Day 17 Overcoming Negative Emotions
-Taken from 30 Days of Mindfulness email subscription
Turning up the heat
We all feel negative emotions from time to time - it’s a natural part of life and a part of everybody's human experience.
Negative emotions can sometimes be beneficial, informing us that something is wrong and we need to take action.
Sometimes these emotions get too much and we don’t know how to deal with them. This usually spills out into massive rages, stress that takes us to the breaking point and depressions that make us feel very low.
There a way to alleviate some of this.
It’s a quick technique you can use whenever you notice yourself experiencing these negative emotions like anger, anxiety and depression.
When you notice the emotion bubbling up inside you, try to stop for a moment. Try to become aware of your breathing and return you to the present moment, what’s happening here and now.
Now imagine that you have a dial that changes the intensity of the emotion. It’s currently dialled at about 4, and the values range from 1 to 10.
It might be tempting to try and turn the dial down to take the pain away. But you are going to do the opposite because the way to overcome the emotion is to go through it, not push it away.
Imagine yourself turning up the dial to 7 and really feel the emotion as it gets even more intense. Try to stay conscious of your breathing as you really feel the emotion fully.
Once you feel ok at this level, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself.
The next step is to imagine turning the dial all the way past 10 and up to 11. It’s now off the charts! Try to hang on in there and really feel the negative emotion fully.
It may hurt for a moment but shortly afterwards the emotion will start to fade away, leaving you feeling lighter and calmer.
This is one way to overcome negative emotions.
When you feel a negative emotion, pause for a moment
Imagine a dial that changes the intensity of the emotion from 1 to 10
Turn the dial up to 7 and allow yourself to feel it fully
Turn the dial up to 11, feel it fully and try hang on in there until it fades
The way to overcome negative emotions is to go through them and really feel them fully. Remember, we try to overcome negative emotions rather than suppress it to make it go away.
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