Grief. Suffering. Anxiety. Anger. Each of these terms evokes an emotional response. Even when you see them on the television, you can feel the punch in the stomach, the battle for breath, the adrenaline rushing through your veins, and the weight on your body that makes walking through quicksand seem impossible.
As individuals, we develop an aversion to certain feelings. We flee from them, avoid them, and stuff them until we can no longer conceal them from ourselves, and even then, we seek zen-like solutions to quickly alleviate these nightmare-inducing feelings.
However, what if I told you that negative feelings are beneficial?
Perhaps not necessarily excellent, but certainly helpful and significant. And the more you attempt to escape unpleasant feelings, the harder they will pound you when you become physically unable to continue running. There is a much more effective and grounded method of dealing with these feelings.
- Investigate the feeling
Negative emotions are so strong because they function as large, flashing neon warning flags that read, “HEY! Something is wrong with this picture! Take notice!” The issue is that since those signals may be dazzling, it’s all too simple to shut your eyes and block them out. The issue with it is that you will miss their original function entirely.
Negative emotions have a single purpose: to alert you when something is wrong. It hurts when you fall and scrape your knee. If it didn’t hurt, you wouldn’t know how to care for the wound and would risk aggravating it. Emotions function similarly to nerve endings in terms of mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When something hurts, it indicates that it should be investigated, not avoided, ignored, or buried.
When examining an emotion, you must first ask yourself this question: Is this notion true?
If the idea is false, you must alter your thinking. If the idea is genuine, then you must alter your behaviors in order to alter the truth to reflect who you actually are rather than who you have been behaving like.
- Changing your mind
Thoughts are comparable to horses. If you allow them to go wild and stomp all over you, they will. However, if they are led, directed, and corralled, they may be very helpful. Allowing your thoughts to swirl and run amok creates additional unpleasant feelings for you to handle. And if you put your bad feelings away in a corner, they will ultimately bite you. However, it is necessary to alter one’s thinking.
When we discuss altering your ideas, we are not referring about just diverting yourself with a more pleasant notion. That will not assist you. Rather than that, we’re discussing analyzing the idea and dissecting why it’s false in order to really transform it to something true.
For instance, if you spend the whole day with the idea, Nobody likes me, that is not helping you. Is that idea true when you examine it more closely? Most likely not. Explain why.
You undoubtedly have at least one buddy who admires you. You may have a family member who is fond of you. There’s that neighbor who always attempts to bend your ear when you wave hello at the mailbox. You may have adoring pets. If it is not true that no one likes you, then what is?
Could you say, “I am surrounded by people and animals who value me”? Or how about, “I am cherished in the relationships I have”? Or perhaps this one, “Some people like me”?
Take note that you are not attempting to go to the other extreme and declare, “EVERYONE likes me!” That would not feel real, and your subconscious mind would reject it instantly. However, if you can go for something more correct that you can demonstrate to yourself is accurate, you can really alter your thinking.
- Modification of your conduct
At times, examining an idea will seem like a sucker blow since the notion is accurate at the time. However, this does not imply that it must be true in perpetuity. That is the point at which you must make a critical choice. Are you going to live according to a reality you despise or are you going to alter your conduct to fit with the truth you desire?
It’s a difficult option since it forces you to make new deliberate choices. You must ask yourself, “What thought patterns emerge that perpetuate this cycle of behavior?” Once you’ve recognized those thinking patterns, you must deliberately select something different in their place.
While Transformational MeditationTM is one method that may assist with this, for now, be aware of the excuses you will make to avoid living your aligned reality. Once you understand what they are and have the ability to talk yourself past them in order to take the necessary action, the new habit becomes your default. And then you’re free to make better choices, which naturally results in a decrease in your experience of unpleasant emotions.
As unpleasant as negative feelings may be, they serve as a guide to your next stage of development. When you can identify where the work needs to be done and rush toward it rather than away from it, you may alleviate negative emotional pain and accelerate your progress toward aligned life.