In this article I will teach you how to master your emotions and use them as a tool for personal growth. I will also explain how to let go of stress, worry and resentment and use these negative feelings to change your life.
”Negative feelings mean you are going the wrong way.”- Steve Pavlina
Emotions can be used as a tool for personal growth. Negative emotions transmit you a signal that something needs to change.
The way you interpret your reality can have a massive impact in your life. Read more about how to change your negative emotions here.
Negative emotions don’t last forever. You can overcome the most challenging situations by changing the way you think, interpret and feel about them. Read more about how to change your thoughts here.
Emotions come and go and don’t define who you are. However, they are a reminder that you need to make changes in your life. These changes could involve moving away from the situation, improving the situation or changing the way you interpret the situation.
When you ignore your emotions, they intensify and take control over your life. Negative emotions that are not addressed can be as damaging to your physical and psychological health as an illness you refuse to treat.
The first step in changing negative emotions is to acknowledge they exist. Once you recognise and accept your negative emotions, you are ready to change them.
Feelings of not being good enough
”Be good to yourself. Listen to your body, to your heart. We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re always feeling like we’re not doing enough. It’s a terribly hard job. ”-Marcia Wallace
Feelings of not being good enough are experienced by the majority of people. These feelings reflect low self-esteem and self-confidence.
In order to challenge these feelings, you need to find out what triggers them, in which areas of your life you feel this way and what negative thoughts you identify with when you feel you are not good enough.
Moreover, self-esteem can improve by acknowledging all of your accomplishments and celebrate your achievements. Don’t underestimate the power of small steps towards your goal.
Why you are defensive
‘’Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong.’’- Kathryn Schulz
There is also a reason why you are defensive. By understanding the underlying cause of why you feel defensive, you will learn a lot about yourself.
The reasons why you become defensive are usually related to your ego. Find out how your ego can influence your emotions here.
The 2 main reasons people feel defensive are:
- Inability to accept the truth. People become defensive when they are accused of something that they know deep down to be true. They refuse to accept this truth about themselves and defend themselves with anger and denial.
- Your beliefs or values have been attacked or challenged. When you strongly believe in something, either religious, cultural, political or beliefs about yourself and others, you feel the need to defend your belief. If you strongly identify yourself with that belief, when is challenged, you experience a strong emotional reaction.
By identifying the reasons why you become defensive, you will understand your emotional reactions better. Objectively analyse the reason why you felt offended and ask yourself if your beliefs are true.
People hold many beliefs that are not serving them well. Letting go of these beliefs will help you let go of the negative emotions that are created through them.
Letting go of stress
”You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”- Steve Maraboli
Stress doesn’t exist on its own; it is caused by how you evaluate a situation and identify yourself with it. There are two types of situations causing stress: situations you can control and avoid and situations you cannot control or avoid.
For those you cannot control or avoid, you need to learn how to better deal with them. If something is outside of your control and your emotional reaction won’t change it, why would you stress about it? (think of a traffic jam).
In order to change the negative emotions you need to challenge the way you think about the situation. Whenever you experience stress due to an event that you have no control over, ask yourself what could you think or believe about the event that would reduce or remove the stress.
Letting go of worry
”If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – Dalai Lama
Stress is an emotional response to something that is happening in the present moment; Worrying is an emotional response to your concern regarding past or future events.
Worrying about either past or future is unnecessary. Worrying about the past won’t change the past. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Most of the times, things you worry about will never happen. Even if they do, worrying about them beforehand won’t help respond in a better way.
In order to let go of unnecessary worries, you need to divide them in two categories: things you worry about and you have control over and things you worry about and you have no control over.
The things you have control over are usually your actions, behaviours and attitudes. You can choose how to respond to past and future events.
Let go of the worries you have no control over. Accept them as they are and take positive steps towards the things you can change.
Stop caring what other people think of you
“What other people think of you is none of your business. If you start to make it your business, you’ll be offended for the rest of your life.” – Deepak Chopra
No matter how loving and perfect you aim to be, some people will never like you. People judge other people based on their own values and beliefs.
Your self-worth should not be based on the opinions of others. You are not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts.
The only thing you should be responsible for is to be the best you can be and live your life being true to yourself. When you accept that you don’t have to be liked by everybody, you can be your true self.
Let go of resentment
‘’Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies’’- Nelson Mandela
Resentment is the inability to let go and forgive a person who hurt you in the past. Most often, resentment occurs when you are unable to confront that person and instead you re-play the negative event in your mind.
Resentment is build when someone attacks your trust, love or respect. This becomes personal and it grows as you feed or repress the emotion.
However, resentment provides you with an opportunity to learn how to forgive and let go. It teaches you that you need to love yourself and value your peace of mind more than anything else.
Most people are conditioned by their family history to behave in certain ways. They react based on their level of consciousness, following same patterns they have been thought.
It takes a great mind to challenge and change their behaviour. People believe without questioning that this is the way they are. In fact, no one is just as he or she is.
Understanding that people who hurt you might have a different level of consciousness based on how much they have been conditioned in the past, will help you let go of the resentment.
Discuss your feelings with the person you resent and forgive them. Do this for you, not anyone else. Your happiness is the most important thing.
I hope this article has helped you understand your negative emotions and have thought you how to use them as a tool for personal growth and happiness.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.
All the best,
(Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)
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