At some point in our lives, we all deal with painful and negative emotions. Whether those emotions are fear, anxiety, resentment, or other fear-based emotions, if we do not learn to manage those emotions properly, they can get the best of us and destroy us.
Here are a few tips, references to the sources follow the article, that might support your journey in managing your emotions in a healthy way.
Identify the Emotion
You might think that this is a silly tip. So, let me give you a quick example of how this showed up in my life. For a long time when I was overwhelmed, I would get short tempered and angry. My husband would ask me what was wrong, and of course I would just say that I was fine. Eventually he pushed and wanted to know why I was acting so angry. The fact was, I didn’t know because I wasn’t angry. Turned out I was overwhelmed.
So, you cannot properly address something you cannot first identify. This requires a level of self-awareness that allows you to sit with your feelings and truly get to the root of what is going on. The act of identifying what is triggering the negative feelings eases the burden of trying to ignore or mask the feeling while allowing room for what was identified to be addressed in the right way. The ultimate benefits of this can include reduced stress and anxiety (Partnership Staff, 2017).
Once you know what you’re feeling you can begin to identify what causes you to feel that way. Identifying the situation or trigger causing that particular emotion, actionable strides can be taken to remove or reduce the impacts of those triggers.
Or steps can be taken to help you learn how to manage those triggers, so they no longer produce the intense negative pain or fear-based emotion moving forward (Brown, 2019).
I realized that I was the one that was causing the overwhelm. My trigger was saying ‘yes’ just one more time. I would begin to get resentful and start to feel like I had too much to do. The fact was, I did have too much to do. However, by both figuring out the trigger, saying yes, and then by eliminating it – by thinking first and answering within my own boundaries … this happens less often for me.
Redirecting the negative emotions, you feel into positive activities can be a healthy way to release those negative emotions. Redirection is about channeling the negative emotions and energy into an activity that allows for emotional release without causing harm. Activities can include physical activity, breathing, journaling, or meditation, among others. Each of these outlets provide an opportunity to help you feel less overwhelmed, thus reducing stress, tension, and anxiety (Scott, 2020).
My go to in terms of redirection has always been journaling. I start by just writing out exactly what I think I am feeling. Then, I ask myself how I can get more curious about what I am feeling vs. so judgmental. I write the questions that come up from curiosity. Somehow, that just switches me right out of negativity into interested.
Getting help from outside sources can be one of the best ways to get help with painful and fear-based emotions. Whether that support is in the form of friends and family or in the form of a licensed professional, sometimes having an additional person to talk things through with can help bring relief mentally and emotionally.
Others can offer advice, tools, resources, and even just a listening ear to help you process through what you’re feeling and develop healthy coping strategies for managing those negative emotions you feel (Scott, 2020).
I have sought help in my life from family, friends, coaches, mentors, and therapists. There is plenty of support out there – both FREE and PAID. Seek out a trusted support source that matches the need you have.
Being thankful is a strategy that can act as a grounding force when faced with painful and fear-based emotions. Gratitude first draws us into the present moment by taking our focus off of the negative stimuli and causing us to find those good things that exist presently in our lives right now.
Then it replaces the negativity with positivity by causing us to deviate from the negative emotions towards the happiness and joy that gratitude is linked with creating. Taking a few moments to either write down all that you are grateful for or even simply think about them helps to counter these negative emotions. There are so many wonderful Gratitude journals online that you can use to help you down this path if you are interested.
We do not have to live indefinitely with painful and fear-based emotions. We can take action to help ourselves overcome negative feelings and thrive in our lives. Whether you adopt one of these strategies or a combination of several, these are great ways to first understand how you feel, address the cause of what you’re feeling, and then develop coping strategies for situations where you find yourself encountering these negative emotions at any point in the future.
Brown, L. (2019, October 22). How to deal with negative emotions: 10 things you need to remember. Hack Spirit. https://hackspirit.com/negative-emotions/
Partnership Staff. (2017, May 28). Coping with fear, anger and other negative emotions. Partnership to End Addiction | Where Families Find Answers. https://drugfree.org/article/coping-fear-anger/#
Scott, E. (2020). How to deal with negative emotions and stress. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-should-i-deal-with-negative-emotions-3144603
Until next time.
Coach Jackie Out!
P.S. If you want to chat about possible ways to cope with your anxious thoughts, book a complimentary coaching session with me at https://calendly.com/jackieschwabe/coachsession
P.P.S. If you still need more support in processing your emotions, I put together a Process Your Emotions workbook. It helps you journal your way of processing your emotions. It’s FREE, get your copy here https://jackieschwabe.com/product/process-your-emotions/