It’s only natural…

It’s only natural that when you have pain you may sometimes be overwhelmed with negative feelings such as anger, fear and resentment. It’s perfectly normal and there’s nothing wrong with having negative feelings but it’s important to be able to express those feelings in a constructive and helpful way.

How to deal with an emotional situation

When you recognise that you are beginning to experience negative thoughts or feelings, tell yourself gently to “STOP”. Bring your attention to your breath and allow it to become slower and deeper. This will calm you and allow you to stand back from the situation, so you remain in control.

Tell yourself,

  • “Stay calm”.
  • “I can cope with this”.
  • “It’s OK to have these feelings.”
  • “This will pass.”
  • “I will breathe slowly and calmly and I will soon feel better”

Knowing and accepting what you are feeling is healing in itself and helps the emotion to pass faster.

Other ways to deal with emotions

Your thoughts create your feelings. When you change your thoughts you change your feelings. It’s helpful to concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. When you think happier thoughts you will be happy, think calm thoughts and you will feel more calm, think constructively and you will feel in control.

  • Writing is helpful, pour out any anger, frustration or anxiety on to paper. Don’t read what you have written. Keep writing until you feel more calm. Destroy the paper safely when you have exhausted your emotion in the writing.
  • Imagine all the unwanted emotional energy flowing out of you, down your arm and into a stone. Then throw the imaginary stone far away from you into a river where it will be washed clean of the unwanted feelings. Enjoy the relief.
  • Brush off all the unwanted emotional energy by flicking your hands all around your face, head and as much of your body that you can reach. When you’ve flicked away the negative energy, soothe yourself as though you are stroking ruffled feathers or fur. Start at the top and work down. Enjoy the calmer feelings you now have.
  • Let out all the emotion with a sound. Take a deep breath and make an “aaaaahhhhhhhhhh…” sound with your mouth wide open. Continue with the sound until you have finished breathing out. Repeat three times.
  • If you feel upset with someone or a situation, realise that it isn’t the other person or situation that upsets you, you have upset yourself! It’s not someone else’s fault. Realising this gives you more control and power. You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself.
  • Ground yourself by letting your feet sink deep into the ground beneath you. Connect with the earth, be like an oak tree, anchored into the earth itself.  Feel secure, strong, calm and safe, like the oak.
  • Change a negative mood as quickly as you can with a positive action.

Foster Positive Emotions

  • Be aware of any fleeting feeling of pleasure, maximise and treasure it.
  • At the end of each day write down, or recall in your mind, all the happy or pleasing events from the day, however small. Go through the list at bedtime so you drift off to sleep thinking pleasant thoughts. Remind yourself of them again first thing in the morning to uplift and enliven you. It’s a great idea to choose just one of the items to repeat to yourself throughout the day.
  • Make sure you have an enjoyable activity lined up for at least once a day. Ask yourself every day, “What am I going to do to enjoy today?”
  • Indulge your senses. Enjoy favourite food, drink, sights, fragrances and touch sensations, treat yourself!
  • Be compassionate, kind and understanding towards yourself and others.
  • Talk about your feelings – with family, friends, counsellor, doctor, self-help groups, etc.

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