If we are self-aware, we can notice when unpleasant feeling feelings like anger or frustration come bubbling to the surface. These feelings can be triggered by anything — from an unfortunate event or a hurtful remark by someone.
And as we grow up, the real struggle becomes about learning to deal with these feelings in a healthy way.
After a series of events in my personal life, I started feeling rage like I’d never felt before. It was only after reading a lot of personal growth articles that I came to terms with the root cause of the same — pent-up frustrations and anger.
Life is unfair and there will be times when you will experience things that you didn’t expect and don’t deserve. This might leave you feeling bitter and resentful.
It’s easy to resort to blaming external things. However, I’ve learned that unless we truly decide to take responsibility for our healing, things won’t change for us. And only with our own healing, can we make a bigger impact in the world.
“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
― Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation
Here are a few practical ways that have helped me with my healing journey —
1. Working with a counselor
I’m always surprised when I find people who are caught up in the same loop of negative thoughts and patterns unwilling to professional help. We often think we know the best for ourselves, and we understand our minds, but that’s far from the truth.
There are so many subconscious thought patterns that we are completely unaware of. And they prevent us from growing in our personal and professional life.
Just having a non-judgmental listener to guide you through your mental blocks will help you a long way in your healing journey.
For me, counseling revealed how as a girl I was conditioned in a way that I found it hard to be truly independent and in control of my life. And how that impacted all my life choices.
Sometimes, just bringing awareness to these liming belief systems can reveal why you are stuck or in pain. I’ve found the path to true freedom and independence from things — something that felt extremely hard at one point in time — through therapy.
“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”
― Frida Kahlo
2. Movement as therapy
The first time I entered into a professional dance training class, I could sense the open joyful energy of my fellow dancers. I, on the other hand, felt fearful, unsure, and uncomfortable.
Despite the struggle that it was it was to continue showing up while I always felt that I sucked at dancing, I continued to train. With every class I attended, I opened up a little more.
One year later, I found the confidence to take up dance professionally. I also started training in Yoga. In retrospect, I realize how dance played a huge role in my healing journey.
I learned to connect with myself, my body, my feelings, and I truly fell in love with the person I see in the mirror.
Even on the days, I felt negative emotions, moving felt therapeutic. As I build my portfolio as an artist, I always talk about the huge role that movement plays in healing and how it’s a method to unlock your potential.
“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
There’s not a single day when I don’t feel grateful for writing. I started journaling in my childhood and it’s been a wonderful tool to channel all kinds of emotions.
When I’ve too many thoughts, I can just sit and type for hours. By the end of my journaling session, I am able to release all my negative feelings.
Sometimes, I’m even able to understand the deeper underlying reasons for feeling the way I do. This way, I get to understand myself a little better every time and prepare for the times when I feel unpleasant.
For instance, now I know it’s best to not respond to negative situations and thoughts right away. I take a step back, spend time with myself and write. And when I’ve not triggered anymore, I can think and respond rationally.
This simple thing prevents me from making bad situations even worse, which in my opinion is a great win in my journey towards self-awareness and healing.
“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” — Julia Cameron
4. Spending time outdoors
My career as a freelance writer and content marketing consultant has given me the biggest gift of freedom of space and time. Since I am not confined to working from home or office, I’m able to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Stepping outdoors and working from different locations helps me get out of my head. I walk regularly to clear my head and think better. I also ensure that I spend some time connecting with nature — watching the sunset or sitting beside a nearby lake.
Nature has a healing effect. I’m a big fan of watching skies, a true lover of rain, and can never tire from spending time in parks or gardens. It just helps me release all unpleasant feelings and truly connect with what matters to me.
“A walk in nature, walks the soul back home.”
– Mary Davis
5. Treat yourself
Finding things that truly bring joy to you and then treating yourself to them regularly also helps in dealing with difficult and unpleasant feelings. The only thing that’s important here is to not form unhealthy habits.
It’s okay to distract yourself till you’re not in a place to truly process the unpleasant feelings. If you need to relax on a comfortable couch and ottoman while you watch your favorite TV show or listen to a podcast, that’s completely okay. It’s always better than throwing negativity outwards.
There’s no limit to the number of ways you can treat yourself in a healthy way and it’s helpful to keep it handy on the days you don’t feel your best.
Sleeping is one treat that I’m quite generous with and I’ve noticed how I am much calmer and happier when I have slept well at night. Self-care and healing go hand in hand.
“Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them.” — Kristi Ling
Healing and building self-awareness is an ongoing journey. Hope you find these tips useful in dealing with your negative experiences.