What are Negative Emotions and How to Deal with Them

Negative feelings

Negative emotions are unpleasant feelings that make us emotionally distressed and sad. We feel miserable due to negative emotions as they are unpleasant. These emotions originate from anger, stress, anxiety, guilt, hate, jealousy, and a few other feelings.

As humans, negative emotions can be somewhat inevitable. Hence, our effort should shift from trying to avoid them to how best to deal with them. And in dealing with negative emotions, hiding them, or pretending like they don’t exist only makes things worse. Concealing your unhappiness or anger over an issue is entirely unhealthy for both you and the people around you as it acts in reducing our self-respect and confidence.

What Are Negative Emotions?

Emotions are the responses we make as touching the happenings around us. And negative emotions are responses our minds produce from unpleasant triggers. These emotions include, but are not limited to:

Anger: This emotion is often triggered when you can’t have your way in a situation. Sometimes, anger can be evident in facial expressions, redness in the face, and violent behaviors. However, the way you react when you are angry depends on how well you can manage it.

Annoyance

Annoyance: Annoyance is very similar to anger. However, it is less extreme and has more to do with not controlling what people do. You may prefer that your sibling chewed better or that your spouse doesn’t leave their towel on the bed, then you’re probably annoyed with their behavior – not necessarily angry.

Anxiety

Anxiety: This is an emotion that keeps you overly sensitive to imminent threats. While anxiety can make you more reactive to these threats, it is a negative emotion because it can easily affect your judgment and tendencies.

Apathy

Apathy: This emotion comes with a loss of drive and interest in the things you once loved. One major trigger of this indifference is a loss of control, which leads to a more docile kind of defiance. When in apathy, you may find yourself withdrawing unnecessarily from the things you used to love doing and the people with whom you used to love spending time.

Depression

Depression: Depression is an emotion characterized by persistent mood disorder, sadness, loss of interest in activities, and sometimes suicidal tendencies. You may find yourself all alone in this world with no one to either listen or discuss or understand your problems. 

Despair

Despair: When you keep at something and don’t get the outcomes you desire, despair may set in. This emotion can make you give up and lose hope at times when things are not-so-good. Sometimes, this emotion can be the root cause of depression for some people. 

Fear

Fear: This emotion has to do with dwelling continuously on threats and dangerous situations. Fear is also connected to your sense of self-preservation and can manifest as withdrawal from people and activities.

Guilt: Unlike most other negative emotions, the feeling of guilt is usually self-directed. You feel guilty about what you did or said, which you wish you hadn’t done. While this can be a catalyst for moral uprightness, it can lead to a host of other destructive emotions when not adequately managed.

Sadness

Sadness: This emotion arises from a state of dissatisfaction, which can be towards yourself, or the people, and happenings around you. When you repeatedly experience this emotion, it can lead to more severe conditions like depression.

Health Implications of Negative Emotions

Unfortunately, although negative emotions may not affect your health, what you do with them is what makes the impact. Anger in itself may not make any difference to your well-being, but your managing it or staying angry determines what happens to your health.

When you don’t effectively manage emotions like anger, they can increase your body’s cortisol release. Conversely, an increased cortisol level weakens your immunity, impedes your cognitive capacity, and leaves you vulnerable to several diseases like high blood pressure, digestive and heart diseases.

Research has also shown that prolonged negative emotions can also harm your sensory perceptions. This may manifest as a decrease in your sense of touch.

Negative feelings and health

When you don’t effectively manage emotions like anger, they can increase your body’s cortisol release. Conversely, an increased cortisol level weakens your immunity, impedes your cognitive capacity, and leaves you vulnerable to several diseases like high blood pressure, digestive and heart diseases.

Managing Negative Emotions

So, what then do you do with negative emotions when they surface?
The first thing you should know when dealing with negative emotions is that you are not alone. Many people do not understand what they ought to do with unpleasant emotions like frustration, jealousy, and anger. With this in mind, you can comfortably follow the steps below, knowing that a thousand other people are going through the process with you.

How to Deal with Negative Emotions

It is better to deal with emotions upfront than to overlook them. And in dealing with negative emotions, you have to address the conditions causing the feelings; else, you’ll keep getting triggered by them. Managing emotions should begin from the root cause to the symptoms, not the other way around.

