“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong–sometimes it’s letting go.” –Unknown
4 Effective Ways to Eliminate Negative Emotions
At a certain point, I stopped counting the number of times people told me to “think positively” in order to cope with my sorrows. And while I admire those who have a predisposition towards such a state of mind that is naturally transformed from negative into positive, I’ve always found it almost impossible to achieve that peace of mind.
It seems that many, myself included, struggle to nurture that mindset, and it takes a lifetime to master the art of meandering through the negatives and into the positives, because life is simply never black and white – hence the need for strategies that can help you find your way back into the light.
Anchor in the moment
Negative emotions have the power to turn you towards your inner experience of the given situation and force you to lose sight of what’s real. As someone who has dealt with various forms of anxiety during my whole life, the simplicity of this brilliant technique escaped me for a very long time. However, it has helped me through many an inner conflict and I use it to this very day whenever I feel like a negative emotion is about to creep up on me.
As the first step towards cleansing my thoughts, I would take a deep breath, and focus on every fiber of my being – relaxing my brow and lips, the movement of my chest and belly as I inhale and exhale, the beat of my own heart. These thoughts are stripped of complex emotions, I simply observe them. Then I make an effort to summon an empowering thought such as “I am stronger than ever” and savor every sound that echoes in my mind until I actually feel the words gain meaning.
Take care of your soul’s cravings
Despite the emotional setbacks I’ve tackled in life, I’m an avid traveler at heart and my wanderlust constantly tempts me to visit yet another secluded, exotic location. It seems that the more I get to know the wonders of the world, I fall in love with it all over, thus creating a sense of deep gratitude and amazement towards life itself.
One such memorable journey was my visit to the magical Tikehau Pearl Beach Resortjust northeast of Tahiti, where I spent hours meditating in the sun, learning about the local culture, enjoying the rushing waves and exploring the underwater universe full of playful creatures. Nothing ignites my passion for life and fills me with joy quite like a visit to an unknown place, and this sense of awe always lasts well beyond my stay.
Alter your everyday language
It’s incredible how deeply our self-perception and our view of the world can be affected by our choice of words. Language shapes your reality in a very profound way, and the more you make a conscious effort to change your words, the likelier it becomes to change your emotions as well.
It makes sense – if you constantly reach for negative constructions, your mind perceives the world as being filled with restrictions and failures, while the more you opt for the positives, it reshapes into observing opportunities. Next time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t”, alter it into “I can” and shift your focus towards how you can achieve something.
Be your own best friend
We rarely have the courtesy to treat ourselves the way we treat our friends and loved ones, with compassion and understanding. It took me a while before I noticed that I never talk to those who are dear to me the way I talk to myself. From self-criticism to self-doubt, a whole realm of negative emotions has been rooted in my amplified, self-imposed perception of a situation, and not the situation itself.
I learned how to become my own support in those moments of overwhelming negativity by treating myself to a warm cup of cocoa, a movie, or even a weekend getaway to the nearby wood cabin or a seaside bungalow, all the while redirecting my thoughts towards reminding myself of why I am a valuable, authentic individual. I have become grateful for these moments purely because I now see them as another chance to rise above my imperfections, love them as a part of my genuine self and accept everything that makes me who I am today.
Negative emotions will always be an indelible part of my existence, and undoubtedly, yours as well, but they no longer have the power over my wellbeing, nor do they dictate my perception of life. And while everyone struggles to find their way of coping, perhaps the answer lies in embracing them as another essential part of our identity, and an opportunity to outgrow them one loving, grateful thought at a time.
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