When was it last time that you experienced a negative emotion?
Either a mild one that you didn’t like something or a turbulent one when you could not control yourself?
Experiencing negative emotions makes us feel uncomfortable. At least. Which is actually another … negative emotion.
But, emotions are good. Even negative ones. Provided that you control them, not that they control you.
So, how can you harness your negative emotions?
It’s a three step process that you can apply.
- Step One is awareness: what negative emotions are and how they work.
- Step Two is management: what you can do to use them or to change them.
- Step Three is results: what you would really like to feel.
What are negative emotions?
Negative emotions are these unpleasant sensations you feel when you experience something.
No matter where you feel it – in your body, your mind, your heart or your soul – with some exceptions – these are sensations we all would like to avoid.
There are two kinds of negative emotions.
Low-intensity negative emotions, like boredom, sadness or loneliness. And high-intensity negative emotions, like: anger, fear or guilt.
You can compare low-intensity negative emotions to a hand brake, when – although difficult – you can still drive your car. High-intensity negative emotions are, in turn, your foot brake where they can stop you completely on your way.
How negative emotions work?
It is possible to rationalize emotions to an extent.
Because emotions is nothing else than a manifestation of a trigger-response mechanism.
Something happens (a trigger) and as a result of this happening you start feeling something (a response).
Those triggers relate to your values, beliefs and habits. They were shaped by your parents, teachers and colleagues. And yourself, as well.
Anyway, emotional reaction is a pattern you hold in your brain vault. And, as it has been placed there, it can be taken out and exchanged. For a more positive one.
What can you do to use your negative emotions well or to change them for the better?
If you know me, you know that I often refer to four keys to the Life Puzzle. They unlock the Emotions Puzzle, too.
- Mindset (it’s what you think)
- Vision (it’s what you want)
- Habits (it’s what you do)
- Skills (it’s how you do)
Turn those keys better and your life will be better. Your emotions, too.
Your emotional change can take place on the level of any of the Emotional Puzzle keys or on the level of a combination of those.
Mindset (it’s what you think)
Your emotion is what you decide to feel in response to an experience. It is a mental (although often irrational) reaction.
If you want to change the way your emotions work, change what you think about a situation (a trigger). A very simple questions you can ask yourself is: what else (different) can this situation mean?
If, for example, I get angry because someone does not seem to understand me, maybe I am not making myself clear.
Vision (it’s what you want)
Negative emotions arise when what we get is different from what we want.
The question here is if what we want is realistic in reference to what we expect and what we contribute.
I can get frustrated with no promotion at work, but were my expectations realistic and did I contribute enough?
Habits (it’s what you do)
Majority of our habits are automatic behaviors. They are behaviors we practice in response to a trigger.
Habits are what can habitually bring you negative emotions.
If I feel guilty every time I spend too much time in social media, it is my habit. Once I can change it, I will defeat my guilt.
Skills (it’s how you do)
Negative emotions can appear when you face something that you think you are not ready for.
When I fear before a competition or an examination, it is because I consider myself ‘not skilled enough’.
Imagine the change in the level of my negative emotions if I was convinced that I am ready for what I face.
I elaborate on what exactly and practically you can do to manage your negative emotions in the new “How To Deal With Negative Emotions?” course on the My Coffee Cup Coaching platform.
In this course, in exchange for just one cup of coffee, you will learn how to manage for the better such high-intensity negative emotions as:
Knowing what they are, why they influence you and how you can handle them well, you will be able to feel better and do better. Check the How To Deal With Negative Emotions? course here.
What would you really like to feel?
There’s so many positive emotions that you can pick. They, too, can be low-intensity, like calm, happy, peaceful and high-intensity, like delighted, moved or excited.
When you manage your emotional bandwidth, make sure you create enough space for the positive emotions. You can do it, first of all, by letting go of the negative ones.
Now, you cannot say you don’t know how 🙂
Make a positive emotions day 🙂
Pick from a selection of my ebooks that will guide you from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.
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