“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” ~ Joel Osteen
What would you give to be free of those unpleasant negative emotions once and for all? No more anger, anxiety or depression. If you are like the majority of us, you would give a tremendous amount to escape their uncomfortable clutches.
The world widely perceives negative emotions as something to be ‘rid of’ or ‘cured’ and, ashamed of these emotions, no one really talks about them. In some instances, doctor’s diagnose the ‘condition’ as a ‘disorder’ and prescribe medication for the ‘defective brain’.
How to Free Yourself From Negative Emotions
Yet I believe in a radical new approach to the topic of negative emotions and I invite you to consider this wondrous revelation.
A Radical New Approach
What if I told you that the answer to true freedom from negative emotions lies, not in expelling them from your life, but from embracing them with open arms?
Surely that cannot be right, I hear you say.
The fact is that the more you resist an emotion the more powerful it becomes. Like an airtight plastic bottle, the more forcibly you push it down into the water, the more tenaciously it propels to the surface. Instead, if emotions are permitted to be felt, they do in fact transform on their own.
The word emotion is derived from the Latin emovere, which means to “move through or out.”. So, as the definition would suggest, by allowing emotions to arise and naturally move through us as they wish, they will eventually pass out. It is by clinging, forcing and rejecting emotions that we disrupt the natural flow and we cause them to mutate into ferocious monsters.
We are human beings at the end of the day and feeling emotion is part of being alive. Making peace with all of the emotions that we feel, accepting them and allowing them, is the surest way to flow with life instead of against it.
3 Radical Steps To Freedom
A normal negative emotion process looks something like this:
1. We experience something e.g. Someone makes an unkind comment to us.
2. We tell a story about whatever it is that we have experienced – this story is a set of beliefs e.g. I am not lovable.
3. We feel an emotion/s which reflects the story e.g. hurt, anger
4. We fall back into a resulting behavior e.g. binge eating, alcohol
Most people jump straight from step 1 to 4 with no awareness of step 2 and 3. Instead, in this new process, you allow yourself to be fully conscious of all feelings and underlying layers of beliefs.
Begin by noticing your negative emotion as it arises. Can you name it?
Rather than running away from the emotion, resisting and avoiding it, turn instead towards your emotion. Allow yourself to really feel this emotion. Let yourself experience the emotion completely and be present with it fully. Don’t deliberately change it, just be aware of it.
What does it feel like in your body?
You will notice that, as you allow yourself to feel the emotion, it naturally changes on its own. It morphs into a new emotion.
Repeat the same process as Step 1. What does this new emotion feel like? Allow yourself to be fully conscious of how it feels to experience this new emotion. Each time your emotion morphs into a new one, follow it and keep repeating the process.
As you peel back the layers of emotions, you follow their natural cycle, allowing them to flow out of you as they are meant to.
By not disrupting their natural flow with resistance, you eventually find yourself experiencing a positive emotion. In other words, you have shed all of the layers and you are left only with the essence of who you truly are. When you feel a positive emotion you have reached your goal and you can stop the process.
Issues That Can Arise And How To Handle Them
The emotion won’t morph. In this case, breathe deeply into the emotion or expand the sensation into the room so that you are in it and surrounded by it. It will transform on its own as you give it the room to do so.
My mind keeps distracting me from feeling my emotion. This is the ego mind’s method of preservation. Because your ego mind associates uncomfortable emotions as threats, it tries to pull you out of the sensations. When that happens, simply bring yourself back to your breath, begin feeling whatever new sensation is within you and then follow those emotions.
I keep seeing images as I try to feel my emotion. If an image arises as you follow the process, don’t worry, just ask ‘what does that image feel like in my body’?
A New Relationship With Your Negative Emotions
So next time you find yourself feeling anxious, angry, or sad, don’t resist it. Allow yourself to feel how you feel and follow the emotions.
This way you accept yourself and everything that you feel completely. You give yourself the opportunity to love yourself throughout the storms as well as the sunshine days. You give your emotions the chance to run their natural path through and out of you.
Can you see that your freedom lies in your acceptance and allowing of what is?
What do you do to free of unpleasant negative emotions? You can share your comment in the comment section below 🙂