Hello everybody! Today I am writing about dealing with negative emotions. Everyone struggles with negative emotions to some degree. But negative emotions are emotions, and the best thing to do is to make sure they don’t get out of control. Squashing down our negative emotions and keeping them bottled up inside may seem to be the best way for keeping emotions controlled at times, but this is only temporarily. Be ready for the inevitable explosion of frustration that comes after this pressure building up inside of you finally releases. This is connected to Aila’s post on Positive Psychology! Click here to read about it!
The first step is acceptance. Accept that having negative emotions is part of being human. Although negative emotions can be very harmful, sadness is not something to be too worried about. Anger and jealousy are negative emotions that can easily blind us and lead to bad decisions. Feeling these emotions are part of being human, but acting on them without considering the consequences can be extremely harmful. So when you feel these emotions, the best thing to do is do nothing. When you are calm, then you can be confident that your decision has been thought through properly and what you’ve done is more helpful than harmful.
One thing to keep in mind is that quite often negative emotions are not based on logic. Making decisions when you are overwhelmed by your negative emotions may seem like a good idea at the moment, but in reality, may end up really bad. Using common sense and seeing all the best solutions and keeping in mind how things could play out, is very important. But when negative emotions are blinding you, it’s a lot harder to recognize this.
When you feel these emotions such as anger and jealousy, you may want to ask yourself some questions:
What is in my control?
What is not in my control?
How can I use what I can control to benefit myself and others?
Negative emotions can be harmful sometimes, but they are controllable when you know what to do. But, self awareness can be hard. And sometimes when other things are going on, you aren’t consciously trying to make the best decisions.
When you decide to make a decision, you should think through whether it will help make peace or unravel into a fight or negative emotions. If you think through this, it is much harder to make bad decisions, since you know your consequences and effects. What other people do, you can only influence to some extent. But your reactions to these actions are completely under your control. You can have extreme impacts on any situation with what you do. People are unpredictable, but if you are calm and unharmful, there wouldn’t be any reason for anyone to act negatively.
You should be extremely cautious with your actions because they have a lot of impact on people. Beware of justifying actions with good intentions. Your actions can still have a negative impact even if you think you are trying to do the right thing. So until you regain a sense of calm...oftentimes the best thing to do is simply de-escalate the situation. Things can very easily get out of control, but there is always a way to simmer things down.
You will make mistakes, but you should keep a sense of humor about yourself. This allows you to see your mistakes at face value, and helps prevent your mind from coming up excuses. By making your mistake into a joke, you are accepting that you made a mistake setting you on your course to fix things as best you can. Sometimes when people make a mistake, they aren’t able to internalize that they did anything wrong. Once you get that in your head, you aren’t able to find the best solutions and carry them out.
We discussed that you get these impactful negative emotions, but how do you calm them down? Well, here is a series of steps to cool down negative emotions so they don’t take over leading to hurtful actions.
The first step is to take a few deep breaths and calm down to make sure you don’t lash out. When you are feeling anger or doubt or other negative emotions, you may get defensive and want to immediately act to bump yourself up and the argument. So, try to recognize this, and stop yourself before you do anything regretful. When you know you are overwhelmed by negative emotions, don’t attempt to solve problems. Using logic is very hard when you are overwhelmed, so don’t try it. Wait. After that, try to really understand the emotions you are feeling.
Also, to recognise, all emotions are caused somehow. No matter how silly, it was powerful enough to make an impact. Once you have found out the cause, such as something somebody said or did to you, take a moment to say ‘I forgive you.’ Internalize that everybody's going through their own struggles and everybody is going to make mistakes. And that this is just an example.
Once you feel comfortable taking a move to de-escalate your emotions to more healthy ones, such as turning anger into sadness, you should find someone you trust to talk about your negative emotions and the best way to handle them. Make sure the person you talk to is not going to escalate your negative emotions, and will sincerely try to help. (I think this is very important because if the person you are talking to also has a disliking for the person you are bickering with, they will cheer on any hurtful comments you may want to say to them. If you talk to someone who will give you both perspectives, and ways to make things better, handling your emotions seems to be so much easier.) Maybe talking to someone who doesn’t know the person you are upset at. A very good person to go to is your parents, since they don’t want you to be hurtful, and also want the best for you.
After finding a good course of action and are confident that things are helpful in providing a positive atmosphere for everyone, make sure you are calm and not too emotional, and then execute the plan in the best way possible for not only the other person, but yourself. Making sure this really is a good plan of action sometimes is hard if the person you talked to wasn’t the best person, or if you still are emotional. One way of preventing this, is talking to multiple people to get different insights!
Also, you should keep in mind that every relationship had to go through fights. And you’ll see that it’s the fights that really make relationships stronger. Knowing that it was going to happen at some point can help you see the opportunities to build trust and stronger friendships with this person. If the other person is more stubborn, realize that the other person is going through emotional difficulties as well as you. You need to take the step forward and apologize. And if you don’t know what you did wrong, ask them.
When taking your step forward to resolve things, know that the relationship is very vulnerable at that point. Try to avoid any actions that could even potentially break into a fight. Remember, there is no point in denying your mistakes. You’ve done them, and the best thing you can do, is try to fix them as best as possible, and to grow from them.
We all screw up sometimes. All humans make mistakes, but those mistakes don't define us. We use them to grow and use to guide us in the future. When something doesn't work out, we don't do it again. This is why it is so crucial for us to see our mistakes at face value, and to keep a sense of humor about ourselves. There is no reason to beat yourself up about your mistakes. You know that you did something wrong. Now try to fix it, and strategize about how not to do it again. Use the pain, regret, and guilt to steer you away from ever repeating that mistake again. But don’t over-do it. Feel the negative emotions, but also get over them. You are not a horrible person because you did a horrible thing. Learn from it, improve using it. Do whatever you can to fix your mistake, the rest is out of your control, but you did everything you could.
Working through problems and fights together builds a bond of trust between you and your friend. And knowing that you worked through things together, even when things were hard, gives you a sense of confidence. Long friendships have had more fights. And the friends can recall all of the things they’ve gotten over together.
Thank you everybody for reading about dealing with negative emotions! Emotions are a large and important part of our life. We can let them take over, or use them to our benefit! Either way, they come and they go and the best we can do is to try and control the negative emotions before things get out of hand!