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I posted an article two weeks ago, on how emotions affect us. If you haven’t already checked that out, here is the link: ‘Why me? Answer Yourself’. I discussed how negative emotions get the best of us and how we would so love to combat traumatic situations in our lives.
For starters, I gave you an exercise to write down more about the negative emotions brewing inside of you.
Put them down on paper
It is funny as to how much clarity you get when you actually write things down. You have these speeding emotions you can’t control, you try to put them down on paper and leave tear blots on these. You slow down your thoughts eventually. When you read what you’ve written, you see things from a different standpoint. The more you re-read your notes, the more clarity you get about yourself.
But, let me stop you before you get too self-absorbed and start to wallow in self-pity. That is not a good sign, that takes you further down.
I am telling you this because I had a journal gifted to me by a friend. Since I was a Psychology student, I wrote things down to understand myself better. I hardly read what I wrote. Whenever I actually read my notes, I re-lived my moments and that got me spiralling down to sadness. I later learnt how to master that.
Give yourself instructions
One thing that helped me out was this: apart from scribbling down all the thoughts in my head, I used to give myself some tips to follow, write down the lessons I learnt from such incidences.
Of course, I messed up the second time. Know why? I wrote them and forgot they even existed. I messed things up over and over again. We all repeat our mistakes until we internalise our lessons and learn to react properly the next time. Till it is ingrained in our system, we will not mature to become strong individuals.
Internalise all the lessons learnt and follow them
Only during the nth time I used to flip back to those pages and re-read what I’d written, the golden words of wisdom, facepalm myself, and exclaim, “Why did I just not listen to the older me?”
There is one takeaway here. Every time you rant or lament (on your notebook), make sure to write the lessons you learnt from the whole episode. What could have gone right? How could you have better handled the situation? What mistakes did you make?
Read them regularly and practise them, that is the key.
Counter with Positive Emotions
Once you write all the negative emotions down, try and counter them with positive emotions. What can you actually do to change a negative to a positive emotion?
We can just consider these – gratitude, joy, hope, trust, love, optimism, acceptance, admiration and surprise.
- Gratitude for all the things you have and for all the positive things that have happened to you despite the bad things.
- Be kind to yourself. Accept your mistakes (secretly if you can), accept yourself instead of punishing yourselves severely for what went wrong.
- Hope that things will get better for us in the future and hope that we conduct ourselves better in future.
- Finally, directly ourselves towards our interests; writing down interesting facts and qualities about ourselves that will make us love ourselves better.
Self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness are very crucial to be healthy. Otherwise, we will harm ourselves in many ways we don’t even know that exist. The increase in blood pressure and stress for me was my own doing.
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As always, I hope to hear back from you soon!