The greatest problem with negative feelings is that they multiply. One negative feeling leads to another and soon ends up building a web of negativity around the person’s self. Thus, it is imperative to control the negative feelings as much as possible. Here are some strategies that can help in combating negative feelings.
Control your thoughts
Negative feelings may rise from negative experiences, but are worsened by negative thoughts. Constant negative thinking robs a person of power and will to recover from the negative experiences and resulting feelings. So, in order to recover from the impact of bad experiences, it is vital to control the negativity in our thoughts. Controlling thoughts is not easy and requires a lot of will power. But it must be done. First of all, recognize the thoughts that are affecting you adversely. Also try and find out what is triggering those negative thoughts. Then, as far as possible, avoid those triggers. If that can’t be done, strengthen yourself against them by firmly deciding not to let them affect you. And if the negative thoughts still rise up, push them away by deliberately thinking about something happy. Thinking happy and positive thoughts, even if forcefully, will help you break the hold of negativity.
One very effective way of battling negative feelings is repeating positive assertions to oneself. When negative feelings are very strong, they may trap you in a negative cognitive triad. That is, they make you feel negative about yourself, about the world around you and about your future. In such a case, you will lose the sense of self worth, start feeling that the entire world is unfair and that your future is utterly dark and hopeless. If you find yourself trapped in this negative triad, first step is to control your thoughts and stop them from pulling you down. And next step is to forcefully and emphatically repeat positive assertions to yourself. These may be in the form of promises made to the self, some motivational and inspiring thought or poem, or even your favorite prayer. Speak them out loud to yourself. Challenge your negative feelings and beliefs with positive assertions. Repeat them as often as you can, always telling yourself that you believe in them. This will have two way effect. One, as you concentrate on the positive assertion, it will block out the negative thoughts from your mind for the time being. Two, they will encourage positive thinking and help you break out of web of negative feelings.
A social support system goes a long way in enhancing a person’s emotional health. Unfortunately, many people fail to take advantage of this great source of strength and encouragement. There might be many reasons for this reserve. It might be shyness, or a sense of guilt or shame, or simply that a person does not want to make anyone else sad. But by stopping ourselves from seeking support from friends and family, we rob ourselves of a very vital source of strength. Worse, we make our negative feelings even more effective by adding a sense of loneliness to them. So if you are feeling bad, reach out to at least someone from your social circle. It might be a sibling, or a parent, or a friend, or even someone on the internet. But do reach out. Discuss your problems, share your feelings, seek advice and let others help you. You don’t really need to battle with your problems alone. Besides, thinking positive thoughts and believing in positive assertions become so much easier when someone’s assurances add their strength to your efforts.
Engage in activities that make you feel good
Another very effective way of combating negative feelings is to do what makes you feel good and happy. It acts in two ways. One, it makes you busy so you have less time to linger on and ponder upon your negative feelings. Two, doing what you enjoy will definitely make you feel good and happy. Besides, any accomplishment you achieve in the act will also add to your self worth. When feeling troubled by negative feelings, it is best to keep yourself busy in doing what makes you happy. And even if your duties and commitments keep you too busy, still try and take out at least some moments for yourself. Even five minutes spent in doing something happy and relaxing can leave you feeling better. Help others, be creative, start a hobby, or just spend some time watering your plants, admiring nature, watching children play, or even better, playing with them. Any such positive activity will help you a lot in getting rid of negative thoughts and feelings.
Appreciate yourself, appreciate your life
One might be trodden down by many negative experiences. One might feel one’s heart bursting with negative feelings. But if one looks around, there’s always something positive in everyone’s life. One only needs to focus on and appreciate these positive aspects. Appreciate yourself, appreciate your abilities and positive qualities, even appreciate the courage and determination with which you are trying to rise above your negative feelings. Appreciate your world, your family, your loved ones. They may not be perfect, but if you look carefully and without letting your vision clouded by negative thoughts and memories, you’ll find out much to like and love in them. Be happy about these positives in your life. Concentrate on them, enjoy them fully, and turn your mind away from the negatives. If you do this, you will soon find there is so much in your life that is good and happy, but that which you never paid attention to. Well, pay attention to them now, and be happy.