Sharing on negative emotions and allow emotions to move through in 5 steps
“When facing the dark time, embracing this moment right in front of you and knowing that all you ever need is what you already have within.”
Yesterday, while setting up my March’s journalling pages (You can see how I did it on my Instagram’s recent reel @Innerbeautybysierra ), I also set intentions and goals for this month. What I first wrote down on my journal were these 3 lines:
✦ Owning my story.
✦ Honouring all my efforts.
✦ Keep showing up for myself.
Interestingly, all these 3 lines are relating to how I feel about myself and how I have been working with my emotions, especially the negative ones. Owning my story as they got me to where I am today. Honoring all of my efforts, especially when I was dealing with my occasional anxiety. And keep showing up for myself to be my own best friend, lover and cheerleader.
Pretty much all my life since I was a teenager, I had been denying my negative emotions. I didn’t want to be seen as a sad and angry person. I knew that I was not my emotions, but I did not know that it was okay to have negative emotions. It was just because I cared therefore I could get sad, and angry, and disappointed. And I certainly was not taught how to move through my emotions or how to release negative emotions in a way that is not harmful to myself or others. It is only in the last couples of years that I learned how to care for my negative emotions better, and I am excited to share with you all today. I found it is important not only as an adult to know this for ourselves but also to share with the younger ones in the family as well.
Usually, this is how I allow my negative emotions to move through in 5 steps:
· Having emotions are as part of being a human. Emotions helps us connecting to each other. I learned that I cannot shut down sadness, anger, and all the negative emotions as it also means to shut down positive ones like happiness and joy at the same time. Emotions is what makes us human and what helps us connecting to one another. Think about when we are at a funeral where there is a collective sadness and grief, but it also makes us feel like we belong to a community through how we care enough to feel sad for other’s loss. We feel sad or frustrated even when hearing sad news about somewhere else in the world. That is simply because we care for other human beings. Having emotions both positive and negative ones are normal and healthy. What is not so healthy is when we ignore them, deny them, let them be stuck, or react on them, hurt ourselves or let them out on others either through hurtful words, actions or through violence.
· Embracing my emotions. When I am sad, nowadays I allow myself to feel sad. Sadness isn’t my identity but I am allowed to feel sad. I give my sadness some space, I meditate on it, I write about it on my journal, and talk about it to my partner and friends. The thing about embracing emotions is that it is how I can shine some light on it. It is not in the dark or in the unknown. I am no longer being owned by my negative emotions. Therefore, I have another option of not to react to it too quickly. I invite you to try to embrace your emotions as well. Sit with them. Write about them. Share them with your people. Let’s normalise talking about negative emotions.
· Understanding my emotions. I have learned that most of the feelings and emotions I have in some certain situation are relating to my past experiences, especially in my childhood. I learned this step from sharing about my anxiety with my partner, and very often he would ask questions that helps me understanding where does my emotion relating to a certain subject actually come from. Nowadays, I can also ask myself similar questions and find the answers by looking back at my childhood. I do this practice with friends as well when they ask for help. It always works so well. Understanding my emotions to learn why I have them and how they develop makes me feel a deeper connection to myself. And this is when I see my ‘negative’ emotions slowly change into gratitude & self-love (The thing is if I just practice gratitude & self-love straight away when my ‘negative’ emotion is still raw and unrecognized, it doesn’t work).
· Honouring & Celebrating my inner work. I no longer underestimate this important work. Our inner work, even they aren’t seen by the public, doesn’t mean they aren’t real effort. Celebrate all these work that only you know by doing something extra nice for yourself. Sometimes I do a whole ceremony and ritual to celebrate my inner work. I burn lots of candles to set the mood, I chant and sing, I meditate on my favourite snacks and do a tea ceremony for myself. Other times, I simply take myself out for a nice meal (I love Asian noodle soup like a bowl of pho, or chinese noodle soup)
· Reset. Self-care. It is still about doing something nice for myself. But I put this step in a different bullet point to the previous step because the intention is different. This is about doing something nice for myself on a regular routine, and keep doing it even on a ‘bad’ day. Funny enough, on a day when I don’t feel good, I have the temptation to do more work to prove myself to the world and gain some instant gratification. However, I know it is not the kindest thing I could do to myself. And having a self-care routine to stick to is important. If you don’t have one yet, I invite you to set up one. It can be just the time you put aside for yourself, and it doesn’t matter the activity as long as it is something healthy for your mental well-being. I used to have a thing that when I feel sad, I go on to Instagram to get some distractions. Later, I found that it made more damage than healing anything for myself. What works for me is reading spiritual books, or sometimes putting on face mask and listening to Taylor Swift.
So, those are my sharing on moving through my negative emotions . Do share with me your thoughts and ideas on it at email@example.com . I would love to put all your tips together and share them with our beautiful community.