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Take the Power out of Negative Emotions

Take Power out of Negative Emotions

Research shows how happy you are depends on your ability to process negative emotions. We all experience anxiety from time to time, but some people are able to manage it better than others. Learning to accept negative emotions rather than fighting them can help to achieve greater contentment. Simply acknowledging negative emotions without fear or judgement can help you move on.

Why you benefit from acceptance

Resistance takes effort (lots of it), causes stress and worsens anxiety. When you push away a negative feeling or get up tight, you stifle your ability to look at the situation objectively, without emotion.

Your brain wants you to recognise that something is wrong and put it right. If you don't acknowledge and accept your emotions, they grab your attention by growing and prolonging your suffering.

Your emotions are manageable

Accepting negative emotions as just enough emotion helps you avoid blowing things out of proportion by going over them. When you stop wrestling with your emotions, you'll learn that their power, or their hold, over you diminishes.

To accept your emotions, let them rise. At first, it may frighten you to let unwanted feelings show themselves. But experiment. Once you understand it's not as difficult as you thought, the next time around will be better.

When negativity pops up, pause and greet it. Say "I hear you." Acknowledge your feelings. Then sit with it, noticing that nothing terrible happens to you.

Learn from your feelings

Ask you intuitive and insightful self why the emotion surfaced. Look for causes within you rather than in your surroundings. For example, if you're upset after your partner snaps at you, consider why you responded negatively.

You could have reacted differently. You might have considered what made your partner irritable or accepted the eruption as a passive mood and carried on with your day. There are always alternative ways to interpret and handle events, and the way you react reflects your frame of mind.