Viewing entries tagged
dealing with negative emotions

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How to Handle Anger With Grace

We (people) can be like a bunch of tops, all spinning on a game board. In that way, we each have our own perspective. We may never truly “see” or understand the perspective of another person but I assure you they have their own perspective. Their own point of view, their own reasons for everything they do. So sometimes another top bangs into us. Our spin is thrown off and our immediate reaction might be to get angry. Now don’t get me wrong, anger can be a good motivational emotion, serving as a much needed catalyst for our own transitions.

However, it is not meant to be a constant state of human emotion. Sometimes, we dwell in it far too much and for too long.  “Who are you to throw off my spin? Look at me; I’m now wobbling, all because of you.” If you lean too far into the wobble for too long, you will eventually spin out and go down too and what good has come of that? Sometimes you need that anger to push you toward a needed transition but often the anger over small day to day things is just creating distracting and obstructive energy in our own lives. A better option might be to right your core, focus on keeping a positive trajectory.

I like to turn to grace for this, I see it as the emotional equivalent to balance. So when you get bumped (it’s gonna happen) why not take a deep breath, let the anger have its moment (no suppressing please!), shake it off, let it out (rather than throwing it back at the other top.. er.. person) and then seek out some grace within yourself. I find so many more constructive things to do with the emotion of grace then the emotion of anger. It just seems to work out better for everyone involved. It seems to me that it’s both self-nurturing and selfless in that it allows for the respect of the other person’s perspective too. It’s a pretty rich emotion.

"It slows everything down for everyone involved, to a more comfortable pace."

As you know by now, the emotions that we repeatedly engage with become our habit of mind, our habit of being. Ones that you continuously visit like the attention and are easy to find. The more you look over in graces direction the more it will show up. Soon it becomes your emotional habit of mind and state of being. It slows everything down for everyone involved, to a more comfortable pace. It gives everyone the time and space they need to regain their perspective and right their spin. Grace is nice….   

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The 3 step process to release rather than suppress negative emotions

Cheat Sheet

Emotions play a vital role in our existence

  • Emotions, sentiment, and passion are part of being alive and connecting with others.
  • Emotions often alert us to issues which we must choose to either work to resolve (take action) or choose to accept (allow the emotion to be released and return ourselves to balance).

Suppressing emotions is bad for you

  • Suppressing emotions causes stress.
  • Suppressing emotions can cause serious mental illness.
  • Suppressed  emotions negatively affect your physical health and well-being.  
  • Suppressed emotions wreak havoc in your subconscious mind and contribute to future negative life experiences.  

You have 3 choices when a negative emotion comes on the scene

  1. Address and/or fix the issue, if possible.
  2. Express your emotions if you can’t fix or address the issue.
  3. Suppress your emotions by denying that something painful happened to you!

 

Monday evening I found out that a friend of mine had passed away unexpectedly. Tuesday afternoon I received news that made me equally sad and joyful (that’s a weird feeling). So I spent the better part of the rest of Tuesday afternoon on the kitchen floor, propped up against the cabinets with my legs spread out like a four year old, crying and drinking iced tea.  

I’m proud of myself for this! The more we take off the “I’m ok mask” the more able we become to live our true, fullest and healthiest lives. Much of what we learn through our societal conditioning teaches and encourages us to adopt the practice of suppressing emotions.  That’s insane when you consider that emotional suppression causes system wide dysfunction and disease.

How suppressed emotions affects our bodies, our minds and our life experiences.

When you suppress an emotion it does not go away, it goes deeper! Rather than absolving and dissipating the negative emotional energy, we hold onto it unconsciously. Deeply rooted in our subconscious it then affects our bodies, our minds and our life experiences. Emotions create peptide and chemical signals which are sent to our cells.  The idea of sickness and disease being related to emotional dis’ease is now well documented in science. The suppressed negative emotions can often be a constant undercurrent to thinking patterns and loss of awareness and presence. They contribute to ongoing and worsening mental health issues, again this is not speculation but well documented. Deeply rooted and hard at work in our subconscious mind, the ramifications of the suppressed emotions play out time and time again subconsciously drawing us toward negative life experiences as we move forward.     

Signs you are suppressing an emotion

  • You distract yourself.
  • You avoid triggers that bring up an emotion (such as talking about a painful subject).
  • You find ways to blame others or circumstances for the pain.
  • You are using Substance abuse, eating disorders, or other additive type behavior as an escape.   

The 3 step process to release rather than suppress negative emotions.

  1. Stop and fully acknowledge and explore what happened to create the emotion. Remind yourself that you are not what happens to you. For example if a someone is cruel to you and you suppress the emotion you are likely attaching it to some feeling of self-worth, lack of self-love, some sense that you might somehow be deserving of the treatment. By spending time acknowledging the experience you become able to see it more logically and release the emotion in a healthy way.
  2. Let it out. A good practice can be to change your location, go to a place and body position where you will be free of distractions and allow the emotions to become fully present and released in whatever way feels natural. I sit on the kitchen floor crying. Some people may like to moan, to scream, to bang their fist on something (be careful!) but allow all of that energy to just be released in way that it feels called to be. Focus on your breathing, try not think, process or attach thoughts to the emotion at this point, just let it surface.
  3. Thank your emotions and look for the good that can come. Negative emotions are often illuminating something for us. A place to learn and grow, providing a catalyst for change perhaps? What light can you see within the darkness?  

Of course the best approach is to lessen your exposure to negative events & experiences in your life. Are you ready to make the shift from existing to thriving and take an active approach to how the whole rest of your life unfolds? Check out Miracle Space- I would love to work with you. 

 

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