Grief. Suffering. Anger. Anxiety. Each of these words comes with a visceral experience. You can feel the pain, the struggle for air and adrenaline coursing through you, even if you only see them on the screen.
These emotions can make us feel numb. They should be avoided until they become too much to bear. Then, we search for zen to get rid of these horrible emotions as quickly as possible.
Not All Negative Emotions Are Bad
What if we say that negative emotions can actually be good for you?
Although not necessarily good, they are useful and necessary. You can’t outrun negative emotions. They will eventually pound you until you are too tired to continue running. These emotions can be dealt with in a more effective and grounded way.
1. Observer Your Emotion
Negative emotions can be so powerful because they are like flashing neon warning signs that say, “HEY! There’s something wrong! Pay attention!”
These signs can be so blinding that it is easy to shut your eyes and protect yourself from them. This can lead to you missing their intended purpose.
Negative emotions are there to alert you when things have gone wrong. It hurts when you fall on your knees. It hurts. If it didn’t hurt, you wouldn’t know how to treat it and could make it worse.
Your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being is affected by emotions. Things that hurt need to be addressed, not ignored or forgotten.
When you are examining the emotion that you feel, ask yourself this question: Is it true?
You need to change the way you think if it is not true. If you believe the thought, you must change your actions to make the truth true.
“When embraced and accepted, negative emotions can be a powerful catalyst to positive change in one’s life and can lead to deeper feeling of meaning and authenticity.” – Paul Wong
2. Never Allow Your Thoughts To Run Wild
Thoughts can be likened to horses. If you allow them to run wild, they will trample all over your property. They can be very useful if you guide them, control them and manage them.
You will experience more negative emotions if you allow your thoughts to run wild. Negative emotions can be stuffed in a corner and come back to bite us eventually. Changing your mind is the key.
Changing your thoughts is not about distracting yourself by having a better feeling thought. This will not help. Instead, let’s examine the thought and determine why it isn’t true. This will allow you to change the thought into something true.
If you think Nobody likes you all day long, it’s probably not serving you. Is that true when you really look at it? It is probably not. Let’s break it down.
Most likely, you have at least one friend who likes you. There may be a family member who likes you. You may have a neighbor who tries to whisper in your ear when you say hello at the mailbox. There may be pets that love you. If it isn’t true that no one likes you, then what?
You could say “I have people in my life who value and respect me”.
You’re not trying too hard to say “EVERYBODY loves me!” This wouldn’t feel right and your subconscious would kick it out. You can change your thinking if you are able to find something more truthful that you can prove is true.
3. Make a Conscious Choice Of Changing Your Behavior
Sometimes, a thought can feel like a sucker punch. It’s true at the moment. It doesn’t have to be true forever, however. You have the opportunity to make an important decision at that moment. Is it going to be a life that is contrary to what you want or will you choose to live in accordance with the truth?
This is a difficult choice, as changing your behavior will require you to make conscious choices. It is necessary to ask yourself, “What thoughts are perpetuating this pattern of behavior?” Then, you must actively choose to change them.
The technique of Transformational Meditation (TM) can be used to help you with this. But for now, let’s just look at the excuses you’ll make to stop yourself from living your true self.
Once you understand them and can talk yourself through them, you will be able to change your default behavior. Then you can make better choices which will decrease your negative emotions.
Negative emotions are there to help you move on to the next stage of your growth, no matter how painful they may be. You can reduce your emotional suffering by seeing where you need to work and running toward it.