The secret to managing negative emotions

The secret to managing negative emotions

What I notice in my counselling work is, some of us seem to have developed a misconception we shouldn’t acknowledge negative feelings.  But negative feelings don’t simply go away because we don’t want them to be there.  What reduces our ability to move forward is denying our feelings or pushing them away for fear of being negative.  What psychology tells us is – what we resist, persists.  You can try to talk yourself out of a feeling as much as you like, but unless you address the underlying need associated with the feeling – that feeling is not going anywhere.  In fact, it is going to climb into the driver’s seat and drive the bus – and look out bystanders!

But here lies the magic antidote to the misconception – what you can feel, you can heal.  I’m not talking about wallowing around in your feelings for ever and adding fuel to the fire.  I’m talking about identifying the feeling, acknowledging it’s there and then asking yourself what the need is that underlies the feeling.  Feelings can be seen as signposts to needs that are either being met or going unmet.  It might be, for example, a feeling of anger and sadness is pointing to a need for love and acceptance.

​I love watching people’s lives change when they acknowledge what they are feeling, identify the need that underlies it and then go out and take action to get that need met – lovingly of course!

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash