Top 4 ways to deal with Negative Emotions

Are you suppressing your negative emotions? Address them instead

Rather than working with our emotions, we tend to block and hide them, especially when we are grappling with negative feelings. We must find ways to address emotions that make us uncomfortable or deal with their repercussions.

Try and remember, when was the last time you had a heart-to-heart talk with someone? The kind of talk where you expressed every emotion, spoke freely without any pretence or fear of judgement? Most of us might say we spoke so freely in school and never after that. As we grow older, it becomes hard to converse with all honesty. And in the current times, it has also become increasingly difficult to find genuine and soul baring people to connect with. We find tangled relationships, souring friendships and broken ties, yet we do not muster the courage to address our vulnerabilities. We are, generally, conditioned to suppress our weaknesses.

Everywhere, a stigma is attached to sharing negative emotions, whether it is fear, sorrow, frustration, anger or envy. Although it is very natural to feel and experience these emotions, we still prefer to hide them as we anticipate people judging us or using our emotions against us. Or we do so to simply protect our carefully built relationships and images.

Contemporary life throws many challenges our way and we often find ourselves tangled in a web of emotions. If masked and not expressed, suppressed emotions can wreak havoc on the person experiencing them. It equally damages one’s relationships and health.

Soulveda shares some of the implications of suppressing negative emotions and also how addressing them could help to live better personal as well as professional lives.

Difficulty in solving conflicts

Conflict resolution is one of the most important aspects of sustaining any relationship. For instance, if a person experiences a conflict with their spouse and their actual emotions are not understood, heated responses may lead to escalation and an unresolved stressful situation. Underlying unaddressed emotions generally manifest as arguments leading to unpleasant and often disastrous situations.

A conflict may erupt in both personal or professional settings and indulging in responses without understanding the hidden emotions builds up unnecessary stress. So if you realise that your emotions are being suppressed and you are losing control, then take a step back and listen carefully to the other person first. Then give some time to let the situation simmer down. When you feel it is appropriate, start the conversation again, staying as genuine to your thoughts as possible. Steadily, your response to such situations will improve.

With the rapid pace of life, it is imperative to live as authentically as possible in order to steer clear of stress and chaos. If emotions, especially the negative ones are not addressed appropriately, you may suffer overwhelming situations that impact one’s wellbeing in the long run.

Bottled up emotions generate stress

When an emotion whether positive or negative is generated, it tends to flow outwards and manifest itself. When we do not let that happen, it leads to an uncomfortable situation; physically, we may experience muscular constrictions and even shallow breathing. When we suppress negative emotions on a long-term basis, it leads to a severe stress build up.

Typically due to our conditioning, we tend to keep negative emotions like fear, jealousy, anger and helplessness inside us. But the consequences of doing so are huge. We are taught to hush up those emotions which threaten us or make us uncomfortable. For instance, while it is normal for a child to feel scared of darkness, the rationale of darkness must be addressed well or else he or she may develop fears that will lead to phobias later.

While growing up, children should feel reassured about negative emotions just like positive emotions because when they can confide without inhibitions and judgement, it leads to blossoming of a balanced and cheerful personality.

Manifest as physical ailments

Bottled up emotions lead to not only mental distress, but also threaten one’s physical wellbeing. People choose many ways to suppress emotions including escape routes like television, addictions like smoking, alcohol etc. Indeed, there are multiple ways to avoid our negative feelings rather than addressing them meaningfully. When these emotions are continuously suppressed, they lead to mental stress, which in turn impacts one’s physical health.

It is said that your gut is the mirror to your mental health. Most of us experience butterflies in our stomach before any impending situation, which excites or makes us nervous. Your gut health will be the first indicator of your mental state. If chronic stress persists, then it starts affecting the cardiovascular and nervous systems too. Your physical health cannot remain unaltered if your mental health is suffering.

But when you learn to acknowledge each of your emotion, whether positive or negative, it lends a sense of mindfulness and calm, a requisite for smooth functioning of the physical body.

Lower self-confidence

If emotions are named and recognised from one’s childhood, it leads to blossoming of confident personalities. Being ignorant of our emotions directly implies being less confident about ourselves. We need to realize that emotions are not under our conscious control. When we try to stop them from surfacing, we block them against our natural urge. The body responds to suppression of emotions by developing a stress mechanism. It directly impacts the confidence level of a person.

Further, not being fully aware of our own emotions lead to a decline in our confidence and self-esteem. When we keep suppressing emotions like sorrow, anger and jealousy, they deplete our enthusiasm for life.

For instance, anger is one of the most natural emotions in life. A child needs to learn, right from the beginning, the right way to let out anger. Under no circumstances, it should be suppressed. The natural emotion of anger turns violent if it is suppressed for too long. This leads to dwindling confidence levels posing a lifelong challenge to one’s self-esteem. Thus negative feelings or emotions need as much recognition as the positive ones. By accepting them calmly, we can let them take their natural course.

Addressing negative emotions in a healthy way tends to work brilliantly in the long term with health benefits galore. Just try not to dwell over unpleasant memories and overthinking about the same; consciously try to relax by exercising, meditating and talking to loved ones. In short, cultivate positivity without suppressing negative emotions.




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