How To Deal With Negative Emotions

Let’s admit it – emotions guide our lives, either positively or negatively. Having a negative emotion doesn’t necessarily mean bad though. We need negative emotions to balance with our positive ones. 

Throughout your life, whether or not you like it, you will have to face a lot of negative emotions. So instead of fearing your emotions, why not deal with them properly?

In this article, I would like to emphasize two specific negative emotions that can put your life upside-down.

Topics we’ll be discussing:

negative emotions
Negative emotions

Fear 

We all fear of many things in our life. A few common fears are the fear of death, fear of public speaking, fear of poverty, fear of sickness, and so on. You can keep on adding many fears in this list.

One of the best-selling books, Think and Grow Rich has discussed that fear is the worst negative emotion out of all.

We fear because our brain perceives that activity or situation to be dangerous and uncertain. We fear death because we don’t know what’s there after death? Where will we go after we die? 

As per Forbes, the fear of public speaking is our number 1 biggest fear. The number 2 is death. It means that we would prefer to be in the coffin than be reading the eulogy. 

Our mind thinks public speaking as a state of “fight or flight”. Our body then releases stress hormones to remind how dangerous public speaking is for us (is it really that dangerous though?)

How to overcome fear?

What do you fear most about? Think about it for a moment. Do you face your fear, or run away from it? If you are like most people, then I presume you try to run away from your fear. While running away temporarily keeps you away from the fear, but in the long run, it induces even more fear. 

So the best-proven method is to face your fear. It’s a cliche, but it’s also true. When you face your fear repeatedly, your mind goes like, “Wait a minute, this is not that dangerous as I thought it would be. Maybe there’s nothing to fear over this”. Once you start facing your fear many times, then it no longer remains as your fear. Bingo! You just turned your fear into your friend.

My personal experience in dealing with the fear of heights

I used to fear heights a lot. I could not even see down from my own balcony. I preferred walking ten floors instead of using a lift. What if the lift falls down suddenly? What if the lift keeps going up without stopping? These questions used to clog my mind back then.

One day, I happened to Google for the solution of fear of heights – specifically lifts. Apparently, a person dying in the lift has a possibility of 0.00000015% per trip. It means that even if I use lift daily for the rest of my life, the probability of me dying in the lift is less than 0.005%. 

Knowing the statistics in my mind, I thought it won’t be bad. So I got in the lift, still skeptical though. I got dropped to my floor in less than 15 seconds. Walking takes around a minute. Wow! Slowly, I got in the lift more often. Before I knew, my fear of lifts disappeared, so did my fear of heights (to some extent). 

My fear of heights would have only grown had I not got in the lift in the first place. Also, thanks to Google for helping me, as always.

P.S. Watch a movie that portrays how a young boy is able to overcome the fear that had been haunting his whole life – Taare Zameen Par

Jealousy

Another subtle, but powerful emotion. Unlike the emotion of fear, jealousy can be hard to spot at times. You might not know whether you are jealous or you just want something badly (without being jealous). 

Jealousy has led to some catastrophic consequences throughout world history. Talk about a king’s brother who kills the king to become the king. Talk about a politician badmouthing his counterpart because he couldn’t win the election. There are plenty of similar examples we could discuss.

One of the root causes of jealousy is low self-esteem. We start evaluating ourselves as unworthy. We start seeing other people succeeding with their dreams. We wish we could swap our life with their life. We start getting angry with those who are doing something with their life, only because we haven’t started doing so ourselves.

Jealousy can especially turn ugly if we start getting jealous of our own friends and family. This is especially challenging if you are a millennial.

How to overcome jealousy?

As jealously is hard to spot many times, the first step for you to overcome jealousy would be to recognize that you have a problem. I know this is going to be hard because you have to downgrade yourself to see the problem. No one wants to admit that they have an issue. But this is crucial if you would like to change yourself for the best. 

Then, try to improve on what you do and who you are. Keep yourself busy by following your hobbies. Remind yourself of how fortunate you are to have such a caring family and friends. Be proud that the independent person you become is to cater to your better future. You will slowly start seeing yourself enjoying them, and your jealousy disappearing.

My personal experience with jealousy

As a good student, I always wanted to be in the top position of my class. I was able to achieve it for a brief moment of time. Right then, one new guy joined my class. No prize for guessing – he started topping the class, again and again. 

I got so jealous of his accomplishment that I started criticizing him whenever I was with my other classmates. The jealousy created further negative emotions, such as anger and hatred. So I used to leave notes on his desk saying how bad he was. In fact, one time, I put a pin on his chair so that he would get hurt physically when he sits down…

After all these actions, there had to come to a realization later on. Yup, when that moment arrived, it struck me. I could not spot that I was doing all these not because he did something bad, rather because I was jealous of him. Realizing how terrible I had been to him was one of the worst situations in my life. But it was one of the best learning opportunities for me. It was at that moment when I realized how fortunate I was to have so many opportunities. I was getting proper food to eat, I was able to play games whenever I wanted to, I was able to sleep on my own bed. I had all that really mattered to me. Suddenly, topping the class did not seem important to me. I am glad to have such a dreadful yet learning experience early on in my life. 

Since then, every time I caught myself becoming jealous of someone, I have been reminding myself of my past experience. About how fortunate I am to have my family and friends in my life, how lucky I was to have the freedom to do anything I wanted to. Thus, I was able to deal with my “jealousy” emotion properly.

Conclusion 

Fear and jealousy can rip off your life. But if managed properly, it can improve your life dramatically. Having said so, there are plenty of other negative emotions that you would be facing every day. If you are able to manage your emotion of fear and jealousy, then you would be able to manage most of your other negative emotions easily. 

We’ve written a similar article that will help you know yourself better. This will especially help you to start your personal development journey – Knowing Yourself First for Personal Development.

If you learned something and enjoyed reading this article, then please consider sharing this with your wonderful friends as well. Thank you so much!

I have written a similar article about my experience with social media in this coronavirus lockdown. Check it out – My Personal Experience With Social Media In This Coronavirus Lockdown

If you learned something and enjoyed reading this article, then please consider sharing this with your wonderful friends as well. Thank you so much!


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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Simon Prathap D

    Hi, I have received your email I think and I lost it by mistake. Of you have asked me about writing life lesson in collab I would be glad to do it . Thanks for reaching out 😊

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Hello Simon, Thanks for letting me know. I will talk to you via email! Thank you! 🙂

  2. mak

    Hello Kiran Nice post. As you shared that you had a fear using lift and you have overcome it, i also have a similar fear i cant use lift instead i prefer stairs, I get this negative feelings that lift would stop functioning and i would stuck in it.😢

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Thank you Mak!
      Oh, I see. I understand how you are feeling. But don’t worry, the chance of lift going wrong is very less. After my research through internet, I found I was wrong to fear it.
      I would suggest you to see the chance of it going wrong. You can adopt gradually with these feelings. I hope you will. I wish to hear from you about your fearless move soon.

  3. Zain Asher

    Hey Kiran,

    I read your article and I have to say, It’s a beautiful piece! It comprises of numerous practical life examples that I’m sure everyone could relate to. The fact that you targetted the negative aspects of life truly amazes me. And you did that in quite an impressive way.

    Furthermore, I feel like you discussing your own personal experiences is quite brave of you. You’re also helping several people by discussing how to overcome these negative feelings. Hats off to you!

    Regards,
    Zain

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Hi Zain,

      First of all, thank you so much for visiting our blog and leaving wonderful comments. It really means a lot to me!

      I believe that sharing our personal experiences in the article would help wonderful people to relate with their life and don’t commit the same mistake I did.

      Once again, thank you so much my friend for your wonderful compliment! 🙂

  4. Anonymous

    Often the end result our brain thinks will happen is far worse even than if something we try goes poorly. Add you say, it is this negatively directed mindset that we must actively work to change. We must become aware of our negative emotions, allow ourselves to feel them, and work out why they are hindering us. It is then we can begin to change our behaviour, and the way react to future situations that might be similar.

    As always, thank you these words. They offer encouragement to keep practicing what we preach, so that we may progress in our own lives. 🙂

    1. Kiran Kandel

      I couldn’t agree with you anymore. It’s absolutely essential for us to become aware of our negative emotions. When we try to identify our mistakes/negative emotions and work on that, it would help us in our near future as well.

      I am glad to learn from your wonderful comments. Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Kazeem Taiwo

    This is nice especially the jealousy part but what happens when you don’t have anything to be grateful for, like you can’t seem to see anything to be grateful for?

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Thank you Kazeem for your query. If you don’t see reason to be grateful for, then see how you are able to come throughout your life, how splendid life is that you alone is sufficient to conquer the best. The only thing that matter the first is that you are alive! 🙂

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