How to get unstuck from negative emotions
How do you feel on everyday basis?
Do you like it? Is there something you’d like to change about it?
Maybe you’d like to feel happier more often?
I’m sure you know some people who are always happy, positive and seeing the bright side of life?
Do you wonder how they manage to keep their emotions high like this?
Because when you ask them how come they are always so happy, they usually say something along the lines of “Oh, I don’t know. I’m just happy. Why worry?”
That’s not very helpful, is it?
I want to share with you a principle that will help you understand emotions and allow you to create everyday happiness.
First of all, let me explain this important principle.
We all have a default set of emotions of a certain kind and intensity.
For you, these are the emotions you’re experiencing most frequently.
I call it:
Your emotional home.
Out of curiosity, what is your emotional home?
What emotions do you experience most often?
Let me know in the comment section.
This emotional home is different for everyone.
For some people it’s happiness, excitement, and gratitude, but for others it may be fear, anxiety, and nervousness, or even depression.
The type of emotions is quite irrelevant.
What’s important is how familiar you are with them.
Our brain loves the feeling of familiarity because it means certainty, and certainty feels good. On the contrary, the feeling of uncertainty and unknown is often scary.
When we’re experiencing certain emotions often enough and for a prolonged period of time, the feeling becomes very familiar and we get used to it. The more familiar these emotions become, the more accepting we become to them.
When these emotions then become more familiar than other emotions, we often consciously or subconsciously try to maintain them. This happens even if we don’t like how it feels, because the idea of feeling differently often feels even more uncomfortable.
When happy people have a bad day or get bad news, they may feel down or stressed for a bit, but they quickly bounce back to their usual happy world.
In the same way, when someone who is usually feeling anxious or low gets good news, they may be happy for a bit but often quickly descend to their pessimistic self.
The nature of our emotional home doesn’t matter.
We like what we know, and we return to it.
That’s the paradox of it.
I have worked with people who felt constant stress, sadness, or anxiety, yet were almost proactively creating (or imagining) situations that were making them feel that way.
The emotions you fell most of the time is your current emotional home.
But if you don’t like how it feels, you must start working on changing it otherwise it may never get better.
The good news is you can “move” your emotional home, just as you moved into your current one.
Unlike moving an actual house where you move all your stuff all at once, moving your emotional home is much more like moving a campervan from one location to another with loads of stops in between.
The shift is gradual and requires patience.
Changing our emotional home from one day to another is nearly impossible. Not only because you’d feel really fake, but also because you’re most likely not even sure how to actually be the way you want to be.
As one of my clients said: I want to be happy, but I don’t even know what happy people do or think?
Here is how you change your emotional home.
1) Define your new emotional home
As with any goals, first, define how do you want to feel on an everyday basis. And don’t just say “happy” if that’s how you want to feel. Elaborate on it in great detail.
How does it actually feel?
What are you happy about?
Imagine what it would be like?
How has your perspective and thinking changed?
How do you manage situations and challenges?
What do you do differently that makes you happy?
Journal about it frequently and in great depth.
Not only that you’ll come up with a lot of specific details and ideas of what you can do, but more importantly, through writing and immersing yourself in it, you’re developing that essential familiarity with the feeling and way of being and thinking.
2) make the first positive change
Assuming it will take some time to make the shift, what could be first changes you could make this week. What could be the 5% improvement you could make? Don’t try to change too much too quickly. If the change is too challenging or too scary, you will retrieve right back to your old home. Remember that the key thing here is to develop a strong enough familiarity with the new feelings so it’s:
a) comfortable to keep feeling that way
b) easier to let go of the old emotions
3) Keep getting used to your new emotions
Make a small shift every week towards the way you want to feel regularly.
It will take conscious effort, but it will get easier over time.
Review what changes you made, what worked and celebrate every little progress.
It’s a slow and gradual process, but if it will allow you to feel great for the rest of your life, isn’t it worth a few months of effort?
I hope this helps you become more of the person you want to be.
If you have any questions or anything to say, please leave me a comment. I’m always happy to read them.
You may also want to check out: Life is not always amazing, and you wouldn’t even want it that way.
If you need the support of a life coach to help you with making a great first impression or with any other areas of your personal development, you’re always welcome to contact me and let’s find out if we’d be the right match.