No one likes the experience of feeling negative emotions. Whether it’s stress, uneasiness, unhappiness, uncertainty or disappointment – it just feels bad.
And it’s supposed to.
Sadly there are a lot of negative emotions around at this time. Sure, we might be slowly getting used to being confined to our homes but I also know that we are all still going through the grieving process. We are grieving our (temporary) loss of freedom and we are all shocked and scared as news of new cases of people contracting CoVid-19 around the world keep coming in.
I am not going to advocate being super positive during this crisis because I don’t believe in it. I believe in allowing yourself whatever you are feeling under the current circumstances. Your feelings are your own, but I do encourage you to remain level headed and look at the current situation from a distance whenever you start to feel anxious.
When you see the horror figures being reported in the news don’t forget that statistics can be easily manipulated to fit a purpose.
What the media aren’t highlighting at the moment is that there are 7.8 billion people in the world. And of these, as of the last week in March, 0.0095% showed symptoms severe enough to warrant testing and were confirmed infected. 0.00045% of the world population died of CoVid-19 whereas 0.002% made a full recovery.
These figures will change over time but not by much in the big scheme of things.
Remember that the mortality rates being reported at the moment are incorrect because nobody knows how many people contracted the virus and didn’t show any symptoms. That number is likely to be in the millions and even billions because, overall, most people have experienced mild to no symptoms.
Be reassured that I am not underestimating the threat posed by CoVid-19 but at the same time I refuse to be dragged down the rabbit hole of fear and panic until we have better figures. Which, I suspect, we never will unless the UK Government makes testing compulsory for all residents.
In the spirit of staying level headed and looking at difficult situations from a different perspective, I like to think that negative emotions serve a purpose in our lives.
They are a CALL TO ACTION.
When you feel those negative emotions coming up, carefully evaluate what’s going on around you. What is causing you to feel that way?
I am a big fan of doing brain dumps on a piece of paper when life gets too much and I feel overwhelmed with so many negative emotions that I get close to having a panic attack. It helps me lighten the load.
When I look at what I have written down I can organise my thoughts into patterns or categories and then tackle each issue as if it was an item on my to-do list. Before I know it, I have calmly resolved many perceived problems or accepted those situations that I cannot control.
And that’s empowering for me.
Negative emotions are there to drive you to do something differently in life. If you sit in your negative emotions and do nothing, they will linger on forever. However, if you take action towards changing the situation, you can swap the negative feelings for positive ones.
Let’s look at an example that’s more in my domain.
Turn your negative emotions around
People often come to me with negative emotions around their bodies. They avoid mirrors, having their partners see them undressed, or they feel a general need to cover up. There can be shame, disappointment, self-doubt, or an array of other negative emotions.
If nothing is done to change that body image, do you think those negative emotions will go away? Of course not!
But if that person takes action… if they work with me, change the way they eat, their lifestyle, their exercise habits and ultimately, change their bodies, will those negative emotions change once they see results? Guaranteed!
We can all think back to that one friend who underwent a dramatic body transformation… You remember the obvious unhappiness they felt before they took the decision to get started and the pride and confidence they exuded along their journey – such an incredible thing to observe!
Of course, negative emotions appear around every area of our lives.
The key is tuning into them, understanding that they are calling you to action, identifying the action you need to take to change the negative emotions, and finally, taking action! That magic first step!
So, today I encourage you to tap into those negative feelings you’re experiencing in any area of life, write them down and observe them from a distance.
What call to action are they giving you?
What advice would you give to your best friend if he/she were going through the same emotions?
If you’re open to sharing, I would love to know. ????