How to deal with negative emotions
Very often people worry about how to deal with negative emotions , but do they know how to do it right?
And what is the way that really works? Lets check it out.
THE WORST MISTAKES YOU CAN MAKE
My grandmother always said “sing that passes you” Grandmother’s remedies always work, right?
Yep, distracting yourself from emotions can work for a while, and when emotions take over it can be a good way to get away from them momentarily.
But as soon as the cause reappears in your mind, the emotion comes again knocking on your door.
Getting distracted from negative emotion is one way to control it, but to understand how to handle negative emotions you must first understand that controlling them wo n’t get you far.
Yeah, but then you might as well repress it. What do you say?
Maybe it works!
Repressing negative emotions is like swallowing bitter mouthfuls.
And if you swallow one or two, sure, you won’t taste good, but all in all it can be worth it.
What if negative emotions become so many?
Sooner or later you will feel yourself bursting and end up indigestion.
Ah, maybe this isn’t a great solution either.
Idea! Then you could let off steam ! Yes, this might work.
But in the meantime, the emotion continues to feel and venting it could do a lot of damage.
Think of those around you, you would pass over them like a raging river.
And when the wave is over what will be left?
Rubble and a lot of relationships and situations to rebuild.
The more you have the habit of venting your discomfort.
So how do you manage your negative emotions?
In a book I found this sentence: “until we stop treating the symptoms and start focusing on the problem, our efforts can only have counterproductive results. Our only success will be to make the real problem even more indecipherable “
The real solution is to develop emotional intelligence .
Understanding your emotions and understanding what they are, how they work and how they arise is the basis for being able to work on emotion and learn to manage and transform it.
Treating only the symptoms will not eliminate the emotion, but will confuse the waters by making the problem less evident and limiting the possibilities of identifying it and therefore solving it.
We all want to feel positive emotions to live a happy life, so it is essential to develop an emotional intelligence such as to be able to observe and understand our emotions by passing through the mechanism that generates them.
Only in this way will you be able to understand how your emotions are born and how to create the ones you want, re-taking your life in hand.
But what is an emotion? I have learned that emotion is an evaluative reaction of reality.
Challenging definition, I know, but now you will understand better. I’ll explain how it works.
“THE RULES” OF EMOTIONS
Consider that we live continuously immersed in various situations . All time.
Even if you were sitting, or sitting comfortably on the sofa looking out the window, that is a situation.
What happens every time we come into contact with a situation? Our rules intervene .
The rules are nothing more than ideas, let’s call them that, that we carry with us and that establish what is good for us and what is not.
Basically they define what will make us happy and what will not.
The rules can have different origins: education, culture, the experiences we have lived, the people we frequent and much more. Or they can come from our awareness .
So what happens when a rule comes into play?
It happens that through her we evaluate whether that situation will make us happy or not, whether it will make us feel good or bad.
Here then is that if the situation we live will conform to our rule, we will feel positive emotions , otherwise we will feel negative emotions . And what we will think when we feel the emotion will be nothing more than the expression of how, through that rule, we have assessed the situation.
Basically I’m telling you that the situation has nothing to do with our emotions, but what we feel depends exclusively on our rules.
That’s what we can act on!
If we see them we can understand them and if we don’t like them, question them to take them apart and change them. Consciously. How can we see the rules that guide us in evaluating reality and which therefore determine the emotions we feel?
THE TECHNIQUE: WRITE YOUR EMOTIONAL DIARY
To see the rules you have to observe your thoughts and the thought that comes as soon as you feel the emotion arrive. To do this you can write a real emotional diary that contains three simple elements:
- situation : that is happening around you at the precise moment you feel the emotion
- emotion : what you feel
- thought : what do you think as soon as you feel the emotion coming
When you have written your diary you can ask yourself many questions to find out the rule that determines how you feel.
Here are some examples:
- why is this a problem for me?
- what does it mean to me?
- what am I afraid could happen due to this situation?
