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Letting Go of Negative Emotions

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Are you feeling upset with your best friend? Maybe you didn’t get the job promotion you had anticipated and are feeling angry? Emotions that cause us to feel badly about ourselves and others often create problems in many areas of our lives.

Although these emotions often cause us pain, within the right circumstances, they are completely normal. Negative emotions signify that you care about your wellbeing. You care enough about yourself to feel badly when you are wronged.

There is so much we can learn from in the moments when we feel sad. When negative emotions do arise, you may want to practice a few exercises. First, ask yourself if you are trying to suppress the negative emotion. When we try to dull negative emotions, we consequently stop ourselves from being able to fully feel positive emotions as well. Allow yourself to feel that emotion fully and completely. Try not to judge your negative emotion. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Perhaps you can ask yourself why you are feeling this emotion. This is a time to check in with yourself and see how you are really feeling. Often, our negative emotions are not as bad as we anticipate. Our negative emotions may lose their grip on us the second that we let go of trying to control them.

Emotions are like waves – you have the crest of the wave representing the rising emotion you may feel, the peak of the wave which signifies the most intense feelings experienced, and the fall of the wave as it returns to its beginning state. Similarly, our emotions rise up, and eventually fall away. This cycle in emotions is so natural and rhythmic, but we often feel that our emotional states are going to remain the same.

By allowing yourself to feel your emotions fully, both the good ones and the bad, you open yourself up to new positive emotions. You have the complete capacity to experience joy in minor daily tasks that can often go unrecognized or overlooked. Remember, to be kind to yourself and even treat your negative emotions with kindness. This may decrease the hold that they have over you.

About Kaya Quinsey

Kaya is the Social Media Strategist at KMA Therapy. She recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Toronto. She is just starting her masters degree in clinical psychology at the Adler Graduate Professional School. Kaya has worked as a outpatient group fascilitator at CAMH in the Richmond Street Outpatient Clinic where she helped run weekly group meetings centered around fashion blogging, for individuals with schizophrenia. She has worked as an undergraduate research assistant at OISE's Esther Geva Research Lab focusing on child development and OISE's Emotion & Psychotherapy lab for Dr. Watson. In addition, she has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Mount Sinai's psychological trauma program.


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