Think about the last time you felt a negative emotion—like stress, anger, or frustration. What was going through your mind as you were going through that negativity? Was your mind cluttered with thoughts? Or was it paralyzed, unable to think?
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a very stressful time, or you feel angry or frustrated, stop. Yes, that’s right, stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop and sit for one minute. While you’re sitting there, completely immerse yourself in the negative emotion.
Allow that emotion to consume you. Allow yourself one minute to truly feel that emotion. Don’t cheat yourself here. Take the entire minute—but only one minute—to do nothing else but feel that emotion.
When the minute is over, ask yourself, “Am I wiling to keep holding on to this negative emotion as I go through the rest of the day?”
Once you’ve allowed yourself to be totally immersed in the emotion and really fell it, you will be surprised to find that the emotion clears rather quickly.
If you feel you need to hold on to the emotion for a little longer, that is OK. Allow yourself another minute to feel the emotion.
When you feel you’ve had enough of the emotion, ask yourself if you’re willing to carry that negativity with you for the rest of the day. If not, take a deep breath. As you exhale, release all that negativity with your breath.
This exercise seems simple—almost too simple. But, it is very effective. By allowing that negative emotion the space to be truly felt, you are dealing with the emotion rather than stuffing it down and trying not to feel it. You are actually taking away the power of the emotion by giving it the space and attention it needs. When you immerse yourself in the emotion, and realize that it is only emotion, it loses its control. You can clear your head and proceed with your task.
Try it. Next time you’re in the middle of a negative emotion, give yourself the space to feel the emotion and see what happens. Keep a piece of paper with you that says the following:
Stop. Immerse for one minute. Do I want to keep this negativity? Breath deep, exhale, release. Move on!
This will remind you of the steps to the process. Remember; take the time you need to really immerse yourself in the emotion. Then, when you feel you’ve felt it enough, release it—really let go of it. You will be surprised at how quickly you can move on from a negative situation and get to what you really want to do!