Here’s the paradox of emotions. They’re logical. They don’t come out of nowhere but arrive as a response to some stimulus. Thus, they are full of information about you and your experience of the world. For example, Aristotle said that anger signaled “the appearance of injustice.” So if you’re angry, rather than immediately trying to get rid of the emotion because you don’t like it, try to pause and be curious about it. Some new data from the world, perhaps the appearance of a grave injustice, may be revealed by the emotion.

Also, it is important to distinguish between an emotion and an emotional behavior. For example, the emotion of anger may be experienced, understood, and eventually communicated, and is therefore highly useful. But an angry behavior—particularly the aggressive or abusive kind—is not likely to be useful at all and may be detrimental to your relationships and your self-regard.