Having a bad day? A super bad day? Maybe a couple of bad days? If you are feeling anxious, fearful, nervous, disappointed, frustrated, angry, or out of your depth, then read on. That is to say, in this article I will be sharing a few practical ways to deal with negative emotions. As a result of putting a few of these tips into practice, you will be able to confidently regroup, resettle and emerge even stronger and wiser than you were before.
“I am Creative. I am Resourceful. I am Whole…”
Recently, an associate of mine had had several interesting and promising negotiations. She finally submitted her proposal and charges and quite unexpectedly, the scheduled appointment to ‘sign on the dotted line’ had been postponed… and all kinds of ‘excuses’ and delaying tactics were being proffered by the other party…
Consequently, panic, nerves, self-doubt and fear well and truly kicked in:
“Have I asked for too much? I wonder if they have changed their mind? Do I call in and ask when they will know? If I call in, will I look too desperate? Shall I? Shouldn’t I? Why did I…?”
Certainly, the expressions of anxiety, disappointment and frustration were clearly visible on her face and in her body language.
At times like this, the feelings we experience can be similarly excruciating; the thoughts that occur to us excessive, and the state we get ourselves into becomes wholly disproportionate to the actual event that triggered it in the first place.
“I am Creative. I am Resourceful. I am Whole…”
In this article, therefore, I am detailing a few ‘pick and mix’ tips on how to deal with negative emotions; the uncomfortable emotional outpouring and chaotic thoughts that accompany some of life’s inevitable setbacks.
How to deal with negative emotions
First of all
1. REMEMBER whenever you are feeling strong negative emotions: THIS TOO WILL PASS. Like a person struggling in turbulent, deep waters, don’t fight the current. If you struggle you are sure to get exhausted and drown. So, instead, by choosing to relax your body and float, it is certainly possible to allow the water to hold you up.
Use your body
2. Another way to deal with strong negative emotions is to BREATHE: huge, deep, slow breaths. At least 10 times, to a the regular count of 5 or 6:
1st set: Breathe in 1-2-3-4-5-6. And then breathe out 1-2-3-4-5-6 etc.
Place your hand on your heart. Imagine the negative energy leave your body with each out breath – and let that tension go.
3. CLOSE YOUR EYES, and simply notice what is happening. NOTICE your experience without judgement. Pay attention to your emotions as they rise and inevitably fall. Become aware of where the sensations occur in your body.
Connect with your feelings
4. As you EXPERIENCE the emotions, EXPLORE them. Lean into them.
Where do they come from? When did you feel like this before? What is coming to your mind? How are the emotions trying to help you? What are they telling you?
Additionally, a surprisingly clever trick to deal with negative emotions is to simply NAME and ACKNOWLEDGE the emotions, THANKING them for being there, simply trying to help you and then LET THEM GO.
5. WRITE: express all your thoughts and feelings on paper, freestyle. Unburden. Stream of consciousness if you like.
As you write, you unload, and as you unload your mind starts to become more rational, practical and solution-focused. Your inner wisdom and intuition will naturally come through.
6. In the same vein, if you are PROBLEM-SOLVING ask yourself WHAT:
- specifically is bothering you?
- did you want to have happen?
- had you been assuming?
- are you learning from this situation?
- options do you have?
- will you choose to do, or think or say now?
- is the best way forward for you in the circumstances?
Talk it through
7. TALK to someone supportive who will listen impartially, objectively, and who may provide a fresh perspective and help you to re-evaluate. Maybe, talking to a life coach would help; and you can book a free discovery call with me to explore whether I can help you.
Give yourself time to recover
8. Subsequently, REST DEEPLY. Meditate. Sleep on it. Allow your unconscious mind to work on the solution.
Decide and Act
9. Eventually, when you are ready, and able to think calmly, consciously CHOOSE A PATH FORWARD and ACT (even if that means choosing to do doing nothing).
10. Finally, whatever is happening around you, whatever results you are getting, and whatever you’re feeling in the moment, and in case you missed it, HOLD ONTO THIS THOUGHT:
I am Creative. I am Resourceful. I am Whole…
Let this this be your mantra… Let this be your mindset.
I hope you have enjoyed discovering the many different ways to cope with negative emotions and I invite you. If you have a challenge that you don’t feel you can handle on your own, consider contacting me for a free discovery session to explore whether coaching would be a useful option for you.