Negative feelings have a way of sneaking up on us, when we least expect them. When that happens, we get wrapped up and stuck in a negative way of thinking. The first step is to recognize the negative pattern, the second step is to find a way to deal with negative thoughts and feelings in a constructive way.
“Smile, everything is wonderful. We are all just happy, happy people!”
I was only nine, but I remember thinking, “Why is she saying that? She is anything but happy.”
This was a statement the mother of one of my childhood friends used to say when I played at her house. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells in that house. The mother was expressing positive statements, but everyone could sense she was a volcano ready to blow! One day, she did; I witnessed the blow-up. It was pretty amazing! I remember thinking, “Well, now her real feelings have finally shown up.”
Another area to explore on the journey to cultivating greater emotional resiliency is in dealing with repressed emotions. You have probably been told at some point in your life, to think and act positively, but this message is often misinterpreted to mean that it is not okay to be in a bad mood or have a negative thought or feeling.
The inability to express negative or unhappy feelings can lead to superficial and inauthentic relationships with others. When you suppress a negative emotion, you are repressing a part of yourself that needs to be seen and heard and addressed. The act of burying a negative emotion does not make it go away. It may temporarily give you a reprieve, but the energy of that emotion is stored in your body where it creates a state of dis-ease. If left long enough, this negative energy can turn into stress and disease.
Often, when negative feelings have been buried long enough, there is a point in time where they will surface, and it’s usually when you least expect it. This brings me back to my example. It was the littlest thing that set off my friend’s mother that day, but when she blew up, she began listing things she was mad about from before either one of us had even been born!
Here are some suggestions on how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings more constructively and to help you cultivate greater emotional resiliency.
- Talk to a friend, a coach, a therapist, or trusted advisor.
We all get wrapped up and stuck in our own way of thinking. Talking to another person is a great way to vent and get it all out, but it also helps you to gain another perspective on a situation. Many times, we over-personalize things and think it is all about us…when in reality, most people are just trying to get through the day.
- Journal about your feelings.
Another great way to process your feelings is to write them down. When you vent it all on paper, it does two things. First, it gets all that negative energy out of your body. Second, after you’ve had a chance to get it all out and calm down, you can go back and reread what you wrote. This will often lead to new insights.
- Develop a kinder and more forgiving attitude towards yourself.
Have you heard the expression, “You’re doing the best you can, even when it’s not your best”? I believe that is true. Negative self-judgment is something you need to learn to recognize, and then reframe it into a positive direction. This can be challenging to do on your own, so this is where talking to a trusted person can really help. In time, you can learn to create a voice that is kinder and more loving towards yourself. One of my favorite tools for this is my Inspiration Cards; they can really help you look at a situation with fresh eyes.
Remember, when you choose to learn from something that challenges you, you become more emotionally resilient!
Dedicated to raising your consciousness!