Tips on Managing Negative Emotions
Tips to help you manage, process, and embrace negative emotions in ways that will help you understand and find value in them:
Envisage Your Best Possible Self
If you feel like your negative emotions are getting the best of you, that you may not be expressing them in healthy ways, or that you are getting stuck in ruminating behaviours, a simple visualization technique could help. Instead of focusing only on the negative emotion or what you are doing wrong, focus instead on how you would like to behave.
What does the best possible version of yourself look like in that scenario? How would it react? What would it say? How would it feel? What would it do afterwards?
You can do this as a mental visual exercise or a journal exercise. Taking the time once a week to practice this can have amazing results on not only your mood but also on how you approach a similar scenario next time.
Practising gratitude has been shown to have wonderful effects on both the recipients and givers. These effects have long-reaching impacts on our mood and perception of events, so it is worth spending a little bit of time adding the practice to your weekly program
Whether it is for a small or a big thing, in person, over the phone, an e-mail or a simple text message, letting someone know you appreciate them or something they have done, can make a difference in how you perceive and respond to negative emotions.
Explore Mindfulness Techniques
If you find you have a short fuse and anger is your go-to negative emotion (or if you find you’re always on the spectrum of the anger emotion and regularly experiencing annoyance) mindfulness could help to reframe what you are feeling.
Follow the TEARS of HOPE guidance I posted in blog 3 and take the time to understand why you may be responding in this way. Mindfulness can help you unlock the headspace to react more positively.
Learn How To Respond Versus React
Do you know the difference between how you respond versus how you react? Negative emotions often encourage us to react immediately to a given scenario. When we feel angry, we may lash out or shout. When we become sad, we may withdraw and reject people around us. On rare occasions, we need to act on these impulses, but most times we do not. By exploring your negative emotions you can start to develop your understanding of how you react, and instead start to switch this to positive ways of responding – which could mean learning that no reaction is required at all.
My life drastically changed when I realised that I do not always have to express an opinion or respond. Sometimes it is better just to remain quiet. If you have to respond always ask yourself “How will what I am about to say benefit my spiritual growth” and if you find that it will not, refrain from saying anything.
Know When To Take A Break
Know when to take a day to yourself. If you are constantly experiencing negative emotions and struggling to manage them, your body is telling you something is not right.
Take a day to re-center. Fill this day with positive experiences, doing the things that you know fuel you and make you feel good. This kind of break can help to realign your thinking, give you some space to refocus on why you might be experiencing negative emotions, and come up with some positive coping strategies.
This is just a quick collation of the tips I felt would be most helpful, but it all comes down to you as an individual. Some of them may work well for you, and others not so much. Make sure you try out a few different strategies and find the ones that work best for you.
Next Blog: A Look at Negative Emotions in the Workplace