Did it ever happen to you that sometimes you avoid going to a certain place to not feel anxious? It could be a party, a work meeting, a family gathering, or even hanging out with a new friend.
In those situations, we avoid the danger and the negative emotions that appear, thus cultivating only positive emotions. But what happens here is, like a drug, this can become addictive, and as a consequence, we tend to cut portions of our lives.
When something negative happens to us, we tend to not control what is happening in the moment. However, if we allow anticipation of the emotion to prevent us from doing what we want, like going to a party, dancing, or learning to swim, that is when we lose control of our lives.
To illustrate this, let me tell you an anecdote that happened with one of my close friends.
A brief story
First of all, I should give you some context. This person is from a country where the minimum wage is five dollars, and as a consequence of economic anomalies, a lot of people have to find other ways to make money. This is when the NFT game appeared and took off.
The protagonist of this story sold his car in order to invest in an NFT game during that period. Initially, he was pretty excited. It felt like being in an amusement park, like he was on a roller coaster. The ride went up and down, round and round he went. Sometimes it was pure emotion, and sometimes just chills. Everything was positive…only until one time.
Then, just like a fairy tale, the more it advanced, the more terrifying his reality became.
He lost more than half of the invested money, his car, and almost lost his wife.
There are many cases like this, where people have sold their houses to invest in cryptocurrencies and are now broke. Many of these people have not told their spouses about the decision they made. What do you think is happening in those marriages? Why don’t they talk about it? If you are good at guessing, you probably know the answer. It is too scary. Whatever the case, no one likes to experience emotions like guilt, fear, or sadness. This contributes to the inability to control one’s life.
So, if you feel that your life is headed in the wrong direction, it’s possible that you’re avoiding negative emotions. Life consists of embracing and accepting these experiences.
Are you tired of letting negative emotions control your life? It’s time to take control back.
So, how can we confront negative emotions?
- First, recognize the emotions.
When we start to feel these emotions, the first thing we should do is open our arms and accept them. Psychologists suggest trying to find the name of this feeling. Is it anger? Sadness? Or maybe guilt?
It’s even more probable to experience several emotions at once. But understanding those emotions can decrease our anxiety. We can say, ‘I’m nervous, worried, ashamed.’
The tricky thing here is that recognizing these feelings is not about stretching them and thinking about them all the time. On the contrary, it’s a way to accept them as a natural part of the human experience.
- Second, find out what this emotion wants to tell us.
What made us feel this way? It is true that if we recognize the experience, it could be painful, but focusing on why instead of the feeling itself could help us to clearly define how to move forward.
- Third, look at the situation from a third point of view.
When we know why we are experiencing negative emotions, although it may be difficult to do, if we use logic, we can better understand and accept the situation. If we are constantly thinking only with our feelings, the best suggestion would be to have a conversation with someone close to us and gain a new perspective that is separate from our emotions.
- Fourth, how to react.
If we learn to accept our negative feelings instead of worrying and constantly regretting our problems, we can enjoy the moment. After reading about this topic for many months, I can finally give you some advice that could help you.
Meditation, exercise, and being surrounded by nature will allow us to not focus on our emotions and start living in the present.
Would you like to share a personal example that illustrates this discussion? If you have any ideas in this regard, remember that they are always welcome. I suggest you try to do it in your non-native language.