5 effective ways of dealing with negative emotions


In the article 5 common mistakes when coping with emotions, we discovered ineffective ways of dealing with our emotions. Now it’s time to mention a few healthier ways to manage your emotions:

1. Taking a few deep breaths before starting any action or making any decision.

Emotions are instinctive calls to action, but sometimes our immediate behavioural responses are less than helpful. You must be wise and not act immediately after feeling an emotion. Instead, take a few deep breaths to connect with your inner self and separate yourself from the immediate intense emotion.

2. Giving yourself a few minutes to be on your own to feel your emotion.

Close your eyes, analyze, embrace and feel the feeling, and then let it be. All emotions are here for a reason, and you should discover the real message behind them, what they are trying to show you. If you don’t fight against them, they will go away as easily as they came. Like waves in the ocean, once emotions reach their peak, they tend to ebb away.

3. Getting familiar and putting a name to your emotion.

Is it anger? Is it disgust? Is it fear? Trying to deal with something intense and unknown is difficult, but if you recognize what you feel and label it, everything becomes easier. You’ll soon find out that you are usually feeling the same emotions and this will allow you to discover the best way to handle each of them when they arise. Give yourself time to analyze and understand your emotions. It’s also useful to try to visualize them to make them more tangible: In which part of your body is the emotion located? If it had a color, what would it be? 

4. Writing down how you feel, describing your emotion in rich detail.

Take a pen and piece of paper and write down how you feel, what happened to you, and express all the thoughts that come into your mind. Don’t judge them - just write everything down until there is nothing more to say. You’ll feel a huge release. Everything is simpler when you see it written on paper. Emotions become weaker when we analyze them. Writing and reading your thoughts will help you observe them from a distance as if they don’t belong to you. 

5. Finding creative and harmless ways to express your emotions.

Sometimes your emotions can be very harmful to you or those around you. That’s why you should find the right way to express them and get rid of them. You can experiment with a few techniques until you find the one that works best for you. Here are a few ideas: punching into a cushion; shouting underwater; doing a sport that gives you an adrenaline rush (running, boxing); expressing your feelings through art (playing instruments, painting, etc.). 

I hope this article gives you a few ideas on how to react in more effective ways when confronted with negative emotions. The good news is that mastering your emotional intelligence is just a matter of practice, like any other skill in life. If you are reading this, you’re probably aware of your own emotions. This is the most important step, and if you want to master your emotional intelligence, I promise you can!

Do you want to know more strategies? Do you need personalized help? Contact me here.


Andrea Arcusa
Psychologist and Life Coach