Dealing with negative emotions
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20-08-2016, 02:55 PM
Dealing with negative emotions
Hi,

I'm wondering how folks deal with negative emotions, on an everyday level?

I've been applying mindfulness to the problem (my problem) and find that a negative emotion will arise quite often, either from a trigger or just happens. These days I don't bite on them, just observe them coming and, thankfully going again.

This has been IMHO the most important lesson and skill in life. It underlines all kinds of bad choices and reactions that I don't make any more.

It would be great to hear from some others who are on the path, maybe just starting or further along.

D.
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20-08-2016, 03:24 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2016 03:32 PM by GenesisNemesis.)
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
I use music practice as a form of therapy, as well as mindfulness (in the sense of directing my thoughts to more helpful thoughts instead of negative thoughts), and reading/study. I still have a lot of ambition, so I sort of use that as a coping mechanism as well, even if it's just an ambition to get through whatever is bugging me at the moment. Also, one thing I remind myself of is how quickly time passes, and how one day I'm feeling these things and on another day I'm not. That makes it easier for me to cope with the emotions, because the time will pass so quickly that it'll be like nothing happened anyway.
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20-08-2016, 04:09 PM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
Recognizing triggers is empowering. It allows you to take the reins instead of being driven by conditioned responses.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-08-2016, 08:46 PM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
I too practice mindfulness. It's a key tool on my road to recovery.

I also play my guitar, and channel my emotions there. I usually find that therapeutic, and occasionally cathartic.

And another tool I use is the Serenity Prayer, not in the sense of actually praying, but as a reminder to focus on what I can control and let go the rest.
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20-08-2016, 08:50 PM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
Not admitting negative emotions. They don't get to play with the party.

#sigh
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20-08-2016, 09:14 PM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
This is probably not helpful but it's true.

I go into "safe mode"

I shut down.

I'm not an out spoken guy to begin with so very few people even notice the difference,but my wife does...

By focusing on ONLY on my family I sort of "recharge"

A friend in the hole

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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20-08-2016, 09:48 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2016 09:57 PM by Astreja.)
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
I use mindfulness, particularly to observe the unpleasant sensations I often feel when emotions are running amok. Other techniques I sometimes use:
  • If I slip into a moment of vindictive fantasy, I simply say "This isn't helpful" (or some other phrase that robs the fantasizing of its power and appeal).
  • When the emotion is worry pertaining to a problem I'm struggling with, I use what I call "borrowed courage." I think of a similar past situation that resolved well, and proceed on the assumption that I can deal equally well with the current situation.
In person I have trouble expressing emotions, so I also can go into shutdown mode if on the receiving end of someone's nastiness. There is a flip side to this, and also one of the reasons I shut down: If pushed beyond a certain point, all the suppressed emotion comes out in one massive, hyper-focused rush. I think it's happened only 3 or 4 times in My lifetime and terrified everyone in the room. (I also get a buzz from the adrenaline, followed by a physical crash as soon as it wears off.)
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21-08-2016, 03:25 AM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
Hi,

First off, thanks to everyone for such helpful posts. It is more than a comfort to know that I'm not alone with this struggle. As an older bloke I don't cope easily with emotions, even talking about them.

Genesis, its impressive that you can 'direct' the negative thoughts. I have not been successful in this, as it sets up a good thought/bad thought dialogue in my head and the good thoughts often don't win. So, my strategy is to not get into the battle, but let the negative thoughts sit there while I do something else. I note them, but don't 'talk to them' and they fade.

Astreja, you have hit the nail on the head with "suppressed emotion comes out ......" This is my number one fear in the world. I had a father who was often enraged and frightening. I have let suppressed emotion out just a couple of times in a long life, but I have felt the adrenaline rush many, many times. Hitting a pillow (therapist advice) never worked because the pillow wasn't him. What a sad sentence to write.

Apologies if this is too much information, and thanks again.

D.
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21-08-2016, 08:43 AM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2016 11:39 AM by GenesisNemesis.)
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
(21-08-2016 03:25 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Genesis, its impressive that you can 'direct' the negative thoughts. I have not been successful in this, as it sets up a good thought/bad thought dialogue in my head and the good thoughts often don't win. So, my strategy is to not get into the battle, but let the negative thoughts sit there while I do something else. I note them, but don't 'talk to them' and they fade.
wasn't him. What a sad sentence to write.

All I do basically is examine why the thoughts are misguided, and tell myself why they're misguided repeatedly until it "clicks" for me, and what I can do instead next time. It has been very helpful. It might also help to try to explain why the thoughts are misguided in different ways. Give as many reasons as possible why they're misguided.
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21-08-2016, 02:09 PM
RE: Dealing with negative emotions
(21-08-2016 08:43 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  
(21-08-2016 03:25 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Genesis, its impressive that you can 'direct' the negative thoughts. I have not been successful in this, as it sets up a good thought/bad thought dialogue in my head and the good thoughts often don't win. So, my strategy is to not get into the battle, but let the negative thoughts sit there while I do something else. I note them, but don't 'talk to them' and they fade.
wasn't him. What a sad sentence to write.

All I do basically is examine why the thoughts are misguided, and tell myself why they're misguided repeatedly until it "clicks" for me, and what I can do instead next time. It has been very helpful. It might also help to try to explain why the thoughts are misguided in different ways. Give as many reasons as possible why they're misguided.

Genesis,

I think you are describing the core strategy of cognitive behavioural therapy. This has become widely used here in the UK, as a quicker and more effective therapy than the traditional Freudian/Jungian approaches.

In moderating responses/reactions I have used CBT with some success, and continue to do so. With the raw arising thoughts it has not been so helpful to me, as the thoughts are almost always straightforward memories of actual events as they happened - 'flashbacks'. They come repeatedly, always the same ones, like on a tape loop. This seems like PTSD and/or OCD, and when completing a diploma in abnormal psychology I wrote some essays on just this topic.

My most effective response to the arising thoughts is to recognize that the events did happen, they did hurt, and I am still here. I sometimes remind myself that bad things happen to many people, and we just have to get on with our lives and hopefully help other sufferers long the way. The 'tape loop' symptom is easily recognizable and can be dealt with (for me) by the ignoring strategy previously mentioned. It is a bit like dealing with tinnitus, which I also have.

So, we keep on keepin' on. Drinking BeverageHobo

D.
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