Monday, January 21, 2013

Art of managing negative emotions

Negative emotions by their name suggest that they negate something from our lives. Yes they negate our happiness and lightness. This means they disturb our natural being whose it was natural property to be happy and contented. Sometimes you are at the recieving end , sometimes at the creating side you do not understand what you are feeling or why you are feeling but you feel. A strong deep negative feeling engulfs your mind and within few second your peace of mind is shrouded with umpteen number of thoughts. After sometime when you decide to stop them you feel drained , exhausted and tired and to top it all you feel guilty of having them. You feel sinful of holding those ideas , cruel or brutual at times you do not understand why did i think of these things. This is probably the side effect of being good. Today i'll talk about this.

If this has happened with you then you'd easily identify. You feel the day is going good suddenly you see someone holding something you deeply desired for in the hands of a person who is perpetually the last person on earth to deserve what he has. It could be anything as simple as a cell phone , car , job etc or as complicated as love, family , kids etc. You suddenly feel cheated, cheated for all the goodness that you have and blind out within few seconds. To top it all everyone around seems to be very happy or cheering them or attending them, you seem to be asking yourself what is stopping me why am I not happy ? I am not in competition with him and I'll have something much better manyfolds better and yet you crave.

The craving pushes us further. You cannot lie to yourself and then series of thoughts overwhelm you with negative emotions. Not having what other has easily bring us to blame anyone or everyone who has been or has not been instrumental in me not having "it". A huge number of such emotions further makes it impossible for me to handle anything challenging that would come later during the day. The guilt of being jealous and sadness of not aquiring gets painful and heavy.

Negative emotions are extremely drainful no doubt. Sadness , hurt, jealousy, anger, greed, vengence,hatred, frustation etc. While irritation , frustation , sadness can be termed as less negative. Hatred , vengence , anger are higly negative. Jealousy and greed are fine and subtle they shift easily from appearing light initially and then towards graver negativism. But they can be efficiently be dealt with in case we pay a liitle attention to what goes on inside us than watching who does what outside.

I have for long experienced eactly these things and then tried to see what goes on and what comes to my mind. Not only did I create negative thoughts but also found myself feeling ashamed of holding such down thoughts. And then i realized such self criticism is only making things worse because it exhausted my will power to overcome the negative and pull out the positive. The extreme self expectation of being good teamed with criticism held me back in a loop. Till I decided enough is enough i need to see what's happening. From such situation i have developed some pointers in "Art of managing self negative emotions".

1. In my suggestion it is always good to take out a minute as soon as you feel something low. Do not shrug away ignore the feelings nor do you engage in feelings of self pity. Self pity is terrible worse than negative emotions because in case of negative emotions you still want to fight the unjust that has happened to you but when you self pity or agree it as "Kismat" you loose the last fort too.

2. Identify the feeling inside you , your exact need, the object or the attention , love and respect the other person gets and you do not. The object can serve as your need or actually no need too. For eg you can feel jealous for a high end cellphone it might not be a need but a greed. Jealousy and greed can easily turn themselves towards sadness or vengence depending on the character of the person holding it. Just learn to pin point your exact emotion.  Note it keep it at side for a second.

3. Repeat this statement "I make choices in my life I chose to be who I am today and I respect myself for this." This is essential to stop a blame game that runs faster than goose inside our heads. The whole life story pops up. This happed that is why that happened then next then next then list goes on and on till you have blamed every last person on earth for evrything in your life. Yes really that happens I have seen people blamed US President for their broken relationships people can really go that far. You don't know if someone on some corner of this earth might be actually blaming you for something you have never done. So blame never stops till you want to take responsibility of your life. So repeat the above line at least a few times to remember “ Every one makes choices and you chose something at some situation of yours because it was important to you.” This calms you and avoids you from emotinal drainage. (This is the main reason of internal distrust of many relations.)

