As a Pretty Girl, it’s in our nature to want to approach all situations with ease, grace, and class. But, of course, that’s not always easy when life throws obstacles at you and you become plagued with negative emotions such as stress, anger, grief, etc. While many of us tend to try to push those less than desired feelings out of the way to make room for more positive ones, it’s completely NECESSARY to remember not to invalidate any feelings you may be experiencing, as what’s going on inside of you can -and will- eventually work its way outside of you. This can result in physical illness or cause new stresses in various relationships and other aspects of your life. A buildup of negative energy is toxic, and we all need to release it in a healthy and productive manner.
One way to release feelings of negativity is to first, acknowledge them. This is not to say you should give in and act on negative emotions- if you’re in a state of extreme anger, don’t go in to a destructive mode and throw a tantrum. However, you SHOULD allow yourself to be angry.
Acceptance of this negative emotion won’t seem so unproductive or destructive if you allow yourself to understand why you feel this way on more than a superficial level. For example, say your younger brother borrows your iPad without your permission, and ends up breaking it. Should you be annoyed/angry/upset? Of course. But that doesn’t go break his computer as vengeance. Instead, ask yourself why you’re mad. Superficially, you know you’re mad because he broke your iPad, but also ask yourself, for example, if you’re upset because he borrowed it without asking in the first place, because you have to pay for the damages, or because you feel he generally just does not have any respect for your property.
Say you realize you’re only really upset that you feel like he doesn’t respect your things as much as his own. Next, ask yourself what you can do to change that. Can you talk to him about it? Ask him how he would feel if the situation were flipped. Figure out what made him decide he didn’t need to ask your permission first. Rather than only consider your own feelings in the situation, try to establish what the situation would look like from a less biased point of view, and what type of energy or image you are projecting in to the situation.
Finally, breathe through it. As stated earlier, don’t act on negativity. Before jumping the gun and getting upset, take a few deep breaths until you’re calm and you’ve given yourself the opportunity to see the situation from another point of view. Once you have a more balanced and rounded idea of the situation, whether it be anger, stress, or self-loathing, it’s nearly impossible to continue to be attached to initial reason you were upset.
Another example of how to address negativity is with low self-esteem. If you’re feeling down because you don’t think you’re good enough for something (or someone), but you ask yourself why you feel that way and how to change it, it’s unlikely that you’ll continue to stay in the mindset of self-pity rather than work to reach the solution.
The problem with negative emotions is NEVER that they are unproductive, as every situation in life is an opportunity for growth. It’s the wallowing in self pity, extreme anger, or victimizing yourself is unproductive or even destructive.
Once you’ve breathed through the negativity and figured out how to transform an obstacle into a hurdle forward, move on!
Raven Jahän Joyner
President of PABPG