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How to Deal with Negative Emotions

Many people who seek counseling do so because they are experiencing some type of negative emotions and we want to learn how to deal with them. Even more than that, mostly we just want the negative emotions to stop! When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, angry or resentful, depressed or guilty or powerless we just want to find some way or some method that will make these emotions go away. And that’s understandable. No one wants to feel this way. But is “stopping them” the best way to deal with negative emotions? Is it even possible?

a couple sitting on the sofa dealing with negative emotions
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Negative Emotions are Normal, at times

The fact is we can never completely rid ourselves of negative emotions. They are a constant in life. And that may sound like bad news. But in reality, learning how to experience emotions when they come is the best way to reduce their negative effects on our lives. I often use the image of standing in the ocean with my clients. Emotions can be like the waves coming into the shore. You can’t control them or predict them. And if you try to fight them and stop them from rolling in, you’re going to lose. But what you can do is ride the waves, and one thing you know for sure is that the wave will eventually die down and lose its power as it leads you back to shore. All emotions are temporary. So, learning to navigate and experience them is the more healthy way to approach them.

One way to learn to do this is called the RAIN Mindfulness Technique. Here’s a quick overview of how this technique works…

Recognize the thoughts or emotions that trouble you.

You can even name them out loud or silently. Notice what they are doing within your body. Begin to become aware of what it is you’re feeling at the moment.

Allow, acknowledge, and accept what you’re feeling.

Observe the moment almost like you’re watching a movie. Just become an observer and let the thoughts and feelings come as they are. And the most important part of this step is to let go of any judgment. It’s OK to feel what you’re feeling. Maybe even say to yourself – “This is how it is right now.”

Investigate with interest and care.

Be curious about your feelings. Where are they coming from? Reflect on where you are vulnerable and what you need right now. Do you need love, acceptance, forgiveness, belonging?

Nurture with self-compassion.

Remember the no judgment part? Be kind to yourself in the midst of this experience. Give yourself what you need. From what source do you find healing and compassion? A friend, family member, God? Allow yourself to receive it until the wave passes and you feel calm and centered.

person in black pants and black shoes sitting on brown wooden chair, dealing with negative emotions
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It may sound counterintuitive but the best way to deal with negative emotions is to actually feel them and not fight them or fix them. I know this is easier said than done. But, it can be much easier when you don’t try to do it alone. So, reach out and get the help and support you need.

How We Deal With Negative Emotions

At The Pursuit, a group of experienced therapists have come together to offer best-in-class counseling services. We prioritize clinical theory, non-judgmental approaches, and effective interventions, treatment plans, and coping skills. We have therapists who specialize in different areas and we strive to find the best match for your unique needs. Our services cater to individuals, families, and organizations, including adolescents in high school. We aim to connect you with the specialist who can best address your concerns. 

Our specialized counseling services aim to address the underlying emotional wounds that contribute to behaviors. We offer evidence-based counseling that is effective in working with many presenting problems. We provide a holistic approach to recovery, focusing on healing the past to create a healthier future. Are you ready to take the first step in your Pursuit towards a happier, healthier you? We invite you to book your free 20-minute consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Don’t wait; it’s time to invest in your well-being. Simply Book Now to start your Pursuit toward personal growth and positive change today. Learn More about Anxiety Therapy.

by Jason Collins APC

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