We, as Human beings are incredibly emotional creatures. While it’s impossible to deny or ignore this basic fact of what it means to be human, you can learn how to confront your emotions with wisdom and maturity.
For personal and professional relationships to flourish, negative emotions should be handled carefully, so that a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect can be built.
So how exactly do you responsibly deal with your negative emotions?
1. Look Honestly at Yourself
Justifying or rationalising negative emotions won’t serve you well. While it may be difficult to do in the heat of the moment, you need to look at how you are reacting to a situation with total honesty.
Typically, people are unable to acknowledge that their behaviour was improper. They would rather justify their anger, fear, hatred, pride, stubbornness, and resentment than acknowledge that it does not serve them or others. Hanging on to these negative emotions only tend to ‘eat you up inside’ and you find you’re stuck in that particular situation and have difficulty moving on from it.
Step back from this stubborn desire to be right, and notice how your emotional responses are affecting those around you.
2. Communicate Constructively
The expression of negative emotions is the hallmark of the inability to communicate maturely. If events occur that trigger your negative emotions, you need to reflect, ponder, and explore what is at the root of that outburst. If another person’s behaviour was inappropriate, you need to find a way to communicate that to them in a constructive manner. Dumping on other people is destructive.
You could say that self-honesty is about communicating with yourself, and the next step is being able to say what needs to be said to others. If you can do that, you gain tremendous respect.
Just to acknowledge, “Hey, I was out of ‘balance’ or ‘out of order’ the other day,” goes a long way. Maybe you could throw a “sorry” in at the end of that, or not. It doesn’t have to be long, drawn out, melodramatic, and emotional. Just a simple acknowledgement is usually quite sufficient and deeply appreciated. Saying sorry means you are the ‘bigger person’ in regards to maturity. Anyone that has the ability to say sorry to me, has my upmost respect. Sadly, not everyone can do this simple thing. This is something we need to realise.
3. Find a Vent
Stuffing your emotions is no way to deal with them. You need to respect your physiology. If you feel like exploding or crumbling, then you may well need to do that. You just need to find channels to do it properly. This will look different for different people. Some people may need to just take a walk or a shower, perhaps get a good night’s sleep, or exercise to blow off steam. You just need to find what works for you. Think about what you are going to say rationally, I know this is hard in the ‘heat of the moment’ and I can honestly say that I’ve been guilty of venting my emotions and then after the deed is done, totally regret what came out of mouth. You have to remember once those words are said, you can’t take them back. Even if you didn’t mean them at the time, the recipient will always remember those hurtful words. I’ve recently had some experience of this, where someone close to me, said something very hurtful. I’m still trying to deal with this issue even 8 months after the event.
A word of caution, though: don’t overindulge. It’s one thing to let it out. It’s another thing to try to put out the fire by fanning the flame. Excessive venting (catharsis) feeds negative emotions. Talking through an issue with others can be helpful, but it can easily lead to gossip, which is destructive.
A very powerful technique is to just lie down, close your eyes, and allow your awareness to feel into your body. You may feel like thrashing, you may feel a tightness in your chest, or a headache. Just be with it. If it needs to unravel through movement or sound, so be it. But often at times, just allowing yourself to lie there and feel it is quite sufficient. This is, incidentally, a very effective technique to get to sleep at night. You don’t need to necessarily name it, just feel it.
4. Practice Self-Care
Often at times negative emotions are the byproduct of not taking care of your body. It is as if negative energy builds up in your heart, your mind, and physiology over time. When that’s the case, it comes out eventually. With proper self-care, your world view can take on a whole new quality.
I’m very good at ‘brushing stuff under the carpet’, or ‘putting it away in a box inside of me’. The only downside to doing this is, you never deal with that particular issue at the time, and sometime later when you’re least expecting it, all those negative emotions coming flooding back. And they’ll be still as raw and as strong as the day you were first confronted with them.
Self-care can include a regular massage, exercise, proper diet, and proper meditation. It is amazing how little exercise is required to make a big difference. Even 15 or 20 minutes a few times a week in the gym can do the trick.
Studies have shown, that being surrounded by trees is essential to alleviating negative emotions. So go hug the first tree that you come across. I do this, as often as I can. It’s quite liberating.
Also, getting out into the fresh air and out into countryside have a profound affect on our health and well-being. Being surrounded by nature, brings a grounding and calming affect to our mental state. On a personal level, I found this to be true on many an occasion. If I’m ever feeling those negative emotions, the first place I head to is the sea. Here, I find solace watching the waves ebb backwards and forwards, listening to the waves crashing onto the beach,
Implementing these four simple techniques for managing negative emotions will have a huge effect on your personal health and happiness.
Allowing negative emotions to dictate your actions can have disastrous consequences, in how you feel and how you interact with those around you on a daily basis. Investing in your emotional well-being is like having a savings account that accrues over time.
While we may not be able to retire our negative emotions, we can learn to address them with wisdom and maturity by remembering these four points.
Later, I will explore with you how to use essential oils with negative emotions.
If you have any thoughts on this. I would love for you to leave me a comment.