Firstly, all emotions are important, needed and valid. This post is not anti-negative emotions! We need them, as hard as that pill may be to swallow at times.
However, when it comes to emotions that we sit in for too long, or don’t understand, or can’t process properly, here are some ways to feel better or soothe negative emotions…
Get out your Comparison Cap just this once and remind yourself that you, too, have done incredible things with your life. If you’re feeling jealous, it means that you want to do or have what they have, and you feel less-than compared.
But, at least in my experience, we usually have a lot to be impressed about going on in our own lives, it’s just that we don’t see it. By bringing your focus and awareness back to your own life, you can begin to highlight your own greatness (it’s there, I promise).
Just because your best times aren’t happening right now, doesn’t mean they never did or never will.
Remind yourself of these things:
- You have time to do all that you want to do
- Looking over at other people’s lives does not a happy person make
- If social media is crushing your spirit and making you jealous, get off!
- You have done a great deal of amazing things; you have amazing things in your life
Gratitude can be a good antidote for jealousy. It brings attention to all that you have, rather than all that you feel you lack.
First, find out if it’s a sadness that you need to feel for now and let be, or sadness that needs “fixing“. Sadness that has no important use or need can be fixed with pick-me-ups (or what have you). But sadness that needs to be felt can’t be controlled like that; it needs to be felt and understood, for now.
Sadness List/Box (for fixing)
Create a list of your favourite things to do or watch or consume and allow yourself a period of time (not all day or all week!) to indulge. It should pick you up a bit. Have this list in a place that you can find easily, so whenever you’re feeling low, you pick it up and know exactly what you could do to feel a little cheerier.
- Watch Harry Potter, Parks and Recreation, Community, Bojack, Brooklyn 99…
- Eat pizza or hot dogs
- Listen to a podcast
- Write about it
- Dance to my fav songs
Sadness tips (for feeling)
Watch a sad film. Or read a sad book. Connect with other people’s pain and allow yours to open up.
Talk to someone openly and honestly about it, not with the aim to fix the feeling, but to better understand it. What is it trying to communicate with you?
I often find that talking about it will probably make the sadness deeper and open like a wound. But after the right amount of time, it will feel better because it was given the breathing space, the open air, to heal (rather than being stifled or picked at).
In moments of anger, we need to step back. Withdraw from the situation if you can. Put distance between you and the stimuli. Breathe.
Anger enflames when let out. They say that you should let it out, but a book I read said that studies show anger only gets worse when it’s let out in bursts.
Filtered anger, expressed calmly with considered thought, is good. It’s healthy. It’s less damaging.
But first, you need to filter it.
Ask yourself why you’re even angry. The answer might surprise you, especially if you’re honest with yourself.
“I’m angry at my partner for not doing the dishes” soon becomes, “I’m angry that I feel like I have to do all the work and that he doesn’t respect me“…
Honesty is like water to the flame. It gets to the root of the issue, instead of an inferno born from a surface-level reaction.
Emotions are often signs of a deeper issue or trigger.
Find out what was really triggered inside of you, and then tend to the flame with careful hands…
(I try to journal about my feelings before confronting a person or situation head-on.)
Remind yourself of how wildly capable you are. Make the evidence of your brilliance easily accessible for times of fright and fear, so you can look over the list or images and remember, “I’m a badass mo’fo!”
I talk about this and many other techniques in the content from the Confidence Challenge I did in August. Check it out for more tips.
So, take a breath and remember all of your triumphs. All the times you were scared or unsure but persevered and succeeded regardless. No matter how “small” the achievement, write it down, memorise it, and refer to it when you’re in doubt.