Can you turn negative emotions into positives?
Do you find yourself behaving in ways that often lead you to question if you are acting in your own best interests? Have you ever acted irrationally, only or regret the consequences?
If so, the chances are there is a negative belief driving your behaviour, and sometimes these beliefs are so far lost in our unconscious, that we are not always aware of their influence.
It is quite common for all of us to develop unhelpful beliefs about ourselves that then steer out thoughts and behaviours throughout our lives.
Fortunately, as easy as it is to learn unhelpful patterns, it can be quite possible to unlearn them, too.
Hypnosis and healing
Throughout my work with clients, one thing I notice above all else is how easy it is to get trapped into negative cycles of behaviour.
Hypnotherapy can help you alleviate negative ideas about yourself by reframing past events as learning opportunities. Hypnosis can also reconnect you with strengths and resources from the past that you may have lost touch with, so you no longer need to feel trapped and unfulfilled.
Sometimes, quite counter to our better judgment, we may become attached to negative beliefs about ourselves.
There can even be a danger that we may enjoy playing the victim, or we may deliberately start conflicts with others for attention. Others may behave contentiously in order to feel indignation or to justify any unresolved anger within.
In the short term, these negative emotions will justify our egoic needs by fortifying the labels we have learned to identify with. But labels are just labels, and personal growth often involves peeling off the labels and reclaiming the “you” beneath. Will you really prosper in life if your behaviours are driven by anger, greed, guilt, or revenge?
Negative emotions block our ability to see clearly
Over identifying with our past traumas can keep us locked in the past and stop us from developing our true potential.
These emotions block our ability to see clearly and objectively which is why it is so important to let go of them. Obviously, this is easier said than done, especially if we have become so used to the negative ego attachment, that we can’t imagine who we’ll be without them.
How do you know if you are carrying past traumas?
The simplest way to know is if you think back to an event in your life, do you still feel visceral anger or resentment? Is it almost as if you are bringing pain from the past into the present moment? And is that pain serving any purpose other than defeatism, self-righteousness, or martyrdom?
Overindulgence with these emotions creates an imbalance in all areas of life.
So what can you do?
The answer simple answer to this question is; you must find the gift within the pain. What did a past negative experience prepare you for later in life, for example?
This may at first seem absurdly simplistic but as Dr. Viktor Frankl, himself a survivor of the holocaust, said, we should become worthy of our suffering.
“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an eradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.”
He continues: “The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life.”
The lesson here is to look at negative experiences and find the positive meaning. One question you could ask yourself is, “How has this experience helped me grow?” or “What has this experience prepared me for better in the future?”
It won’t always be easy, but you may find certain situations are easier to let go of than others. Some experiences may take extensive work with a therapist to deal with, and others may be easy to lose to the sands of antiquity.
Leaving pain in the past
One of the hardest virtues to cultivate is to forgive people who have hurt you in the past. But think how little power they would still have over you if you were to see them as messengers, who have taught you the lessons that were needed for you to grow.
If somebody you know is toxic, what lesson are they are teaching you that is going to make your life better beyond; to see these experiences as an important lesson toward becoming a stronger version of yourself.
Maybe it can become easier to forgive these transgressors – perhaps even feel sorry for them - because they have yet to learn the virtues that you have that will lead them toward a more fulfilling life. It’s almost like we can truly learn to bless the messenger!
And when we have done this, a wonderful emotional alchemy can take place:
- Fear becomes wisdom.
- Anger becomes kindness.
- Worry becomes intuition.
- Greif becomes gratitude.
Once you have found the secret within, you are then prepared to break the negative cycles of behaviour – learning how new beliefs can free you to behave in new, exciting ways.
Nobody from the past, no experience from the past can harm you now or block your path: instead, they were the signposts showing you the way forward.
If you would like to see a video version of this article, please visit my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/3Gv9szIYaU4
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