5 Ways to Harness the Power of Negative Emotion

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Negative emotions tend to make us feel powerless, but the powerful effect of negativity can be quite useful. Negative emotions cloud our identities and restrict us from building fulfilling lives. The longer we allow negative emotions to linger, our thoughts turn destructive and we begin losing hope of ever feeling truly happy/happy again.

Negative emotions are always a burden and coping with them is certainly exhausting; maintaining a positive presence is difficult to upkeep, especially when we feel like we’re crippling inside. However, with a little guidance and support, we can channel that negative energy into something useful.

I’ve found that negative energy can be an opportunity to increase self-awareness. Think of how we feel when we’re physically hurt, the pain makes us aware of the wound so that we can heal it. Is it so naive to think that our negative emotions work in a similar way?

  1. An Indication to Evaluate and Reflect on Behavior.

We can get so wrapped up in negative thought that it’s easy to overlook this key indication: to wear our objective lenses and pay attention to the way we’re living out our lives. We must acknowledge our feelings first, assess negative behaviors and then investigate how we arrived at such a burden, to understand the triggers and piques.

We should become aware of indulging activities that leave us feeling regretful and shameful, such as: overeating or loss of appetite, short tempers or feelings of emptiness, frivolous sexual pursuits or lack of sexual desire and self-loathing and obsessively comparing ourselves to others’. These are just a handful of examples that feed negative emotions, but we must become aware of behaviors that are deceitfully healing, because they actually deepen the wound.

  1. Realize That Life Is Directed by A Series of Choices.

I believe that every single one of us has an opportunity to achieve great things. What’s standing between us and a great destiny, is a series of choices. Wherever or whenever we feel like we don’t have a choice, know that it’s down to a negative perception of reality; fear and a lack of understanding is all that keeps us from making the choices we really want to make.

We can choose to go to the same boring job everyday, or we can choose to invest any free moment looking for new opportunities. We can choose to indulge negative behaviors, or realize that we can employ positive ones. We can also choose to be happy, if we choose to deal with negativity head on.

  1. Embrace The Opportunity for Change.

Prolonged negativity should act as a catalyst for change. When we’re feeling like we’re ‘stuck-in-a-rut’, disconnected from life and/or living complacently, it’s time for change. What’s the point in perpetuating a life that’s negative, when we have the power to change it?  We just need to remember that change is a process. Often what deters us is the uncertainty, but when we break down change into manageable steps, anything becomes completely doable.

When we’re feeling negative we get frustrated and when we feel frustrated, we become disheartened and impatient. It’s probably why many of us seek out ‘quick-fixes’ to cope with negative emotion. If we become more aware of the changes we need to make and take the first step towards directing change, even if it’s just research to begin with, we counteract and overcome negative emotion with positive behavior.

  1. Identify and Let Go of Any Enablers.

When a person is given a chance to be honest, their identity shines through. When we begin to understand one another, we notice how special and unique each of us truly are and we can help each other overcome our obstacles. How many people in our lives allow us to shine? How many of them can we be truly honest and vulnerable with, without fear nor judgement? I evaluate the people around me by this philosophy. We shouldn’t need to be anyone else other than who we are and if there are people around us that restrict this birthright, then we must rethink some of these relationships.

Furthermore, our identities need to shine in order to learn and grow. If we have people around us that restrict our identities, then it only reinforces the message that we’re not good enough, not worthy enough or perhaps that there is something wrong with us. Honest relationships are crucial to personal development. I’ve personally found by being honest myself, I’m also creating an opportunity for others to open up and be honest themselves too. Slowly but surely if we all adopt this same philosophy, we can help each other get through life. We can nurture an environment that’s safe enough to be vulnerable in and together, we can grow and prosper. We must learn to let go of dishonest relationships and embrace those who are accepting of others.

  1. When All Else Fails, Take Some Time Away and Go Alone.

Nothing works better than entering a new and unfamiliar environment alone and realize how many challenges we can face and overcome. I believe it’s why many of us find travel so liberating and probably why many people find India in particular, so life changing. If our physical senses are overrun by overwhelmingly new sensations, what energy do we have left to upkeep a negative attitude? At some point that survival instinct kicks in as we’re forced to overcome one hurdle after another and we have no other choice but to trust ourselves. A change of scene almost forces us to look objectively into our lives and highlight the negative aspects of them.

Having some alone time allows us to honestly connect with the way we truly feel, as opposed to rationalizing our negative emotions to coexist with current ideologies we feel entangled in. Going away to a foreign place alone, is like embarking on a pilgrimage to self-realization; to realize that we all have purpose and that we’re capable of overcoming anything.

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Positivity From Failure: 4 Ways I Make Failure Work For Me

 

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This post is dedicated to the memory of a great inspiration – Dr. Maya Angelou.

People ask me about failure all the time: “Terry have you ever failed at anything?” Of course I have, you can’t make it to success without it. If anything, failure is necessary to succeed and I have a bucket load I can share but instead, let me share with you how I make failure work for me and how you can to.

The reason there’s this illusion some people have of me that I never fail, it’s because I don’t let failure make me feel like a failure. As much as I am in control of my own success I’m very much in control of my failures when they occur too.