- What do I need for things to go just like this?
If you try you will find that in many cases it will not be so difficult to see the rules that guide you and you will also notice how many of these are unconscious.
Making conscious what is not is necessary to manage your emotions and turn negative ones into positive emotions.
As you change your rules, you will see your thoughts and emotions change accordingly.
Einstein said: “you can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking you used to create it”
When you begin to see your rules, you will soon notice how many will be strict: either the situation is a certain way, or it is not good.
One way only for things to go well and all the others for this not to happen.
The first way to manage negative emotions is to transform your rigid rules into flexible rules and now I’ll explain how to do it
We often focus on what others should do and what should happen.
So we often make the mistake of fighting to change the situation, when most of the time we don’t have the power. It does not depend on us!
But one thing we can control is there. What we have the power over is ourselves.
Here then is that to manage your emotions you can make sure that the rule is respected by finding alternative solutions to the one you had thought of. In this, however, you will have to make sure that among the alternative solutions at least one depends exclusively on you.
You can still continue to prefer one solution over the others, but if you have alternatives that you could still accept, your happiness will no longer depend on a single condition and you will no longer have to expect things to go just that way.
But the rule you intend to satisfy could also concern your result, what you want to achieve and that depends only on you.
How to make this rule flexible, then?
What you can do is learn to let go and realize that in that result you can never find all the happiness you seek.
Not only that, though, you can do something even better: change your perspective and redefine your goal .
You can turn your goal into small goals to be achieved step by step.
If they are simple goals you can reach them quickly and I would be fine right away.
And the smaller the goals, the better off you will be in every moment . You can imagine every moment as a very small step in the direction of what you want to achieve. So it will already be a small goal achieved, the brick you need to build the bigger one.
And all of this translates into a very simple thing: to take care of what you do in the direction of your goal.
Basically you want to reach your ultimate goal to be happy , right? So why not start enjoying what you can already get?
Here then is that to manage negative emotions you do not need to change the situation, but only how you live it.
EMOTIONAL HABITS: THE GREAT ENEMY
The problem is that we often live by letting ourselves be carried away by unconscious rules, believing that reality determines our emotions.
We learn to live with them and we get used to living and managing them by making the mistakes I told you about. The more we get used to it, however, the more it will seem impossible to change by convincing ourselves that what we live is a fact.
It is not so.
The more we get used to the emotions we experience, the more resistance we will encounter in transforming them because the emotions we have become accustomed to will become our comfort zone , what I like to call an “emotional home”.
Family emotions in which we feel at home and in which, all in all, we feel welcomed.
And here we begin to live the life we do not want thinking that in the end it is not so bad. Kind of like when you are with a partner who is not the right one, but all in all you have a family and you are fine with it.
But is this life or surviving?
You may notice it, but when you try to change you discover that everything is new, that you do not know what will happen and maybe it is better to stay where you are. And then comes the self-sabotage that ties your feet to the ground. And from there you don’t move anymore.
Start immediately to transform your emotions!
Understand your rules and commit to changing them by turning negative emotions into positive emotions. Don’t let your autopilot take the wrong path.
You set it up by choosing your rules with awareness and creating new, positive-oriented emotional habits . This is the best way to manage your emotions!
YOU CHOOSE THE EMOTIONS YOU WANT TO LIVE!
If you notice, very often we try to get away from situations that we don’t like to avoid experiencing the negative emotions that we already expect, but when you understand how to manage negative emotions in a really effective way, you realize how much this does not make sense.
The problem doesn’t go away because you walk away! It would be like burying the dust under the carpet, but if someone moves the carpet, what do you do?
If instead of running away you observe and observe yourself without judgment, you will realize how many things you do not see. If you focus on the wrong things in a situation, it is clear that you are hurting.
But do you ever watch the rest? If in a certain situation you focus on the positive things , on the opportunities , on what is good and on what you can do anyway , your emotions change radically and of the negative ones you just have to remember.
