How to move past negative emotions

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Have you ever been cut off in traffic and then spent the rest of your drive absolutely simmering? Or maybe a client has sent you a nasty email and it’s ruined your whole day? This is a sign that you’re getting stuck with negative emotions, and the good news is we are here to help!

Today we’re going to explore what stops us from moving past negative emotions and share some practical tips to help transform your day from "urgh" to "ahhh..." and build emotional resilience.

But first, what stops us from moving past negative emotions?
There are two reasons why we get stuck in negative emotions:

1. We justify it by telling ourselves “I’m fine”, or “I don’t need to be angry”. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't allow us to experience our emotions so they stay bottled up.

OR

2. We tell ourselves stories such as “that person is such a piece of work”, or “what’s the point in trying?” etc etc, and not only do we stew in the feelings, we also exacerbate them.

So, how do move past negative emotions?
Our tip comes from neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, who says that emotions go away after just 90 seconds when you give yourself permission to feel them. So, the next time you find yourself getting angry, frustrated or disappointed, follow these steps:

  • PAUSE: For 90 seconds just stop and allow yourself to sit with your feelings.
  • DROP THE STORY: Don’t tell yourself stories or try to dismiss them, instead notice your emotions and name them; “I’m feeling betrayed”, or “I’m feeling annoyed”.
  • NOTICE: After 90 seconds we guarantee you will feel better and will be able to move on without those emotions weighing you down.

If you liked these tips or know someone who might find them useful, please share it with them.    

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