10 Ways to Stop Dropping Into Habitual Negative Emotions

Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Thrive with 5 Comments
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By Lisa Foreman | Elephant Journal

Personal growth is a contest of endurance and will.

In order to be able to move forward and make progress physically, emotionally and spiritually, we need to find a way to clear the negative energy first. I like to describe personal growth in terms of a marathon, because although there are sprints here and there to gain ground quickly, overall it is about consistency, commitment and courage in the face of challenges.

Picture running that marathon in bulky sweats, a weighted vest and heavy boots. How far would we get before we quit or our progress slowed to a painful pace with us burdened by all the negative emotions and thoughts? I do not believe it is the suffering itself that prompts our growth, but how we use it to learn. So, if we do not have to run our race shackled and encumbered, why would we?

Logically, it is easy to conclude that we will make better progress if we can shuck the negativity and exchange it for mindfulness and joy. Unfortunately, this change in our state does not come from the brain or logic, otherwise we would just decide and it would magically shift. It takes awareness and a plan to transcend this, so let’s talk strategy.

Related Article: 8 Steps to Turn Conflict Into Spiritual Gold (for More Personal Growth and Expansion)

The first step to breaking free is awareness that we are in a negative or anxious state. Each individual has their own “tells,” such as increased heart rate, body pain, irritability, or sadness—all of which are usually accompanied by cycles of negative thoughts that may or may not be true. Some of our self-defeating behaviors are so ingrained that they may not disappear, but having an awareness of them can activate our clearing strategies.

Once we are aware of our triggers, we can design a system(s) to overcome. We are all resilient once we recognize that we have the power to choose our state. We are not victims; we are warriors. Each person needs to develop their own method, but here are some suggestions:

1. Music: I know my favorite songs can lift my spirits quickly. Whether the beat resonates with some inner rhythm or the song reminds you of wonderful memories, music can bring a smile to your face and remind you of happy times and what you did to create them.

2. Self care rituals: There are numerous self care strategies, but here I am referring to all the small rituals that bring some order to the chaos of our lives. Things such as preparing meals ahead of time so that we can fuel our bodies well, scheduling time for our own activities, and organizing/cleaning our home/work environment. These practices can clear negative energy and help prevent its build up.

3. Exercise: I can’t stress enough how much my weight training sessions restore my calm as I allow negative emotions and thoughts to be “used up” during my exertion. I like to visualize my burdens as fuel to move my body, and like any fuel source they dissipate. I use heavy lifting for this, but yoga or any other physically challenging activity will work as well.


4. Quiet time: Whether time is spent in meditation, prayer, visualization or taking a quick nap,  we all need time away from the busy and frantic to slow down and require less of our body and minds.

Related Article: 3 Simple Ways to Quiet Your Mind In Stressful Situations

5. Journaling: Pouring out our thoughts and emotions on paper or into a digital format is cathartic. It is clarifying and healing to admit and see where our struggles are, which returns us to awareness. Seeing a problem, whether real or imagined, enables our minds to start working on solutions.

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  1. 1687722744832564@facebook.com' Xandra Breban says:

    Write….write….write….????

  2. 10208503043230728@facebook.com' Carina G Mrks says:

    Emily Peschiera ???

  3. 1008095709249838@facebook.com' Michael David Harris says:

    Work work work

  4. 10208432339639728@facebook.com' Anne Bevan says:

    Smile and stretch

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