How to Cope with Negative Emotions

photo "some days" by Meredith_Farmer

In this podcast Ananga shares a technique to help you listen to the message of negative emotions without being knocked sideways by them.

Our emotions have incredible power over us. When we feel enthusiastic, motivated, energised and upbeat we feel as if we can do absolutely anything, but when we feel sad, anxious, dejected or depressed it seems impossible to do anything at all.

One very helpful way of dealing with negative emotions is being above to witness our feelings without letting them take us over.

Above the emotional mind that gets caught up in our swirling thoughts and feelings sits our intelligence. When we can learn to watch our mind using our intelligence then we are a step above the intense realm of emotional turmoil and we don't get so caught up in it.

Emotions as Messengers

Our emotions are just messengers, our thoughts and feelings bring information to us about what we're processing and what we're going through. When we're immersed in those thoughts and feelings it's almost as if we're diseased by them, or intoxicated, we are under their influence so strongly that we are caught up in the suffering and we don't hear their message.

A Witnessing Exercise

When negative emotions come your way, practice taking a deep breath and a step back.

Imagine watching yourself experiencing that emotion as if you are watching a movie in the theatre. This gives you distance from the intensity of the experience.

In that place of detached observation, you are open to receiving information about what you are going through, you can figure out what triggered you feeling like this, and what you need to do about it to help yourself feel better.

Sometimes you don't need to do very much at all. Sometimes it's enough to just sit and observe, keep your breathing slow and steady and let the emotion come, and discharge it's energy and watch it evaporate away.

Watching the Waves without Getting Wet

Emotions carry intense energy, but just like a big wave crashing on the shore the energy disperses and the wave rolls back out again depleted. If you stand in the waves sometimes they're big enough to knock you off your feet, or drag you out to sea. Our emotions can also sweep in and knock us off our feet leaving us bruised and gasping for air.

A person watching the waves from the beach is not having the same experience as someone who is standing in them getting wet and being thrown around. The same is true of our emotions. When you use your intelligence to observe your negative thoughts with a detached, gentle awareness you won't experience the same emotional intensity as you would if you were caught up within it.

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Resources for Coping with Negative Emotions: