Anger, frustration, irritation, defensiveness, powerlessness, fear. These negative emotions are going to come into your daily life uninvited. Some will be frequent guests that wreak havoc on your life and cause tremendous stress. You just want them to leave, but they won’t go. Others will be occasional guests that reveal issues you didn’t even know were there.
You don’t have to live your life on the defensive, responding to each negative emotion as it comes in each individual circumstance and then wondering what to do about it.
I handled it this way and soon found myself with a host of uninvited guests I didn’t know how to rid myself of.
Negative emotions don’t have to be problems. They can be our teachers. They help us zero in on places to add more calm into our lives and give us a place to start.
Listen to your negative emotion guests. What do they have to tell you about your life? Observe.
Then use all the information they provided and act.
What are your top negative emotions?
What are your common triggers for these emotions?
When do you most often experience them? What patterns do you notice?
What action steps could you try to prevent these situations? Work through them? Find calm and compromise?
When I did this reflective work I automatically saw my mood shift and my relationships improve.
What did I do? I started by identifying my negative emotion triggers: frustration, powerlessness, and being overwhelmed. The I found that there was a pattern of when these feelings most often occurred and they revolved around time, discipline, and meeting the competing needs of others at the same time. I created action steps, which you can see on the worksheet.
I knew I was successful when
My kiddos got ready within ten minutes multiple days in a row.
My son went to timeout on his own.
My son suggested an alternative activity to do when he was too excited to play gentle with his brother. Let’s run around instead and you can count how many laps I do.
Dinner prep was peaceful.
I recognized when negative emotions were brewing and was proactive to prevent them from escalating.
Target the Stress and Find the Calm
Try it for work. Try it for home. Try it for your relationships.
You will be directly making changes to the most stressful parts of your life and day so a more peaceful home,work situation, and relationship is just around the corner.
You’ll find your uninvited guests coming less frequently and when they do, you can welcome them because you have a plan already on how to coexist and stay calm.
You got this!