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How to deal with negative emotions

How to deal with negative emotions

As humans, we experience daily cocktails of emotions. In the space of an hour we can go from excited to anxious, bored to buzzing. Of course we all love feeling good, it’s the so called negative emotions that are hard to handle.

One of the insights I’ve gained in recent months is that not only are my emotions a barometer, indicating the quality of my thoughts, they are gateways to deeper self-awareness and learning (if I’m brave enough to go there!) I now view, what are usually labelled ‘negative emotions’, feelings such as sadness, frustration, anger, guilt and stress as indicators that I’ve drifted out of alignment with my Higher Self. Or, in the words of Abraham Hicks, I’m not viewing a situation in the same way my Inner Being sees it. In other words, the negative emotion is the dissonance between my ego mind and God/ Love. The stronger the negative emotion, the further I am from alignment with my True Self.

I want to worry less

For me, those negative emotions of anger, sadness, guilt, shame all have their roots in fear. When I’m feeling off, I will ask myself – what am I fearful of here? This question will always get me to the nub of the issue. I may not want to address it, because as we know, it is far easier to play the victim and the blame game. However, with awareness and a modicum of courage, those negative emotions become a prompt, an early warning signal to resource myself.

Recently, I spoke to someone who proudly stated that they don’t allow themselves to feel negative emotions. The statement prompted one in me – sadness for them. You are not really living if you numb yourself to negative emotion because in the process, you numb yourself to the good stuff too. Emotions operate on a continuum. At one end we have love, joy and exuberance, at the other, despair and despondency. If you don’t feel those below the line emotions, you won’t be able to soar to the other end of the spectrum where the juice of life is found.

To be human is to be emotional. We are emotional beings. Driving everything we want is a desire to feel more of a positive emotion (or less of a negative one.) To heal anything, we have to feel everything. We have to acknowledge the gamut of emotions we are experiencing from worry and fear, to appreciation, acceptance and then finally peace. Recently I read in a wonderful book, The Cancer Whisperer by Sophie Sabbage that grief, an emotion we would all like to avoid, is actually the pathway back to love and joy. If we don’t grieve for the loss of a loved one, a job, a house, a lost dream, we won’t heal our way back to peace, a sense of possibility and renewed happiness.

To heal anything, you have to feel everything. Click To Tweet
Ironically, in society there is accepted wisdom for handling grief, we must allow ourselves to feel it. I view grief like a wave, sometimes it hits out of the blue like a rogue wave. Just like the sea, the emotion will ebb and flow. Ignore it and it will eventually hit like a tsunami. This washing through of emotions (I view tears as a soul-cleanse) is also useful advice when it comes to other emotions. If I’m worried, I will acknowledge it and breathe through it. The same goes for anger, sadness and guilt. Accept how we are feeling, because in that moment our feelings are always legitimate, then we can get curious as to what our emotional body is trying to communicate. Sitting in the emotion, breathing through it, creates the space for something new to settle.

Children don’t filter their emotions and babies cry to get attention, as adults our emotions are signals to get our attention. Life will throw us curve balls, there will always be light and shade, yin and yang, the ups and downs. In the wise words of Louise Hay ‘I love and approve of myself exactly as I am.’ This doesn’t mean I’m perfect, because there is no such thing, but I am perfectly myself emotions and all.

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