How can we reduce the amount of negative emotions we have in a healthy way? Last post we learned how to differentiate necessary from gratuitous negativity. Next post, I’ll be talking about ways to engage and work through the real pain that life gives us. But before we get into that, I want to review some great tools for reducing gratuitous negativity (i.e. the pain we cause ourselves.) :
Act the Way You Want to Feel — One of the simplest ways to reduce gratuitous negative emotions is simply to act the way you want to feel. Want to feel happier? Smile. Want to feel more energetic, throw yourself into whatever activity you are doing. Even if you fake it at first, your emotions, mind and body want to be in sync. Lead with the physical action which is easier to change and often your thoughts and emotions will follow. Read more here.
Distract Yourself from Endless Rumination — Stuck in endless rumination of unfair self-criticism or doom-and-gloom thinking? It’s impossible to ‘think your way out’ of this. The best path? Healthy distraction. Read more HERE .
Taking on the Voices in Your Head — Let’s be real here. We ALL hear voices in our head. These voices often trigger a negative spiral, taking one minor fact and fabricating an elaborate story about why we’re not good enough. Learn tactics for quieting these voices here.
Choosing your Board of Directors — One powerful way to manage those voices in your head is to externalize and even name those voices. Think about them as your Board of Directors – helping you guide your life. Once they are personified in this way, you can better manage the voices and even recruit new members of the board who bring positive and supportive messages into your head. Read the full post here. [BTW, this was one of my most popular posts of all time!]
Finding the Right Counter-Fact — We create stories to evaluate how we feel about things that happen to us, often comparing our situation to an alternative possibility. And that comparative story is a complete work of fiction. We make it up, which gives us power to choose a different story, one that can make us feel good about ourselves instead of crappy. Learn more, here.
Defusing Negativity Landmines — Many of us have negativity landmines in our life: events, situations or people that consistently and predictably affect us in a negative way. Once you recognize the pattern and take a conscious approach to it, you can often make changes that significantly reduce the amount of negativity they cause. Click HERE to learn great tools for defusing these landmines.
Choose whichever of these posts most calls to you and experiment with it over the next week or two. See what works for you.
Next post we’ll start some of the heavy lifting. We’ll be learning about tools for working with the necessary negativity in our lives; How to embrace the difficult stuff that we need to face in order to live a truly happy life.
Eric Karpinski, The Happiness Coach