Every human battles with negative emotions, because we are humans, imperfect at that. The question is how can we fight and control our negative emotions?
How Can We Defeat Negative Emotions?
1. Identify the negative thoughts.
2. Work on correcting the negative thoughts.
How can? If, for instance, you were thinking, ‘I never do anything right,’ you can change the thought with, ‘I’m just like everyone else; I do many things right, but I make my share of mistakes too.’
Do not expect to feel better immediately after making this correction (although you may), and do not get stuck mentally debating the matter. Just make the affirmation and move on to the next step.
3. Work at brushing off the worrisome thought from your mind.
Try to dismiss or push it out as forcefully and confidently as you would the thought of committing a serious crime.
4. Get absorbed in something else, something upbuilding.
Keep yourselves busy. This is vital because your negative thoughts will repeatedly try to force their way back into your mind.
5. You can only concentrate fully on one thing at a time.
You can prove this to yourself by trying to concentrate totally on two subjects at the same time. If your mind is already fully occupied with something else, it will be difficult for your negative thoughts to return.
The way negative thoughts can be replaced by positive ones is illustrated by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who states: “When your phonograph is playing music you don’t like, you do not try to force it to do better. . . . You merely change the record being played and the music takes care of itself. Use the same technique on the ‘music’ that comes out of your own internal machine.”
Why Is It So Difficult To Control Or Defeat Our Negative Emotions?
Negative emotions can be overcome only by conscious, determined effort over a period of time. For many, negative thinking is a habit, and like other bad habits, it is a hard one to break.
If you are fighting with negative emotions or habit, overcoming it will likely take the same determination that it takes a person who goes on a diet or one who decides to quit drunkenness.
Be determined never to give up. Why? Because it is easier to be depressed and remain so. Stick with your fight against negative thinking, even if it means many months of trial and error and perhaps relapse. Stay with it as if you were training for an athletic contest. Look to long-term results rather than immediate satisfaction.
Can They Be Completely Removed?
Well, if you expect to achieve perfect happiness now, you will meet with frustration and disappointment. The journey will not be busy. Happiness is at this time relative and incomplete. But, is it not much better than being locked into a life of persistent and draining negative emotions?
Does this mean that negative emotions will never be overcome? Not at all. In the future, when we are perfect, we will no longer fight against negative emotions.
However, at present, accepting the limitations placed upon us by human imperfection will make you happier. Instead of going to extremes in search of perfect mental health, you will be free to pursue other matters of life.
Moreover, you will find much greater peace of mind and happiness in knowing that the ultimate solution to negative emotions lies in the capable hands of Almighty God.
True, negative thoughts are often too strong to be simply dismissed. They must be forced out by replacement. Put a different “record” on, a positive one. Switch to a different, upbuilding “channel,” a different “station,” and get absorbed in it.