4. Now that you have time, have identified your feeling and also not blaming anyone. The next step is to explain yourself that you are not guilty of holding a bad feeling.
Co-join your identified negative feeling with a positive one. For example someone does a tick tak around you and you feel irritation at its highest. Instead of saying “I hate this sound I hate this person he always irritates me” etc try to co-join “I love silence. Silence is easier to get when I am smiling. I am smiling because I am at peace.” Though it doesn’t sound meaningful initially but positive words if repeated a few times actually helps you connect to times when you created these feelings.
For example if you have ever seen a baby smiling and felt very happy just remember those tiny movements and that feeling , you created peace and love on seeing that baby. Now when you say this sentence the mind will automatically search for moments of “Smiling” “Silence” and “Peace” drives your mind to find those scenes and brings back those feelings exactly how you echoed. It helps you to see the picture more rationally than emotionally.
5. By this time your greed will be over and you would invariably be able to identify what you really need and can you given the fact that there are some compromises you would never want to make. Seeking an understanding that you are still feeling like smiling even without that object will remind you that the object/emotion is actually your greed not need.
Even if it really is your need then minus – the guilt you would have more sane mind to achieve it in due process rather than creating guilt or self pity.
Emotions cloud our mind and a single negative thought pulls us down and diminishes our ability to seek any requirement wether it is our need or not. Every feeling is actually a greater involvment of love. Love for others, love for objects or love for self we need to choose who and what is important to us. Once you learn managing your own negative feelings by bending them towards positive ones your winnability increases many folds.
I have experienced this several times and it is hard to do at first later comes very easily. You just learn to smile and walk away. On the path of being good it is easy to encounter things inside your own self which are not so good or rather grey but it is a process you learn to work on it if you are determined to be who you really are from within.
[I know i needed time but i had so many things on my mind to write. I couldn't stay away from sharing. Hoping to share more soon. My pain is better even if not gone yet feeling happy and light. :-) See you. ]


Nirmala said...

As always, wonderful article and tips on handling negative emotions Shreya.

All of us have emotions but there are times when the emotions have us! That is when the problem starts.

In life there are only two options – control or choose. When we have no control on the situations or events in and around our lives, the next option is – choose our thoughts.

Self-talk really helps. I have always wished for a gadget that can be inserted in our brains, that plays positive, I mean realistically positive messages whenever a negative message starts playing :)

Glad to know you are feeling better:) :)

Take care...keep writing :)

Shreya said...

@Nirmala ... That is a really good idea a chip fitted that can give positive messages when needed may be someday scientists will actually make it.

But till then we have to use the biggest and most wonderful chip we already are :) our mind/brain. It just needs a little training. I guess even if scientists make such a chip they will actually train it externally may be even we can these days there are so many courses of self help we can any day choose one.

The problem is not in choosing and creating those thoughts in mind the problem is in believing deeply in them. Words like smiling silence peace will work only when you have a deep feeling built to it gradually over a time. Else every chip on earth is doomed to fail. That is how will power works.

Oh will power reminded me thanks to your excercise links i tried them and a few more stretching stuff and they paid off within good 3-4 days. LOT better :) now my will power should help me continue it or pain will be back soon. lol :)

Thank you dear for everything.
Love ya

JaiMaaDurga said...

Good practical analysis and tools for
recognizing and defeating the ultimately unhealthy but very common
habits of thought associated with negativity; indeed, all those states of mind you discuss, such as jealousy, resentment, self-pity, etc. almost never arrive alone, but bring all their relatives to the party; and the circular dance of exhaustion they enjoy is harder to interrupt once started, than it is to recognize the first notes of their song starting to play, and closing the dance-floor pre-emptively ;)
Thank you once again for sharing considered and helpful thoughts; and may Maa bless you with strength and success in your physical healing process, pinched or swollen nerves are no joke! I am hoping you have improved your ergonomics with chair/desk/keyboard, physical habits are like mental ones, no improvement until positive change occurs :)

Shreya said...

So happy to see you here @JaiMaaDurga :) Thank you for wishing me wellness. Yes I am working on it doing some stuff that is helping me greatly. Err ergonomics not yet improved but physical habits yet improved :D. That is a big win to remain aware that my posture is wrong correct and sit again. Trying some healing energy too on myself hopefully would see long term results. Just pardon me for lack of posts they are somethings i have written on paper but haven't yet posted them.

Oh now I loved the way you made them (negative emotions) party. Nice way to explain. So true it must be actually a party for them. Like some host is to viruses and bacteria they come in and feed on us. lol :) and we let them do it.
So right prevention is so more important than cure. Cut off as soon as they begin.

Thanks again for dropping by.
Take care

Tomoko said...

This is cool!

Interesting posts to see

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