How To Manage Your Negative Emotions

how to manage your negative emotions
how to manage your negative emotions

Daily Blog #292

As much as the next person does, I absolutely hate negative emotions. I hate waking up on certain days not really feeling like myself, but rather, being in a mood that I have come to know as a “funk.” I hate facing adversity and having to embrace my fears head on because I know that there is no other option that will get me to where I want to be. And I hate doing things spur of the moment that fall out of line with my values, only to feel like a complete failure immediately after.

For someone who preaches the importance of positivity and happiness in life, this one isn’t starting off on a positive and happy note. Trust me though, we’ll get there.

These negative emotions suck. Not just for me, not just for you, but for everyone. But despite the way these negative emotions make us feel, we need them. Not only do we need them to grow into the person that we want to become, but we also need them to help us in keeping our core values in check. You know, the things that we believe in, and the things that drive us to complete even the smallest of tasks throughout our days.

Instead of asking yourself the question of, “How can I manage my negative emotions and turn them into positive experiences?” a better question would be “What are some of the things that I value the most in my life?” Why is this a better question? Because it is your own personal values that guide you to feel a certain way about the experiences in your life. It is your values control how you perceive certain events.  

For the purpose of showing examples for what I am talking about, I am going to use to extreme values. Even though they are extreme examples, these are values that are shared by much of society.

The first example, becoming famous. Growing a following on social media, having loads of money, and caring about how others perceive your life.

The second example, doing good for others. Doing missionary work, volunteering your time at homeless shelters to help serve food, even walking by some random stranger and giving them a compliment.

While these two examples both involve the lives of others around us, notice how only one can be satisfied internally. Notice how only one of these examples focuses on aspects that only we have the power and capability to control, while the other focuses on aspects controlled by those around us.

People around us are too unpredictable and too unreliable to be in control of our beliefs. We don’t have the ability control of how many people find us interesting enough to hit the follow button on Twitter or Instagram. We can’t guarantee that our best friend won’t win the lottery and will forever make more than us. And to say that everyone will like us, well the odds of that happening are far less than the odds of even winning the lottery.

See, when we are controlled by external beliefs, we will never be able to manage our negative emotions. People aren’t always going to like us. Others are going to be tell us that it can’t be done. And we will fail many, many times over the course of life. Well, if the majority of your values lie externally, prepare to feel like a piece of crap. Prepared to feel lonely when you don’t get a new follower, and prepare to disappointed every time somebody else tells you no.

Now, when the majority of your values lie internally, then you will always be in control. You will know if you are making a positive and lasting impact in the world. You will know if you are working hard enough towards the dreams that you want to achieve. And you will feel whole because you will realize that you are in control of your own destiny. You don’t need the acknowledgment or accreditation of others. You will feel free to just be you. When you feel free enough to just be you, then you realize that being you and valuing yourself is the greatest feeling in the world.

So to go back to the question of “How can I manage my negative emotions and turn them into positive experiences?” the answer first lies with your beliefs. You can’t turn negative emotions into positive experiences if you value external factors more than you value yourself. To manage your negative emotions is to first value yourself for the amazing, yet imperfect person that you are.

Only once you start to value yourself, and start focusing on growing from the person that you are to the person that you want to become, will you then be able to effectively manage your negative emotions.

Michael Bonnell

2/16/2019

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