Part Two – Expressing Negative Emotions

I’m really excited to kick off this four-part article series on emotions! Read all four articles using the links below.

Part One: the importance of acknowledging and expressing for emotional healing, and how to express guilt, regret and shame.

Part Two: expressing sadness, anger and frustration.

Part Three: emotional health – what you can do to keep yourself balanced.

Part Four: emotion vs mood – long term considerations

Part Two

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Here are some more “negative” emotions which are commonly resisted. As discussed in Part One, it’s much healthier to express than suppress, and in fact experiencing the full range of emotion is all part of the human experience. The key is to drop resistance to the “negative” emotion and find a way to express it safely.

 

Sadness

  • Allow it to surface and give yourself permission to feel sad.
  • It’s okay to cry. Have a really big sob in the shower.
  • Lock yourself inside and have a gloomy day. Really allow yourself to feel sad and think about. Distraction may help if you are stuck at work, but find time to be with the emotion.
  • Realise that “this too shall pass”, but don’t put a timeframe on it, particularly when it comes to grief.  Rainbows follow rain, and the sooner you express the emotion, the sooner you are likely to move on.
Anger
  • Be angry – validate the emotion. Take full responsibility for feeling that way.
  • Try not to project your anger onto others, but give yourself time (perhaps alone) to be angry.
  • Use that time to scream into a pillow!
  • Go for an angry run.
  • If you are angry at someone, you could try writing them a letter. You don’t even need to send it to them – just writing it can be enough most of the time!
Frustration
  • Face what is frustrating you. If it’s a person, talk to them and tell them how you feel. Together, you can look for ways to positively move forward.
  • Talk it out – share your frustrations with a close friend. A problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Personally, I find journalling really useful, as I gain clarity around the specific situation, and organise my thoughts around the situation.
  • Problem-solve! This is generally emotion that will stick around until you find a way to deal with it. Can you change the situation, or change the way you think about it. If it’s something you can’t change – focus your energy on acceptance rather than resistance.
Further tools for expressing any emotion

Embrace Your Emotions Meditation

This is one of my favourite meditations to do. Embrace your emotions meditation – Connie Chapman – hear a 2 minute sample on SoundCloud.

Morning Pages

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way: a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, has created a very basic tool to express all that’s on your chest when you wake up each morning – Morning Pages. This are different to journalling, as it’s a focus on petty, whining, grumpy things/situations/people that are currently bothering/worrying/angering you.  As Julia says, when we write what bothers us, we “right” what bothers us. It’s a way to clear your mind, to create space for more creative thoughts. Watch a short 2 minute video about it here.

Alternative Therapies

Personally, I have tried out a few alternative therapies and found them helpful in their own unique way.

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping) – I was first introduced to this during a kinesiology session, however there are many free resources to learn this technique. I particularly like the free videos by Brad Yates.
  • Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) – I had quite a few NET sessions with my chiropractor and found it great to allow my body to release emotional baggage holding me back.

 

 

If you are still struggling with these emotions, I encourage you to speak with a counsellor or psychologist who can guide you through a healing process.

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