Why is overcoming negative emotions and thoughts important?
One query I receive frequently from many is how to live in the moment. Seekers tell me they want to take their mind away from negative emotions and thoughts but are not always able to do so. In fact, more often than not such negativity or distractions win out over them causing turmoil in their inner world of peace and quiet. In the last post I talked about how an attempt to focus on what you dislike brings you exactly what you do not want. That is how Nature operates. Overcoming negative thoughts is the key.
Let me explain. Your outer world is greatly affected by the state of your inner world. Your thoughts, desires, and emotions (ultimately, all thoughts) are the building blocks of your inner world. Whether the thought is to avoid something or to have it, that very thought becomes the building block. When you keep your thoughts on things or emotions you want to avoid, you can imagine what your inner world is going to look like.
So, how can we overcome negative emotions, thoughts, and distractions?
Imagine a battle. The stronger side generally wins. The side that has greater force and more intelligence tends to overpower the other. Between the weak and the strong, the weaker side is subdued by the strong. That is all you need to know. When your negative emotions or thoughts are stronger than your positive ones, they will win out over you. Until such time that you discover your natural state of mind, a state that rises above negative or positive, you need to list positive emotions.
Think about those things and emotions that uplift you and are stronger than the ones that make you feel down and pensive. No matter how terrible things may be, there is still plenty everyone has to be grateful for. Being grateful for what you have helps you to be positive and strong. Further down the line, when we get to Emotional Transformation, I will detail the practice of gratitude.
How do I train my brain to stop negative thoughts?
For now, your task is to find enough fodder for your mind that makes it peaceful and happy. Whenever you feel down, do not make any attempts to stave off the negativity. Just try your utmost to focus on the positive. Consequently, negative thoughts become greatly feeble.
All negative emotions and sentiments including anger, jealousy, and greed mean you are hurt somewhere in your inner world. It indicates the wounds have not healed yet. It shows your heart is still scarred.
There is no one-size-fits-all remedy, you need to find a way to heal yourself. Let go; forgive, try. If you make an attempt to let go of all that grieves you, healing occurs automatically. That’s how you will be able to overcome negative thoughts, most of them. You may also want to read – how to get rid of impure thoughts.
One rule to follow in overcoming negative thoughts.
If you make an attempt to look upon everyone as merely a medium to deliver you, as I say, your parcels of karmic fruit, your outlook towards people will start to change. Follow the rules of giving for greater satisfaction and read up again on desires and dependency.
Art of Meditation
Free yourself from suffering and live life to the fullest. Learn the yogic technique of meditation in 4 days (and master it over a lifetime)
So, there we have it – the way to overcome negative emotions permanently is to heal ourselves. While we heal, however, it is important to know more about how to deal with negative emotions as they arise. What are they, why do we have them in the first place, and can we learn how to control these emotions? Find out in the FAQs below.
What are negative emotions and where do they stem from?
The source of emotion is our perception (and interpretation) of reality and not the reality itself. If you choose to question the validity of your emotions with awareness, a blanket of peace will cover you. You will come to understand that we cannot label people as precisely as we often do, and, further, our categorization is not completely fair or objective either. You automatically gain control over your emotions if you are aware of them. They are not able to overpower you. It’s almost as if they are not real.
But why do we have negative emotions, in the first place? Find out here.
What should I know about how to deal with negative emotions?
Negative emotions make you feel low, pensive, crippled, and weak. They are triggered when you feel perturbed by displeasure, criticism, loss, and dreadful words.
All emotions are temporary, though. It is when you do not know how to come out of an emotional state that such emotions take the form of fears, addictions, obsessions, and diseases, both physical and mental. And emotions are subjective. What is positive for you may be negative for the other person.
In a way, it is inevitable, inescapable – living in the positives and negatives. However, it is not necessary to let these emotions affect you beyond a certain degree. How? This beautiful story elucidates the story of a rich trader who lost everything in a drought and gained it all back only for his Guru to say calmly…
Can I learn how to control the grief I experience when things don’t go as planned?
Most of our life’s struggle is focused on avoiding grief and protecting happiness. If our expectations from life are met, we are happy, otherwise we are sad. What makes our negative emotions even worse is our inability to correct them as soon as they arise. We feel helpless, we cry, we get angry, we don’t want to, but we do.
The more vested we are in something or someone emotionally, the greater our grief is when things fall apart. Unlike most other emotions, grief is not a temporary or fleeting feeling. It arises from the deepest point of love. The story of Buddha’s return and his wife’s grief-filled reaction illustrates this point beautifully.
How do I handle my anger when someone else triggers it?
When someone triggers anger in you, first of all ask yourself, “Who am I really angry at?” Secondly, carefully choose your response. After you’ve decided how you want to respond, let some time pass before you convey it.
Most people get angry when there are undercurrents of frustration, of resentment in their lives. When you give no outlet to these negative emotions, sooner or later they will manifest as anger. When you start to check your anger with mindfulness, eventually, it will leave your system completely.
At that stage, you won’t have to make an effort to curb your anger, instead, you just won’t feel it in you. A mind free of anger is the next best state to a mind free of thoughts.
Don’t spit out your anger, don’t swallow it. There’s a better way – here.