How to Get Rid of a Stressful Emotion


What we resist, persists. As humans, we naturally want to avoid pain, and that includes our feelings. Trying to push the emotions away, or using substances like food or alcohol, work for a little while. Then the emotion is worse than ever.

While understandable, this simply doesn't work. Instead, I advise you to purposely face the emotion, lean into it, and really get to know it.

Follow the six steps below. And like magic, it's gone.

#1. Close your eyes and get as physically comfortable as possible.

#2. Locate the feeling in your body. Is it in your stomach? Your neck? Several places? Does it swirl around as you try to locate it?

#3. If this emotion had a color, what would it be? Black? An ugly yellow? The reddest of reds? Maybe it's black in the middle and gray on the edges. There is no right or wrong. Just describe this to yourself.


#4. If you could pour this emotion into a container, what would that container be? A measuring cup? A bucket? An ice chest? How many cups or gallons would it create?

#5. Give this emotion a name. Is it something ugly like Elvira? Is it something like an injured child and you would name it Olivia or Timmy? Does it talk to you? Is the emotion asking you for anything? Is it trying to help you?

#6. Now, assess how you feel. Is the negativity less? Is it worse? Start the process all over again. Do it as many times as you need until the emotion is gone (and it will be).

Additional Tips:

* Don't worry about following these steps exactly. Read this a few times until you're pretty sure you have all/most of the questions memorized and then just do your best. There is no right or wrong here.

* Print these tips and review them for a few days while you are calm. Then whenever a negative emotion hits, you don't have to add the burden of finding this process to your troubling feelings.

Final Thought:

Remember the quote from Dr. Stephen Covey of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" fame who said, "When you resist an emotion, it springs to life. When you allow an emotion, it dies on the vine." He isn't suggesting you ACT on the emotion in this quote, however. Just to fully and finally FEEL it.


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thank you!! 
I love the visualization process, it helps tremendously. I Just got off the phone with a friend, and I was explaining this same exact concept to her. …

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