Mental Health 101 Self Help

How to Handle Negative Emotions

Inhale fully, exhale completely. And other things you can do when you feel overwhelmed with negative emotions.

Problems are part and parcel of our everyday lives, and no matter how much we avoid them there will always be instances when these problems will lead to negative emotions like stress, grief, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc. While it is perfectly normal to feel bad (in the right context), long lasting bouts of negative emotions are not healthy. So what should you do when the bad feelings start to become overwhelming? Here are some coping strategies that you can do:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings

Never ignore your emotions – pretending that everything is all right will not make the problems go away, and at some point all the bad feelings will negatively impact your physical and mental health. 

  1. Identify the triggers

Instead, of dwelling on the emotions themselves, think about what is causing them; negative emotions are your body’s way of telling you that something in your life is not working, so feeling angry or frustrated is a signal that something needs to change.  

  1. Change what you can

Once you know what is triggering the negative emotions, start finding ways to change or manage them so that you will not feel bad as frequently. Examples include reducing stress at work, cutting ties with people whom you find toxic, or seeking therapy to help with relationship issues. 

  1. Find healthy outlets

If you really cannot avoid the stressors in your life, look for ways to “release” the negative emotions so they don’t stay “stuck” inside you. Exercising is a good way to get more happy hormones into your body, while meditation will help you stay grounded and not get carried away by your emotions. Making time for fun and laughter is also a good way to relieve stress and change your perspective about matters. 

Negative emotions are a part of life and make us human. Instead of pushing them aside, we should acknowledge them and try to understand what they are telling us, because it is only then that we can take steps to living happier and healthier lives. 

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