Turn Your Negative Emotions Into Your Greatest Teachers

I used to be scared of engaging in emotions I deemed to be negative. What could I do to get rid of them? 

Um, nothing. 

Being mindful of emotions and working through them constructively can be far healthier than immediately turning to other methods that may disassociate you from them. 

When you disconnect from uncomfortable feelings, you automatically judge them to be “bad” in the future, leaving you unable to learn, grow or heal

Instead of temporarily quashing them, try giving them the attention they deserve (without over-engaging) :) 

Here are some tips to deal with your emotions productively: 

1. Let whatever emotions are there be there. Besides, resistance is futile! 

Feeling that we shouldn't feel a certain way and trying to fight against it is not only frustrating but a complete waste of energy. Recognize that ultimately we feel how we choose to feel. No one can "make us" behave in a certain way. If you want to have a ticked off half hour, that is your right. Take control of your emotions rather than letting them take control of you.

2. Express it.  

In the past if I ever felt angry, I'd also feel guilty, stressed and (to be honest) slightly ashamed of my anger. Now I have no qualms in saying "I am angry right now." 

Yes, you can be spiritual and irritable. Apologizing for your feelings is like apologizing for being yourself. If you are not intentionally hurting anyone else, it's healthy to be able to articulate what's going on in your head. 

Festering emotions in your internal world end up manifesting in your external world if they are ignored.

3. Turn it into a positive! 

If an event or person has been a trigger for you feeling negative can you consciously make the decision to thank them and forgive them? 

View the event as a stepping stone for your continual growth rather than a negative. 

4. Write it down. 

Don’t view negative emotions as an annoyance, but as a sign there is a problem that needs to be addressed in order to move forward and build up your emotional resilience. 

Writing things down can really help you rationalize and make an action plan if needed. You can often see things through completely different eyes when they are in black and white in front of you.

5. Watch it. 

When I feel there is still an emotional residue I observe how my physical body has reacted. For instance if I feel anger, I experience knotting sensations in my stomach. 

I visualize the anger as a color and become aware of it being there. As I breathe in calm and breathe out anger, slowly and with control, I can observe the feeling change colour and start to dissipate.

I make sure I always find time in my day for meditation and light exercise as well as laughing as much as possible. Bringing as much positivity into my day as I can keeps me focused on the Present and ensures that any negativity felt is relevant to what is going on right Now and not my mind constantly replaying past events.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Louise Jensen is an award winning Naturopathic Kinesiologist, Mindfulness Meditation Coach and Nutritional Therapist, and is certified in many other therapies, including the Mind Detox Method (as featured on Discovery Health) where she graduated from the Mind Detox Academy in record time. Louise has overcome living with a disability and has 13 years experience helping others to heal, and shares her experiences through freelance writing. In 2012, Louise co-created The Happy Starfish, dedicated to celebrating health, happiness and peaceful living. Louise offers Mindfulness Coaching via workshops and Skype and specialises in anxiety, depression and chronic pain.

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