How To Cope With Negative Emotions

Published by Julie Anne Byrne on

Emotions, good bad or indifferent, we all have them. Our negative emotions are often more out of control than our negative thoughts.

How Do You Cope With Negative Emotions

Do you absorb and feel your sadness, grief, loneliness, fear, anger, frustration, hurt, jealousy? Can you accept that emotion and process it, or would you prefer to ignore these feelings and pretend they do not exist by distracting yourself in ways that may make you temporarily forget about them and not have to process those emotions?

In a world where positivity abounds, and negativity is frowned upon we often tend to block out the negative emotions and not deal with them.

But unfortunately, by doing this we suppressing our negative emotions and giving ourselves future problems for our mental health which often spills over into our physical health.

Make friends With Your Negative Emotions

Quite a bizarre statement giving the usual chatter is to avoid negative emotions or to control negative emotions. But, if you want to overcome your negative emotions, you first need to make friends and acknowledge them and understand why you have them.

It takes practice but each emotion that is experienced and especially the negative emotion should be acknowledged and welcomed so that the emotions are not treated as something to be fearful of or to be ignored.

Only when you begin to love yourself and your emotions will you truly be free – free of the chains of negative emotions.

When we experience a negative emotion we know exactly what we feel about something, whether that is someone who has done us wrong (anger) or whether we want something someone else has (jealousy), all our emotions transmit true and accurate messages to us.

Negative emotions never feel like a positive experience but if we treat our emotions like a good messaging system, a bit like an internal GPS then we really do need to pay close attention to all our emotions, the positive and the negative.

Perhaps we might see the positive emotions as green traffic lights and the negatives ones might be red traffic lights.

Then when we try to suppress the negative emotions (because we don’t want to feel that emotion) it’s like deciding that we will only heed the green traffic lights and ignore the red traffic lights, which is never a good idea and will get us into all kinds of bother.

So it is important to not just focus on the “green” signals but to also give equal attention to the “red” signals.

How To Cope With Negative Emotions

If we feel an unpleasant emotion like sadness, anger or resentment and if we equate this to a red traffic light well the signal is there to help us and by denying that emotion we are abandoning a little bit of ourselves.

Our mental health is intricately linked with our physical health and there are definitely correlations between the two. We should always be listening to our emotions regardless of what type of emotions we are experiencing as otherwise suppressed negative emotions will rise to the surface when you least expect it and blow up in your face.

Often the way in which we stigmatise our “negative emotions” harms us and leads to a disconnection of ourselves and ultimately makes us miserable. We cannot shut down our feelings or emotions and if you do not acknowledge these feelings, they will seep out eventually

Emotions that are not expressed or acknowledged often materialise later as an overreaction, sometimes irrationally or even worse you can get physically sick. Emotions can manifest themselves as physical illness and stresses on the body.

By not expressing it in the moment you are leaving yourself exposed to future pain. You cannot fake your emotions for the long term.

Freedom From Your Negative Emotions

So if you find yourself in a situation where you feel anger, express it, let those around you know that you feel angry, do not suppress it, your emotion deserves to be recognised for what it is…”You Are FEELING angry”, not you ARE ANGRY.

Portrait disgusted young man. Negative human emotion

By expressing your anger in this way it is a really important part of caring for your emotional health. You are acknowledging that this is an emotion that you are feeling, it’s not part of you, it does not define you, it does make you an angry person. It is just an emotion that you are feeling.

The more we express ourselves in this way and become comfortable in doing so the more we realise that the emotion is transient, it is temporary and we are allowed to express this emotion and feel it and not to suppress it.

We will realise also that in expressing our emotions in this way the emotion does not linger, we have acknowledged the negative emotions and the emotion is then released and you are free from that negative emotion.

If you are interested in exploring more on understanding your emotions and how they are triggered I have attached a link here to a website called ” Atlas of Emotions.”   

This is supported by the Dalai Lama who feels strongly that in order to have World Peace we must have Inner Peace.  And to have Inner Peace we have to understand our emotions. 

