How To Use "Negative" Emotions To Your Advantage

One of the hardest perspectives to consistently embrace is that while other people can influence you and that Fate has a say: YOU determine what to do with the information you receive or with the circumstances that befall you.

However, once you implement this mindset in an effective manner, you are liberated from powerlessness. You may still be hurt, sad, angry, frustrated, impatient, anxious, stressed, and feel negative thoughts, but "living" with them will definitely become optional.

It is very much okay to have emotions and be emotional. It is how us humans respond to these emotions which can have effective or ineffective results, positive or negative outcomes.

As Brett and Kate McKay write in The Rationality of Emotions:

"While it’s true that emotions aren’t under volitional direction to the extent that thoughts are, and that they are hard to control in the heat of the moment, we can shape the type and degree of emotions we experience through what we do and think before and after they arise. Emotions can in fact be trained, developed, practiced, and refined."

The truth is, some people are addicted to unhappiness. There are many reasons for this: some of them seem to be a choice and some of them are deeply, deeply seated.

Others of us, while not addicted to unhappiness or misery, just have a tough time dealing with raw, negative emotions. How can we use our seemingly "negative" emotions to our advantage instead of trying to ignore them, fight them, or suffocate them?

1. Accept what you are feeling about the person, thing, or circumstance. If you're pissed, be pissed! If you're sad, be sad. If you're feeling sorry for yourself, feel sorry for yourself. Whatever you are feeling, let it be so.

2. And then tell yourself, I'm giving myself X amount of time to continue feeling this way. Another 15 minutes? Another half hour? Until after lunch? Decide on where the feelings holding you back end.

3. Take the next positive step. When the timeline is up, move to the next positive action. Work on the helpful solution, initiate the positive action, reach out to a friend, a lover, or a therapist for guidance.

4. Breathe deeply and define three things you are thankful for. Box breathing is a wonderful tool and it gratitude is a tremendous vaccine against the pox of self-victimization.

5. Consistently cultivate well-rounded perspective. Volunteer for organizations dedicated to helping others less fortunate than you. Be active in your community. Play a sport. Have different circles of friends and engage in different hobbies. Remind yourself how large the universe is and how lucky you are to play a role in it.

6. Change something. Finally, change something! Change a habit, a behavior, a perspective, an action. Do something that helps strengthen your constitution or changes, in a small way or big way, the thing or circumstance negatively impacting you. (Pro tip: pointing the finger at yourself, and changing something you are doing first, is the simplest place to begin.)

Emotions are not "bad". You were designed to have them and, without them, could you even "be" human?

How you use your emotions defines what becomes of your desires, goals and objectives. Developing a symbiotic relationship with the emotional side of yourself is extremely beneficial to your peace of mind and your effectiveness of action.

Keep leading. Hugs.

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