankly with a friend, read a book, go on a multi-kilometer race with a friend. To live the emotion of resentment, aggression, anger, a combat sport is perfect.

You need to find a way that will help you to fully express the inner state of your world, to express yourself.

Catharsis can be applied to any condition that occurs after stress or traumatic events. For example, being fired from work, losing a large amount of money, breaking up with a partner. In such cases, you need to describe a moment that can lead to positive changes in life.

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