Mental health check: managing negative emotions. We live in a think positive world. If you just think positive good things will come to you. Flip the bad into something good. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you, right? We are under the assumption that negative feelings like anger, sadness, disgust are wrong and negative. We are alarmed when we feel negative emotions. However, of the five core emotions (Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness), 4/5 are considered negative emotions. Based on that alone, it would suggest that we would experience negative emotions more often. So what makes negative emotions so uncomfortable?
In my opinion, due to the reasons mentioned above to remain positive, we deny and suppress emotions we deem negative. We pretend they do not exist. We try to manage negative emotions instead of feeling them. We cover them with false positivity and try to will them away. However, the problem is that each emotion has a purpose and carries with it energy. Each core emotion has a physical expression or release to channel those emotions. You smile or laugh to express joy, you are energized and need to move physically when angry or fearful, you cry when you are sad, you scrunch your face, and have gut or gag reaction to when you are disgusted. How are you at managing your negative emotions? Do you allow yourself to a reaction to emotions authentically?
The Affect of Stored Emotions
When you do not express your emotions, you store them in your body. Housing emotional energy amplifies the intensity of that emotion in your body, causing discomfort and sometimes the sensation of pain. Stored emotions can lead to emotional blowouts when you have reached your storage capacity. Over time it can lead to physical disease in the body. Emotions are stored they always have the chance of coming out when triggered. Emotions will grow in power and intensity. The emotions blur together because they are no longer tied to a single event.
This crazy year, I took many many hits emotionally. If this current environment has not impacted your emotional space, I would say you may be abnormal. I have experienced extended periods of negative emotions. But it does not set off alarm bells in my head indicating that something is wrong or that I am depressed. My negative feelings are my human experience and response to various painful experiences.
I lost a parent early this year, I miss my friends, life has drastically changed, it is ok to be sad about those things, and it is ok for me to cry. I am afraid for my health, and I am fearful as a brown person in America, It is a normal response for me to be angry and scared and it is ok for me to scream and hit something. I am disgusted by the treatment and sexual exploitation of children, that I cry and throw up. All of that to say, the experiences that I have are heavy on the negative side, but how do you overcome these experiences without internalizing them and or become overwhelmed by depression and anxiety?
How to Manage the Negative Emotions
The answer is quite simple. You allow yourself to feel, Feel it, release it. Quit trying to manage negative emotions and force them to be different emotions. Your body knows what to do to get the emotional release. When you are sad, cry, when you are angry or fearful, do some physical activity, when you are joyful, laugh. Once you do the physical release of that emotion, your body releases endorphins that calm the body, and you return to your baseline. Your body did not store the emotion. You leave room for you to engage fully in new experiences as they arise. You won’t have to fear triggering a blowout or the dropping of an emotional body out of your skeleton closet. You will have less confusion around why you are reacting emotionally. You will not judge your emotions but will freely express them.
Ultimately emotions are not positive or negative, good or bad. They are simply part of the human experience. To deny your emotions is to deny yourself. If you need more personal lessons and a mental health check: managing negative emotions, I can help you Book a consultation or Coaching Session Here.