When you suppress how you feel, those feelings show themselves in other ways that may not be pleasant. When this happens, your overall health may be affected in the long run. Also, mulling over negative emotions does you no good because you’ll only amplify their effects. This can result in consequences that are bad for your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Dealing with negative feelings

When you suppress how you feel, those feelings show themselves in other ways that may not be pleasant. When this happens, your overall health may be affected in the long run. Also, mulling over negative emotions does you no good because you’ll only amplify their effects. This can result in consequences that are bad for your physical, mental, and emotional health.

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1. Define Them

After deciding to confront negative emotions, the confrontation begins by finding out why you feel the way you do.

As said earlier, handling negative emotions should begin from the inside out. Find out the events causing the feelings, then deal with them.

As an example, stressful and monotonous work environments can leave you tired and depressed. The way you also interpret the happenings around you can also cause result in stress, anxiety, and a host of other discomforting feelings.

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2. Make Possible Changes

In eliminating your stress triggers, some events may be beyond your control, and you may not be able to change them. In this case, you’ll have to focus your energy on the ones you can change by doing the following:

  • You have to do away with some of the things that stress you out physically.
  • Adopt the cognitive structuring method in dealing with a negative thought system.
  • Learn to be firm in your dealings and communication with people. This way, you won’t feel disrespected or disregarded by people.
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3. Focus on Your Best

Sometimes, those negative emotions overwhelm you because you pay more attention to them than you should. At the point when it seems like your feelings are outwitting you, you need to focus on being your best.

For example, instead of yelling at your partner when they leave their towels on the bed, consider channeling your efforts towards being politer when addressing them. Instead of feeling bad over a failed test, consider going through the question to gain mastery over the problems. You can also resort to journaling if you need to let off steam at any point.

By focusing on your best each time you’re emotionally stressed, you’ll subconsciously learn to manage those dark emotions.

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4. Be Grateful

Gratitude is one positive emotion that can help you see people and things from a brighter and better perspective. It helps you appreciate even the smallest of things and pay less attention to negativity.

Another way to manage negative emotions is to pay attention to the good things people do and appreciate them accordingly. By being grateful, those negative triggers will have less effect on you.

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5. Make Excuses for Others

Most times, people do not deliberately hurt you, and some are not even conscious of what they do to you. Hence, you can also manage the negative emotions connected to your association with people by making excuses for their behavior.

Your colleague might be going through a hard time in their marriage, which may trigger their coldness towards you. So, instead of withdrawing from them, talk to them, and you may be surprised at what they’ll disclose to you.

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6. Take a Moment Before Acting

Sometimes, negative emotions become worse when you try to act on them immediately. Unfortunately, this is what emotional triggers want to get from you.

So, instead of lashing out in anger the moment your colleague speaks rudely to you, consider pausing for a while and thinking the entire scenario through. You may find that there is no reasonable cause for a harsh response.

And those moments you are tempted to withdraw from people in despair, consider speaking to them about the occurrences that make you unhappy. You’ll discover that the loneliness isn’t worth it.

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7. Let Off Steam

This may sound hopeless, but you cannot eliminate those stress and emotional triggers – no matter how hard you try. You’ll always have something that triggers those negative feelings at one point or the other. Hence, the best thing to do is find ways to ease yourself of the emotions that follow.

Meditation is one right way to manage negative emotions and keep them from eating you up. By meditating, you can create space in your mind for positive emotions to fill up.

Final Thoughts

Fun and entertainment will also help you relieve stress by supplying enough fun and laughter to overcome hostile feelings. Spending time with friends and family gives you an advantage over those feelings.

Exercising can also help you manage negative feelings. When you exercise, your body produces more serotonin, which is the hormone that promotes good mood and well-being.

In conclusion, you need to understand that life is not a bed of roses. Stress, anxiety, anger, pain, and despair will always come knocking sometimes. But what matters is how you deal with all these emotions. Instead of letting them weigh you down, throw you into depression, or cause you to self-destruct, it is best to tackle them with the tips listed above.

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