Humiliation and negative emotions – How do we deal with difficult negative emotions?


 
Humiliation and negative emotions – How do we deal with difficult negative emotions that affect our self-esteem & sense of self-worth?

How to move out of your negative space into a better space…?


Some of these descriptive words below might have some resonance with you…


Ashamed
Beaten down
Cut down
Criticized
Dehumanized
Disrespected
Embarrassed
Humiliated
Inferior
Insulted
Invalidated
Labeled
Lectured to
Mocked
Offended
Put down
Powerless
Resentful
Ridiculed
Stereotyped
Teased
Underestimated
Worthless
What does it mean?
If you are experiencing any of the above negative emotions, it means that something traumatic has taken place in your life, which has left you angry, humiliated, resentful, embarrassed, powerless, and confused. It could be that your partners has left you for someone else, you were fired from your job, your partner cheated on you, you are being accused of something,  someone may be bullying you, you might have failed an importance exam or you may have made a really poor choice in judgment.

How do these negative feelings make us think about our-selves and the world around us?

Feeling down with negative emotions, can be defined as any feeling that may cause you to feel dejected and sad. These negative emotions may make you loath yourself and others, and take away your self-esteem and confidence.

With intense negative emotions, most of our rational thinking goes out the window.  We begin a journey of skewed or warped thinking. We look at the situation only from one perspective (our own), because our skewed irrational thinking won’t allow us to think any other way. That's because we are so focused and fixated on our trauma, life crisis and what people might be thinkning or saying. This may lead to a downward spiral of negativity. 
This negative thinking is self-sustaining, meaning, the more you think and feel in a negative way about the situation, and the more the feelings of anger, sadness, hurt, and resentment, frustration etc... will persist, and prevent you from overcoming the crisis or trauma. These negative emotions, if not managed correctly, can lead to depression, low level functioning, apathy and misery in life.

Conversely, within the right appropriate context, negative emotions like, sadness, anger, jealously and grief, are perfectly normal and are a natural part of the healing process and life.  The problem comes in when we get stuck there in those negative emotions, and they prevent us from progressing and enjoying life.  Have you ever heard someone say, “That person’s anger holds them back in life” or “his or her jealousy prevents him from having a healthy relationship?”
Remember that emotions can be both positive and negative, are psychological (they involve how we think) and are complex. What we think manifests physically. Our brain (the organ) responds to our mind and psyche, by releasing a series of chemicals and hormones. Simply put, the more negative and stressed your thinking/feelings are, the more your brain will respond with a supply of stress hormones and chemicals. In essence you can think yourself sick!

The beautiful thing is - the opposite is also true!  This is where we can use methods of positive psychology to assist us in dealing with the negative emotions, which may have been caused by a life crisis or trauma.

What can you do to manage these feelings?

We can use positive psychological exercises as tools to assist us in managing our negative emotions. This can be done by building up stock of positive emotions and experiences.  Basically we can counterforce our negative emotions with positive ones. This will also help you cope better with the situation or crisis that you are experiencing.

… But it’s easier said than done! It requires dedication, commitment, will and determination! Changing how you think is no easy task, but is life changing, liberating and empowering - worth the hard work!

·         Go for therapy – really talk about how you are feeling, and what you are thinking about yourself and the situation
 
·         Practice gratitude – keep a gratitude journal and write down three things  everyday that you are grateful for in your life. This exercise forces you to focus on the positive good things in your life, even though you might be in crisis or in a state of trauma
 
·         Give your-self time to heal, but don’t become stuck or self-destructive
 
·         Smile - trick your brain into sending feel good anti stress hormones, by using smiling exercises in the bathroom mirror, morning and evening

·         Do something to boost your self-esteem, get a makeover, take up a challenge or start a project
 
·         Give back – by helping out at a charity or development project. This will help  you heal and give you a sense of meaning. This has a very powerful effect!

·         Listen to good soul soothing music, nothing heavy or sad
 
·         Rest, restore and spiritually connect

·         Eat well by eating brain stimulating foods. Wholesome foods

·         Exercise every day, this will assist your body in mopping up the negative stress hormones, and by releasing feel good hormones

·         Engage in activities that bring you positive joy and pleasure. Spend time with close family and friends

How do you liberate and empower yourself from these negative feelings?

Acceptance

Resilience

Self-forgiveness

Forgiveness of others

Lessons learned

Remember, we have this gift of life. Sometimes really terrible, horrific, humiliating & soul destroying things happen to us and one another, and yes we sometimes make some poor choices.  The thing is, we have to keep moving forward, progressing, loving, living and achieving.  If we don’t, and we let the crisis and the traumas consume our lives, then I’m afraid to say, the consequences are dire! 

Happiness is the outcome of fulfillment and well-being! Knowing this difference makes all the difference! Eveyone deserves to be happy! Don't let the dogma of others dictate in your life! You can change your life today, the choice is yours, and yes, you do have that kind of power!
Live well!

Marie Joshua

Wellness Practitioner & Counsellor

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