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Negative emotions and feelings


Our brain is programmed so that we avoid or move away from pain and seek pleasure.

You may know the routine when your feeling low, beaten, over it, done - Avoid the confrontation and just say yes or have the glass of wine because your stressed and you will immediately feel better!

Yes, both of these examples might give you instant gratification but in the long run are not sustainable - Not speaking your mind means you bottle things up which will explode at some point or having one glass every night and ignoring the reason for the stress does not make the stress go away.

Understanding the causes of negative or unwanted emotions and the feelings associated ( like anxiety, depression, stress, fear, unworthiness, shame etc.) and working to develop skills and using tools to train your mind and thinking will help transform you.

Ok, so aside from being tired and burnt out let's look at where these negative emotions come from. Your thoughts... The problem comes when we believe our thoughts are true.

The thoughts create the emotion which has a physical response in your body (crying for example) which in turn create the feeling you have about them (sadness for example).

When you recognise these bad thoughts and 'feel' them instead of resisting them they lose their grip on you and lose their power to generate negative or unwanted emotions and the actions that transpire.

It's not about just eliminating the unwanted thought so that you will only ever feel positive emotions - this is the real world and as such we are built to have equal parts good/bad in our lives. Life isn't all sunflowers and rainbows! We need to know how to manage our emotions and process them.

Let's say the negative emotions are bubbling up in you. These subconscious 'feelings' can inturn allow further negative emotion - it's a cycle. You can break this cycle.

When you feel an emotion coming on (say anger) sit with it for a few minutes. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it?

If it helps write down statements about the emotion and feeling. When you write them or think them ask yourself 'why?' Keep asking yourself 'why?'

This process allows you to get outside of your belief in the thoughts so that you can recognise the emotions and feelings and park them - recognition is you allowing yourself to work through them.

You may not like them, you may end up with more questions than answers however the process will help you understand your emotions and the feelings associated and it will get easier over time.

Practice.

Here is an example -

I come home after a long day at work, a painful commute home and heaps of work to do before going back to work tomorrow.

The house is a mess.

I know my partner has been home all day because he took the day off.

No dinner ready, bed not made, dishes pilled up in the sink and washing still on the line... I am furious. I'm tired and I just can't speak I'm so annoyed.

No words have been spoken between us yet and I just want to cry.

Now, the emotion has bubbled up in me physically and manifests itself through crying and being silent. The feelings that have been brought up are anger, disappointment and annoyance.

I go into the bedroom and sit for 2 minutes. I 'feel' into my feelings and feel it in my head, it's heavy and my eyes are just exhausted. I take a deep breath.

I sit down as I'm now feeling a little calmer and I take some paper and pen. My first statement is 'He knows I am under the pump at work why can't he just be more considerate? Then I ask 'Why?' like I'm having a conversation with someone!

I answer writing 'Because he had the day off and I didn't" and I ask again 'why?' and I answer 'Well he had all day surely he could have done something?' and I ask 'Why?' ....

This can go on for as long as it takes.

Opening yourself up to feeling your emotions and looking at the thoughts that are generating them will help to neutralise them.

Being a victim is also part of this process. Don't let that happen. Blaming someone else just projects the problem making it bigger.

Personally when I feel negative emotion I send a text to myself... after I sit with the feeling and try and 'feel' it in my body I write the text. It really allows me to dig deep and open up. I want to talk to friends about how I'm feeling but stop because I now it's just a feeling... it will and it always does, pass. Sending the text allows me to look at it the next day and feel it again. It's never as bad as it felt at the time.

External situations and circumstances will always be in your world. How you let them affect you is your choice.

Take care.

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