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How to manage negative emotions: 9 tips

How to manage negative emotions: 9 tips

May 17, 2024

Anger, anger, sadness, despair, anguish ... all of them are emotions and sensations that are not exactly pleasant and that involve the suffering of a certain discomfort that most of us would like to avoid. However, the fact that they are not palatable does not imply that they are not healthy to a certain extent, having mostly a sense that pushes us to a type of behavior that can be adaptive as long as they are not carried to the extreme.

That is why rather than avoid them, we should learn to manage them. In this article we will see a series of guidelines that allow us understand how to manage negative emotions .

  • Related article: "What is Emotional Intelligence?"

Emotions and their consideration

We understand by emotion a specific and subjective affective state that is experienced during a relatively short period of time and that is characterized by generating some type of activation or way of functioning determined in our body that in turn can serve to favor some type of behavior .


They allow us to give a certain value to the experience , be it internal or external, and born from within people in an innate way. Its appearance in a specific situation, however, is largely mediated by environmental influences and previous experiences and learning of the subject.

Generally we usually divide the emotions between positive and negative, depending on the type of activation that it generates in us and the association between that activation and the lived experience. Usually we consider positive those that generate some kind of pleasure (joy, illusion or calmness would be examples) while those that are annoying or painful are negative (sadness, anger or despair).


Both types of emotions, as well as others considered neutral (for example, surprise) they actually have an adaptive function for the organism, since they lead us to tend to act in a certain way.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Emotional psychology: main theories of emotion"

Guidelines on how to manage negative emotions

This also includes negatives, even though they are undesirable. For example, anger, anguish or anger pushes us to move against something that we consider unfair or that generates discomfort, and sadness makes us look for protection or reduce our level of activity in certain situations in which an excess of action could be an energy expenditure).

This is relevant given that we very often want to avoid negative emotions at all costs, even though in a certain degree they are healthy and allow us to survive and cope with complicated situations. And as we mentioned in the introduction, rather than avoiding them, we should learn to manage them correctly in such a way that we allow ourselves to feel them without becoming dysfunctional.


This requires emotional intelligence , this type of intelligence can in fact be trained. Below we offer a series of guidelines to learn how to manage negative emotions.

1. Do not block them

The first step and one of the most important when it comes to learning how to manage negative emotions is, simply, not to avoid them. And is that as a rule we tend to try to reduce our suffering and ignore them or cover them without more. It is necessary to avoid avoidance and accept that we must face them .

2. Rate why they appear and what they want to tell you

As we said, emotions are something adaptive that helps us survive. It is necessary that in addition to allowing us to feel them, we listen to what they want to tell us, what they are informing us about.

While this point may seem very logical, the truth is that many people are not able to say why they feel the way they feel. Why are we sad? Has anything happened that leads us to be like this? We must do an exercise not only of perception but also of emotional reasoning on these issues.

3. Use meditation techniques

Closely related to the previous point, a good way to get in touch with our emotions is the use of meditation. There are also techniques such as Mindfulnnes (which is also based largely on a certain type of meditation) that can be useful to us. Allowing our thoughts and emotions to pass and observe them as a witness, without interfering with them , can help us determine the reason for its appearance.

4. Express them

A widespread error in most societies, at least in the Western societies, is that suffering and discomfort are usually a taboo and hidden issue, something even shameful that we do not usually share with anyone or with a few people. Negative emotions, then, are often hidden and repressed socially, something that in the long run it can generate a cumulative effect that is going to make us feel worse and worse and that what should be adaptive becomes harmful and even pathological.

Although it may not be a matter of making a constant demonstration, it may be useful to share them with the surrounding environment or express them in different ways, such as through art. It is about making them flow and let them appear and disappear in a normal and adaptive way.

5. Give them a response

It is not just about knowing why they are there or just expressing them, but it is also fundamental give an answer to the need they are expressing . That is, if we are distressed and need to be reassured we should seek relief, or if we are sad somewhere to feel protected. If we are nervous about the chaos in a situation maybe we can find an order, or if we regret having hurt someone we can talk to that person and try to correct the situation.

6. Try not to be dominated

We have said that negative emotions are also adaptive, as long as they flow normally. But it is also possible that a specific emotion will become a dominant element in our life and that it becomes a central axis that alters all our behavior, being also something resistant to change.

We must try to listen to our emotions, but learn to manage them in such a way that we are functional and they allow us to have a good quality of life and a feeling of well-being. Otherwise, we could be manifesting some kind of insane reaction or even a pathology such as depression. That is why understanding how to manage negative emotions is something of great importance in our day to day.

7. Assess situations that arouse similar feelings

Emotions usually arise when experiencing some type of situation. If the emotions that arise are negative, such as anguish or fear, sometimes we may not know how to deal with them.

One way to reduce the intensity of these negative emotions can be to remember situations similar to the one generated by the emotion itself: it is about remembering how we have dealt with it in the case of having succeeded in resolving them, in such a way that inspire us and provide guidelines applicable in the current situation. This will allow us to reduce tension and discomfort.

That yes, this would be valid only if we have successfully faced a similar situation: if not achieved a positive resolution in any case can even generate a higher level of discomfort.

8. The power of observation

So far we have talked about different aspects to work on oneself, but the truth is that we can also improve our way of managing negative emotions through observation and listening to others.

Observe how others express emotions and how they manage them it can allow us not only to identify them in others, but it can also lead to self-identification of aspects such as physiological symptoms or ways of acting. The use of models that teach us to cope with situations and emotions can also help us to a great extent.

9. Self-registration and / or diaries

A typical technique for learning to manage negative emotions has a lot to do with the ability to organize and systematize information. Keeping a diary or some type of self-registration can help us observe what situations generate certain emotions , its intensity or even possible alternative interpretations to the interpretations made or possible answers to be made ..


3 Tips How To Handle Negative Emotions, Emotional Intelligence in Hindi by Vivek Bindra (May 2024).


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