Stress can produce different emotions in different people. For some, a stressful situation evokes an angry response, lashing out at those nearby to deal with the problem. For others, that same stress may lead to a withdrawal into sadness or anxiety, seeking to be alone and indulging in unhealthy habits. Neither solution is a helpful way to deal with difficult feelings. Here are three positive ways to deal with negative emotions.
When you are experiencing a negative emotion, it can be hard to think straight. When things have calmed down, it is time for a little detective work. Outsmart Your Brain recommends you go back in your mind and think about what was happening when you first started to feel angry or anxious. There might be something that was said or done around you that triggered the emotion. Perhaps it was simply coming into your office and seeing the pile of work from the day before. In this case, a healthy practice would be to spend the last few minutes of your day getting things in order. That way, when you arrive to work the next day, you will encounter a calmer space.
In recent years, studies have shown the importance of the sense of smell in establishing mood. Smells can trigger an emotional response. Certain scents have a calming effect while others are more stimulating. For example, the smell of lavender has long been used to reduce anxiety. Essential oils are one common way to introduce calming scents into your environment. doTERRA cautions that you need to keep in mind that essential oils are 50-70x more powerful than herbs. A little goes a long way.
Take a Walk
When you experience powerful emotions, your body is often producing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Exercise is an excellent way to help your body process these substances. A brisk walk not only gets you away from the stressful situation, but it also allows your body to calm itself down. You are converting the nervous energy of anger or anxiety into physical activity. Management 30 explains that when your mind is troubled, one of the best things you can do is focus on your body instead. Doing this draws the energy away from the emotions that are weighing you down, so taking a walk around the office or getting outside for some fresh air will make you feel better. While you walk, try to control your breathing, taking long, slow breaths. Inhaling for four steps and exhaling for four steps is a helpful pattern. Also, paying attention to your breathing gives your mind a place to focus rather than replaying the stressful event.
It is normal to experience negative emotions. Anger, sadness and fear are not signs of weakness but part of being human. Using calming strategies, you can experience these emotions without letting them overwhelm you.
For help in breaking through your personal barriers, let Belkis Clarke help!