Got negative emotions? Rumble with them!

A good life includes “Rumbling with” and “Labeling” your negative emotions

We are often taught that emotions are bad or not to be shown, but this is incorrect information.  Emotions are part of what makes us human.  But we have to know how to deal with them, especially negative emotions.  We need to label them and to rumble with them. 

I was hit a while ago with some pretty negative emotions.  So, what do we do with (negative) emotions?  First, emotional are not good or bad; they are neutral- they just are.  Here’s what to do:

Label those negative emotions

Name, not blame

What will help change your emotions is to label them, to give them a name.  So here we go:  I was hurt, insulted, angry and sad all at once.  Wow! I was able to discuss it with a trusted friend (my husband) and to label my emotions soon after the incident, which really helped me at that time.  When we consciously recognizing our emotions and name them, it actually takes the away some of the emotions’ impact, takes it’s power over us away.  It did for me!

Don’t stuff your emotions under the chair

What about you?  When you are hit by something and have (negative) emotions, what do you do?  Stuff them, try to pretend they aren’t there?  This will not help and it is likely to backfire and maybe you even blow up later.

Maybe you vent at the nearest person? This is probably also not helpful.  

Rumbling with your emotions

Brené Brown writes in her book, Rising Strong, that we have to rumble with our feelings when something happens. Thias means sitting with them and reflecting on them. 

Here are a few of her questions we should ask ourselves to rumble:

1.  What more do I need to learn and understand about the situation?

2.  What more do I need to learn and understand about the other peoplein the story?

3.  What more do I need to learn and understand about myself?

When I rumbled about my emotions and the situation, I was able to come up with a story that made sense to me about the situation, the other people, and myself and then was able to move on.  It was a great way to end that weekend: at peace with myself, and with the world in general.  This rumbling helped me to have a really good weekend get-away with my husband in Paris and it also led me to be able to hear and respond to one of the more inspiring talks I have heard in a while. As a surprise addition, we reconnected with an “old” friend and had a blast with her!  

So, what about you?  What do you do when things get tough, when you are put out into the proverbial darkness?  My suggestion is to name your emotions (label them) and to rumble (reflect on) with them and the situation.  Sometimes a neutral listening ear is very helpful, too.

Have a great grateful – and – reflective week!

Patty Jehle

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