I have my dad to thank for this mind-set, he always lectured me on mistakes, he would tell me not to fear making them, embrace them, always learn from them and never repeat them. I feel 9 times out of 10, the result of failure is directly linked to one’s own mistakes.

With dads teaching firmly in my back pocket with everything I do, my relationship with failure has never been negative, failure is the best learning tool life will ever throw at you; you won’t truly know why you shouldn’t touch fire until you get burned.

Here’s 4 things I have associated with failure and why I have such a good relationship with it.

1. The process of Trial and Error – If ever there was a ‘how to’ guide on life – trial and error should be the title. From the dawn of time, this is how we learn. Sometimes you just have to get burned to understand for yourself what not to repeat.

2. Risk Management – We have so many tools at our disposal to research and asses risk and sometimes its common sense other times it’s gut instinct – but before taking any action you can also asses risk from previous failures and ensure contingency plans are put into place to limit such risk.

3. Knowing what to acquire – The valuable lessons I’ve learned from my failures are the ones that have taught me what I need to acquire to ensure success the next time. Be it knowledge, research, assets etc. Failures can highlight the fundamental components you might be missing to ensure success.

4. Identify Growth – Out of all the things I have accomplished to the person I have become today. I have learned more about myself through my failures than I have through anything else. Coping mechanisms, the ability to continue forward with my journey and source motivation, how to handle and silence critics and the disbeliever, but most importantly –  having gained self belief. My very identity and character from ‘then to now’ can be measured by the impact of my failures.

I wouldn’t feel successful without my failures, even though I’m still working to get to where I want to be, I am successful, because with every failure I move from strength to strength… no text, holy book, nor teacher or motivational speaker…nothing will ever be able to teach me the things I have learned from my own failures.

There is a positive side to failure you just have to be willing to embrace it.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Depression: How To Replace Negative Thought

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Depression is an ultimate loss of identity. All of us find ourselves in a state of depression now and again, its natural; often life has its funny way of knocking us down. When we’re struck, negative thoughts tend to consume us, doubts encourage a cycle of uncertainties that we cannot seem to work through. Regardless of the knock back, the recurring theme is often a repetition of destructive thought. When depressed, we often feel we are trapped in a mosh pit, boxed in and surrounded by disbelief’s that knock us from one bad emotion to another; we feel there is no escaping it, which is where we begin to lose our identities. I’ve learned that you have to retrain your mind. Feelings of depression begin to reverse positivity and halt the motivations that guide you forward – it reverses your ambition. Your identity is shaped by what you want out of life, depression makes you lose sight of that.

Start with educating yourself, most people when feeling depressed will know their depressed, like knowing when you’re lost. You’re not going crazy; you’ve simply hidden from yourself to cope with life’s curve-ball. Start by understanding that you’re heading in the wrong direction; understand the damage you’re causing yourself. In this current state where do you see your life going? I’m sure the result isn’t your dream. Think long and hard about the trap you’re in that’s keeping you from moving on. You’re like a mouse stuck in a maze; you need to find your way to the cheese. However, the cheese isn’t a metaphor for the happy life you crave; it represents the comfort in an awakening moment that there is no further need to struggle.

Begin to externalize thought. Thinking externally helps you to work through and organize your thoughts when you’re in a depressed state. Find a way to regurgitate your thoughts, write them down, paint them, record them, snap them, we have boundless ways to creatively store thought. Reason to externalize your thoughts is so that you can translate your thoughts back to yourself. It’s tough but you’ve let yourself into this state, so you can let yourself out. What caused you to get depressed may have been out of your control but you can control how you deal with it. If these negative thoughts are all you have, then you needed to find your way to externalize them in order to work through them. It allows you to deal with one thought at a time rather than trying to take on your mind all at once.

As you’re pulling negative thoughts out of your mind, you need to find reminders of positive ones. Oddly enough, being stuck in your room not wanting to leave and closing yourself off from the world is probably a good start. Find reminders of what life was, find reminders of your dreams and find reminders of good times. Remembering is a fantastic tool to uplift spirits. Memories are always embedded in your surroundings, if you look hard enough: Clothes, music, books, photos even old receipts – there are so many things that can trigger positive memories and remind you of your identity.

You’ll begin to break from finding comfort in negative thought, as you begin to activate encouraging and engaging positive thought. Reminding yourself of what life was or what life can be will allow you relive. As you relive great moments in your mind, you’ll start to break down the negative walls you feel surrounded by. Glimmers of hope will begin to trickle in. With hope peering in, realizations begin to hit. You’ll realize how lost you are, you realize what you wanted out of life and you’ll find your path. In this realization you begin to want, you’ll want your life back and soon enough your motivations will start filtering in. Use this as an opportunity to source out strength and pull yourself away from the negative behavior that brought you misery.

Depression is just like the sky at night; although it is dark and scary there are glimmers of light. Focus on stars to locate an opportunity. The sky at night represents all that we know and what is yet to be explored and even though it can get overwhelming, you can guide yourself back home, back to your identity.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach