How to Stop Pain & Negative Emotions
Article By: Urapa Nontasut
Some people have asked me how they can stop feeling pain and negative emotions. Here are 3 things I do.
1. Acknowledge your negative emotions
It is healthy to acknowledge your negative emotions. Don’t deny or ignore them. At the same time, don’t make them larger than they need to be. Recognize that emotions come and go as part of our everyday lives.
2. Stop your thoughts from creating a soap opera out of your negative emotions
When you say “I feel angry when s/he did this,” “I miss him/her very much,” or “I am so disappointed and feel unappreciated that I didn’t get promoted,” you simply express your feelings, which is healthy.
However, if you say “S/he ruins my life. I am so unlucky” or “My life will never be the same without him/her” or “I can’t believe my boss did this to me after all my hard work”, you are creating a sad, upsetting story with yourself as in the leading role — that of a victim.
3. Expend some of your negative emotions by writing them down
At first, write down how you feel and what made you feel this way. Be objective and fair. Don’t create sad, upsetting stories. As you write, you will notice that the degree of pain gradually decreases. Keep on writing. Peace will gradually replace the pain.
A Kettle Full of Boiling Water
To give an analogy, having negative emotions is like a carrying a kettle full of boiling water in your bare hands.
You can see a kettle full of boiling water as it is — a very hot kettle — or you can create negative stories about the kettle, personify it, get angry at the kettle, yell and scream at it, and blame the kettle for your unhappiness. When putting in this light, it seems quite ridiculous, doesn’t it?
To take the analogy further, you can touch the hottest part of the kettle and get burnt, or you can put it down and see it from a distance. When you put down the kettle, it is still there, but you don’t get burnt.
Before you can put the kettle down, you first need to acknowledge that it exists. You can’t put down something that doesn’t exist, right? Even though you can’t touch them or see them, your emotions are as real as a kettle. When you acknowledge your negative emotions and stop creating negative stories, you will be able put them aside and observe their existence from afar with a peaceful mind.
Remember also that a kettle full of hot water always eventually cools down. Likewise, you must remember that your negative emotions will eventually subside as well. Almost all of the negative emotions we experience come and go. There’s no point dwelling (or worse yet, inflicting permanent damage like a burn) on a negative emotion that is fleeting.
Stop, Don’t Block, the Pain
This process of replacing negative emotions with peace will allow you have compassion for other people, even those that cause you pain. It is different from blocking the pain. When you block negative emotions — as well as from people and situations that make you feel unhappy — you also block your ability to be compassionate to others and yourself.
Learning and practicing to stop your pain and negative emotions will enable you to create peace and happiness from the inside. However, it is not enough. You also need to keep yourself out of unhappy situations outside by either improving or walking away from certain situations.
Connect with the Author: Urapa Nontasut
Related Reading: You Are In Charge (Of Your Own Happiness)