It is an interactive site with plenty of information based upon the most current psychological research.  Simply click on the different emotions and read about what they mean, and how they affect us and others.

Julie Anne Byrne

Hello, I am Julie Anne Byrne, and this is my blog website.  You can read more on my story in the About Me section above. I hope you enjoy your time visiting my site and reading my blogs and that you find them interesting. Please feel free to leave a comment on any post and I will respond. While I like to think the main purpose of this website is to share information, ideas and tips on living a positive and happy life it will also feature a section on My Recommendations and things I have come across or books of interest that I have read. I hope that communicating together we can combine our thoughts on how the journey through this wonderful experience called life can best be achieved.


Lucky Thomo · February 10, 2020 at 9:50 pm

That was a very interesting post. I had learnt a lot today. 

What I can say is that most of the time as a man we tend to bottle our emotions the most and as you say we need to vent our anger or frustrations. 

There are those that say when you are a man you mustn’t cry, or show weakness. You need to put on a brave face even when you don’t feel like it, but those people are there to remind you that you are a man. 

These kind of posts are good in helping us to wipe-off the wrong mentality and put something that will help me tomorrow. That was a post of another level.

    Julie Anne Byrne · February 11, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lucky Thomo, I am sad to hear that you feel compelled to act a certain way or to suppress your emotions just because you are a man, that cannot be right…

    Be kind to yourself, forget what those around you think of you, it is none of your business anyway, take care of your own mental health you owe it to yourself. 

    Wishing you the very best, Julie Anne 

drinkteahub · February 11, 2020 at 4:54 pm

I think you’ve recognised something really important here: that emotion is something we feel and are therefore temporary, they are not what or who we are. 

And I think you’re right, although there are times when immediately expressing an emotion may not be appropriate, generally speaking, it does us great emotional harm to bottle things up and try to suppress them. 

Thanks very much indeed for the link to the Atlas of Emotions: that looks really interesting.

    Julie Anne Byrne · February 11, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Spot on drinkteahub, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.  

    You appear to have a good understanding of how important it is to recognise and acknowledge all emotions regardless of their origin.  

    Most welcome for the Atlas of Emotions link, there is certainly plenty of food for thought there!

    Wishing you all the best, Julie Anne 

Teri · February 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Hi Julie Anne, 

I really enjoyed reading your article about negative emotions. I particularly like and agree with, your point about when we are experiencing a negative emotion it is something that we are feeling, it doesn’t define who we actually are. 

Because it isn’t nice to think of oneself as an angry person, or a sad person, but it’s ok to acknowledge that an angry emotion is visiting you. 

I also believe that it’s important for our mental health not to bottle up emotions inside. 

    Julie Anne Byrne · February 11, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Hi Teri

    Thanks for your comments, I am glad you enjoyed my article.  You seem to grasp the concept fairly well, I like the idea of emotions visiting, they are never permanent – not everyone realises that unfortunately. 

    Thanks again for sharing and wishing you the very best, Julie Anne 

Lawrence · February 15, 2020 at 11:16 pm

Hi Julie Anne,

Strange how life works – just yesterday I was telling someone that I now treat a particular … let’s say ‘lack of success’ or ‘lack of progress’ completely differently to what I did a year ago.

I now acknowledge it and embrace it knowing that it is all part of the journey and instead of frustrating the heck out of me it makes me happy to know I am that much closer to success.

I just have to wait for that red light to turn green and my journey continues.

I no longer use this negative downtime as an excuse to go and do something else which I know to be a form of procrastination.

It is rather enlightening to be able to acknowledge and move on.

Thanks for a great post and a great website.


    Julie Anne Byrne · February 18, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Lawrence

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it is great that you understand that although we may experience these types of emotions they do not define us or our journey.

    Very often it is a situation or circumstance that gives us this negative emotion and if we acknowledge it for what it is, and move on then we will be in a better place and can move forward without constraints.

    You are right, it is very empowering to know that we have control, that we are not controlled by fleeting emotions.

    Thanks for the great comment and wishing you the very best, Julie Anne

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