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Managing Negative Emotions

Dealing with Negative Emotions

Negative emotions can have a disastrous effect on our lives. Anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, guilt, shame and embarrassment are the different types of negative emotions that a human being can feel at one time or can at different times. Irrespective of the time and the number of negative emotions one is going through, the fall out of a negative emotion or emotions is the same. Irrational behaviour and diffidence.

Trying to bring every situation under your control, nostalgia, immense guilt, discontentment, self-preservation are the emotions we go through frequently, the outcome of which are negative emotions. Thanks to our stressful lifestyle, we cannot escape this vicious circle of conflicting emotions which causes unbearable stress. A constant attempt at maintaining life and work balance can cause an impossible amount of stress too. Extreme stress can result in high-blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

The sad part is a mind riddled with complex negative emotions is prone to outbursts, excitement, confusion, negativity and excess anxiety.

How Can One Tackle Negative Emotions?

1. Observe Your Behaviour: Identify the emotion that is leading to a complex reaction to every sentence said to you in interpersonal interaction. Is it happiness, sadness, excitement or annoyance? Once you identify the trigger point, is when you can tone down your reaction to respond positively to a remark or acknowledgement directed towards you. Many at times it so happens that since your emotions are on an all-time high, it clouds your judgment whilst absorbing the other person’s response to you. This is where the problem lies. All you need to do is take a step back, be calm and evaluate your own response. This is how you will train yourself to respond logically and not give in to the emotional surge.

2. Understand the Cause: Generally, people and situations ignite negative emotions in you. It is better to track down the instance that caused it. Is it a personal loss, or a health problem of a loved one in the family, or it could be something as minuscule as dropping a hot cup of tea on your favourite outfit? Whatever the root cause, you will realize that these incidents are causing a nasty and undesirable reaction in you.

3. Accept the Cause and the Reaction: The first step is to accept the cause and the reaction too. The minute you know that you will be angry, dejected or depressed, train your mind to overcome these negative emotions by convincing yourself that this particular instance or situation is a phase and will pass over as time goes by. Remember that no catastrophic event, situation or an unwanted individual is permanent in life. Meaning such adverse conditions are temporary and won’t last long.

4. Describe the Emotion: If the next time your best friend disappoints you, or your reporting manager passes a critical remark (which is insulting and rude) on your work, feel that sadness or anger, but channelize your thought process to not show it in public. This does not mean you should repress your anger. Instead, you should respond assertively and not react aggressively.
You could call your best friend and talk to him or her about your disappointment or let your boss know politely that such rude feedback is demotivating.

Negativity is not bad all the time, a certain percentage of guilt, fear and anxiety will automatically compel you to be self-critical and evaluate your progress regularly. However brooding or overthinking on a fateful event can result in a mental brain drain.

 

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