In our endless journey to find happiness, we tend to let our negative emotions and thoughts become a major roadblock. Whenever I get stuck in this situation, I always remember this quote from the Dalai Lama: “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” In order to avoid the negative consequences of our emotions, we just need to pause and think. How can we turn these emotions into positive experience?
It’s extremely easy to lose yourself in this emotion from the heat of a moment. Anger is one emotion that can take over our thoughts, causing us to say hurtful things, or physically hurt ourselves by bringing more stress to our lives. In order to combat these negative consequences of anger, we need to force ourselves to think before we speak or act. Analyze what’s making you angry and how you can manage the situation. Keep in mind that feeling angry is normal; it helps us express ourselves against injustices or when we think something isn’t right. It’s just a matter of learning how to handle each scenario without getting carried away by the negative side of anger. Every time I feel angry, I try go for a walk or a drive in order to take some time alone to think about what’s causing me to be angry and how can I eventually calm down without hurting anybody or myself.
It’s also very common to be trapped in feelings of jealousy about others—which often contributes to lower self-esteem. Instead of paying attention to others, take a step back; be grateful about what you have, and how can you can continue improving. Perhaps even turn that jealousy into admiration and motivation; take some time to learn about how others have achieved their goals. Back in my adolescence I used to have self-esteem problems about my weight, and I often felt jealous of my thin and in shape friends. Until one day I realized that being jealous didn’t help me feel better, instead, I started to eat healthier and exercised more.
This is something that I personally never experienced in my teenage years or early 20s, but my late 20s have been filled with anxiety due to my responsibilities at work and home. Some of the effects of anxiety that I felt were shortness of breath, faster heart rate, fatigue, and the loss of control. In order to combat my anxiety, I decided to establish a workout routine. I learned that through exercise, I was able to disconnect my mind from anything creating stress. