4 Things I Do To Get Past Negative Emotions and Negative Thinking
Negative emotions take a lot of energy out of you which can make it hard to break the cycle of – thought – negative emotion – more negative thought. It takes just a little bit of effort though to start to move up the scale and it is really worth it. These are four things that I did to move myself out of low frequency thought. They may not be for everyone, but the fourth one is a must. Without it you cannot move forward.
1. Express It
You cannot heal that which you cannot feel. This exercise is for you alone, it is not an excuse to let loose on someone else with all your anger and hatred, but all of us have been hurt at times by others, and we need to express that. I write three letters. The first one is to the person explaining the situation, “What they did to me” and then how that made me feel. In this letter I pour out all the negative emotion I feel or have felt for that person. You can really let it rip, express it all. Don’t hold back. Please don’t feel the need to send this letter to the person involved though, that just makes things worse. Expressing how you feel in a letter that you will throw away or burn is enough.
The second letter is from the person to you, writing what you wished they had said or done. This letter is really good as it makes you think about the other person’s side of the story, and quite often we find that though they did hurt us, they may not have intended to, or they were doing the best they could at that time.
The third letter is your response to that. Maybe expressing understanding, or even just accepting that what happened, happened.
One of the problems of negative emotions is that we are quite often stuck in the past. The old scenes, some from many years ago keep repeating themselves in our mind, so in affect we are living the past again, and again, and again. Our own Ground Hog Day. Awareness is about learning to be in the present, right here, right now. Meditation is a very useful practise to learn, but for some as soon as they hear ‘meditation‘ they think that it is hard, time consuming and not something they are interested in.
Awareness is simple. Stand outside or near a window, take a couple of deep breathes and then just notice what you can hear or see. Don’t try and label it, or strain in any way, but just notice it as you concentrate more on your breathing than what it is you are noticing. This is awareness and it brings you into the now. Temporarily at least it stops the old negative pattern, it puts a brake on it, and it is the first step to re-wiring that pathway of thought. With practise, whenever you start to feel angry, depressed, anxious or bitter you can stop and take a breathe and come into awareness of now which gives you a real chance to change your thoughts.
Physical activity is brilliant for moving out of negative emotion. Walking is a great exercise, unless you find yourself re-hashing the past then the walk is of no benefit at all. Pick an activity that you need to be active and present for. I found Singstar and Dancestar good, as well as wii sports if you can’t get out of the house much. If possible though try and find an activity that you are passionate about and try and commit to it at least once a week.
I rediscovered my love of horse-riding which I had given away 25yrs before. I started with a half hour riding lesson, once a week. Doing a riding lesson is better than a trail ride, as it is both cheaper and you really have to concentrate and be in the now for that time period. The sense of achievement and the high after each lesson was incredible, it lifts the frequency of my emotions every time.
If walking is your only option than make it a purposeful walk. Take a camera with you and be aware of your surroundings. Look for the beautiful, the unusual or any image that really takes your eye. As much as possible stay in the now.
One of the most common phrases I hear from someone in the grip of negative emotions is “I will never forgive them.” The long hand of that statement is, from this day forward I am going to live in the past. I hand over all control for my emotions to that person. They hurt me then and I am going to allow them to hurt me every day for the rest of my life.
The best definition of forgiveness that I have is from Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” he states, ‘forgiveness is the acceptance that we can never re-create a perfect past.’ It is not about forgetting, or absolving the act. All it is, is realising that it happened. We cannot ever go back and have that day over with a different outcome. It happened, we can either accept it and move on, or we stay stuck in that day forever.
To forgive is to take back control of your thoughts, emotions and potential for the future, right here and now and to let the past remain where it should be, in the past.
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Love and Light