And note: even in the worst situation you may encounter there is always, ALWAYS, something you can do… despite everything.
Standing still, ruminating, and crying about the problem won’t help you solve it or manage your emotions.
Look for what you can do despite everything, look for a solution and even if it wasn’t the most beautiful you could imagine, it is still a solution.
Find it and immediately move in that direction. Negative emotions feed on stillness!
Learning to manage your emotions does not mean self-control, but positive outlook, optimism.
Where you look, what you put your attention on, enormously determines the emotions you experience.
And the best thing you can do, if you really want to learn how to manage your negative emotions, is to choose the emotions you want to experience by pointing your gaze in the right direction.
And this also applies to the weather. In what time do you live your emotions? What moment do you put your gaze on?
THE PAST AND THE FUTURE DO NOT EXIST!
When I help people in their personal growth path , I often notice that a huge part of the negative emotions that they can not manage are not in the present , but in a past made of nostalgia and regrets or in a future made of worries.
Or their head leads them to deadlines, to what they will have to do next or to things that have nothing to do with what they are experiencing in the present.
Yet the emotions they feel now for things that don’t exist .
As I have shown you so far, you have many ways to manage emotions in the present, but the past is past and the future is not there yet.
Does it really make sense to feel bad in the present for a time that no longer exists and does not yet exist?
You can think about the past to focus on what you got from what you experienced.
To understand who you are now that you wouldn’t be if you didn’t go through it.
To reflect on what you can still learn and to bring into the present the joy and gratitude of all that he has offered you.
Focusing on what is missing only makes you feel bad and certainly will not bring it into the present, focusing on what you have not done will not make you go back and focus on mistakes , yours or others, it will not erase them, but it will fill in. your present of negative emotions .
What about the future? Thinking about the future can also make sense if you do it to imagine consequences and prevent them or find solutions. It can also make sense to plan your time efficiently.
However, worrying in vain, ruminating on problems , will only create negative emotions that you will then have to manage now for a future that you don’t even know if it will really happen as you think.
MANAGING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
The rush, the stress , the pressure of too many things to do, all this feeds negative emotions.
Here then is that an important step to manage them is to learn to live calmly.
Calm is crucial in managing emotions, but we don’t always have the time to devote ourselves to meditation or to take a vacation to relax.
Yet I believe we can do more.
We can learn to better manage our time , avoiding too tight deadlines and making too many commitments.
We can learn to give priority to the really important things , other delegate to others and above all learn to say some not.
However, sometimes it will not be possible to manage time in this way and we could end up in tiredness or nervousness.
At this point you must become aware of your state and accept that at that moment you may be experiencing negative emotions for problems that you have not yet solved and that emerge in the mental weakness of the moment.
The same goes for physical weakness or when emotions take over and you don’t notice. Being aware of yourself and accepting yourself in these moments is a fantastic way to manage your negative emotions.
Will they disappear? Maybe not, but they will certainly become less strong and you can avoid waging war on them by fueling more negative emotions.
THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
And now I just have one last piece of advice to explain how to manage emotions: use the right attitude.
I have already told you about making a commitment to see positively when you already find yourself in the negative emotion, but you can transform positive thinking into your way of life and then the negative emotions will become little more than a memory.
And pay attention to the language you use.
Strong and foul language feeds hatred and anger , despair; a submissive language, disappointment, sadness , resignation; a language full of absolutes and negations makes everything less reachable.
Thus, in addition to developing positive thinking, learn to use positive and possibilistic language .
You don’t have to convince yourself of anything, but the actions you take go in the direction your mind gives them. Give it a good map and the right direction, if you show it it will be easier to reach it 🙂
And I want to give you one last tip on how to transform negative emotions: smile! 😀
Smile, always smile.
This is also an attitude and you can learn to make it yours.
If you really smile there will be no room for negative emotions.
Could you ever feel it while you smile with your heart?