Have you noticed that you are feeling sad, concerned, confused, ‘down’? I have noticed such feelings within myself lately. Partly due to a friend about whom I am concerned, and partly, I think, because of the complex world in which we live today…everything from natural disasters and mass shootings to allegations of sexual abuse and negative tweets from a world leader.
Focusing too much on any one of these environmental factors can be distressing. Focusing on all of them can be downright overwhelming. You will surely notice the state of dis-ease in both your mind and your body.
Negative emotion is bigger and louder than positive emotion. One event can create negative emotion that threatens to limit your thinking and sense of well-being. Over time, and with more distressing events, you will begin to notice an impact on your body and your overall health as well. You’ve likely noticed that the longer that you are in a negative emotional state, the more difficult it can be to get out of it.
You can choose strategies to help you ease through – and out of – your negative states. Below are six strategies. The first three help you to address, reframe and ‘ease’ negative emotion.
1) Are you feeling Concerned, Uneasy, Upset?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “Check in with My Intuition”:
- What is forefront in my mind?
- What does my intuition tell me?
- Which action might I take towards being carefree?
Practice this Body Exercise called “Rubbing”:
Rub your forehead. Rub your arms vigorously. Now rub your belly in circles. Let the sensations comfort you. Look up. What else might you do to support yourself?
2) Are you feeling Confused, Puzzled, Conflicted?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “‘Walk Around’ the Situation from Different Perspectives”:
- What are the facts and what are my feelings?
- What are the positives and what are the negatives?
- What do I need to elminate to see more clearly?
Practice this Body Exercise to “Walk Perspectives”:
Walk as you review the facts of the situation. In a different part of the room, walk as you review the feelings of the situation. Find another part of the room. Walk as you find balance and clarity among facts and feelings.
3) Are you feeling Helpless, Powerless, Vulnerable?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “Draw Upon My External Environment”:
- What would I advise another to do?
- Which resources can I attract to help me?
- What will energize me to act?
Practice this Body Exercise called “Thick Space”:
Imagine your body is hollow and the air around you is thick. Spread your fingers and slowly move them. Notice the feeling of the ‘thick space’ between your fingers, and how with little effort, you have the resources to move.
You can also choose to ‘turn on’ positive emotional states. What positive emotions would you like to cultivate? The next three help you to engage, grow and expand positive emotion.
4) Would you like to feel Hopeful, Optimistic, Faithful?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “Make Room for Mystery”:
- What is the opportunity here?
- What am I hoping for?
- What belief will serve me here?
Practice this Body Exercise called “Holding Space”:
Sometimes waiting generates tension. We don’t know what to expect. Bring that tension into your body by tightening your legs and feet, your buttocks, your arms and chest. Then release each one and breath into the release. How would you describe the sensation after the release?
5) Would you like to feel Cheerful, Happy, Grateful?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “Think Gratitude”:
- What am I grateful for?
- What makes me smile?
- What are my blessings?
Practice this Body Exercise on “Gratitude”:
Start a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three things for which you are grateful. What do you notice in a week? In a month?
6) Would you like to feel Courageous, Confident, Strong?
Ask and Answer these Thinking Questions to “Bring Past Successes Forward”:
- What are my strengths?
- When have I been successful before?
- To what do I look foward?
Practice this Body Exercise called “Centering”:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Rock gently back and forth until you find a place of balance. Feel the ground, and then reach for the sky from the top of your head. Notice the space in front, behind, and at your sides. This place of balance is your center.
As you practice, keep in mind Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build Theory. Positive emotion nourishes. Pracice more of that.
Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker and Author, Deri’s message reinforces that positive habits are the pathway to a happier and healthier life – at work, and at home! www.derilatimer.com.