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Ever Try Curing A Negative Emotion?

January 12, 2020

Ever felt so angry at someone that you couldn’t wait to retaliate?

Of course. We all have.

Our anger tells us that if we hurt the person who upset us, we’ll feel better.

So the next time we see that person, we make a mean comment. Or we silently vow to get back at them in some way.

But when that moment of retaliation comes and passes…does the anger go away?

No, it doesn’t. We might feel good for a little while, momentarily victorious, but a simple mental replay of the events that led to our anger is enough to make us feel that same feeling all over again.

Feeling angry, and then acting on that anger, does not make us feel less angry. It doesn’t “cure” the emotion.

There is no cure for an emotion.

Not only that, but often just acting on an emotion can make it stick around longer than we hoped.

It might seem counterintuitive…but allowing angry thoughts to pass, letting our mind clear instead of replaying the events over and over—THIS is how the emotion will dissipate.

It’s a choice between adding kindling to a fire, or depriving a fire of oxygen. By not giving any headway to the thoughts that cross our mind, we let them diffuse and disappear.

Just as you cannot “poor” your way into wealth, depress yourself into happiness, or stress your way into peace, we cannot cure a negative emotion by focusing and acting on it. We cannot "feel" our way into an emotion in order to get its opposite.

We can only start with the realization that there's nothing to do when challenging emotions arise.

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