We all experience things that cause us to have an immediate, negative emotional response.
Last week I wrote about not holding onto that and letting it take hold of you.
So, what are some means by which to cope with a negative emotional response?
Everyone can employ something different, and there is of course no one true response. Also, situationally, different matters may call for a different response. Some options for releasing that immediate negative response could include meditation, crying, screaming, taking it out on a punching bag, kicking a can across the lawn, and so on.
Depending on intensity, and what the emotion is and how deep it runs, combinations of actions may be required to allow for release.
I need to clarify a couple points before I go on. First – this is specifically about that immediate, negative emotional response to something that has happened. That gut-wrenching, upsetting, intense emotional feeling, whether it is anger, upset, sadness, rage, jealousy, or some other visceral reaction to something. High-energy negativity, which could easily spiral into more, deeper negativity along the way if it is not acknowledged and then redirected.
Second – it is absolutely impossible to avoid this. Congratulations, we are all human, and as such we all are susceptible to experiencing deep feelings, both positive and negative. Because that is the case here, I want to acknowledge that this happens, and that it presents you choices to be made, despite the belief that such deep emotion can feel like it is impossible to stop.
Third – Negative emotions can be useful. When you are in danger, when you have been used and/or abused by someone, when you finally realize that a situation you are in no longer works for you and this immediate negative emotion occurs, that can powerfully move you onwards. This can be the inciting incident that helps you to see a situation of some sort might need to be changed, and as such can serve a purpose.
Fourth – To know positive emotions, we need to know the negative as well. This is a dichotomy. The opposite sides of the same coin. The yin to the yang. We can’t understand feeling good if we don’t understand feeling bad. Believe me, having very little good emotion but an overbalance of negative is rough and unsustainable.
Finally – this idea is about control. Rather than letting that immediate, powerful negative emotion take control of you and send you into a tailspin or downward spiral of further negativity, be it sadness, depression, guilt, anger or what-have-you, this is about taking back control of the matter and processing it so that you move on, rather than have your purpose and you plans derailed.
Because that immediate, negative reaction and emotional response can be so powerful, it can cause you to proceed in a direction you do not want to go. Nobody I know wants to feel more anxious, more depressed, more guilty, more angry and so forth.
Rather than let that happen, action is required in order to release the negativity, so that you can move on.
It begins with acknowledging that something has happened. Feel that feeling, this is in no way about denying or repressing the negative emotion. It is good to feel it, the matter at hand here is letting it linger.
Once you recognize that it might be lingering, you need to examine that negative emotion or emotions, and determine what it might take for you to let them go. What action can you take that will help you to feel better, and to seek out more positive experiences?
Suggestions I made previously include crying it out, ranting and screaming, meditating, punching or kicking something (preferably something that won’t cause you or someone else injury), going for a walk or a run, writing out a letter you won’t necessarily send, finding something you can break, and so on. This needs to be an action, because action is the best means of transition from one place to another, even when those places are emotional.
It is important to note here that, just because you take actions to release the negative emotions, they may not simply be gone. Depending on what triggered this, you may need to take a daily action to expand upon the release, you might need to use a different action to also give you release, etc. Further, things may happen along the way that bring the initial negative emotional response back to the surface. The idea here is that we can’t not feel negative emotions, but we can work on not allowing them to take root, and to be our way of approaching life, the universe and everything.
Shit happens. We all have good days and bad days, and every single one of us will experience something where, emotionally, we will get hurt. This is part of the human condition. The question is, will you let that hurt make you a victim of life, or will you choose a different path?
Lastly, please know that you are not alone. You might feel like you are, you may feel as if you are enduring far too much negativity, but no matter how intense it is, you are not alone. I’ve been there. So has almost everyone else. We can get past these moments, and we can still choose and walk the paths we desire.
How do you release negative emotions?
GOAL LOG – Week 33:
Diet: Overall, decent. I think I still need fewer carbs, but I continue to mostly avoid sugar. Summer is nearly over, and I’ve had NO ice cream!
Exercise: Fencing happened one day last week, and that was pretty much it for exercise. I need to adjust this a lot.
Writing: Apart from the blogs, zilch. I totally need to get back into writing and editing daily.
Meditation: Four days last week, at least 4 minutes each of those days.
Gratitude: I wrote five things I was grateful for every day last week.
This is the two-hundred forty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.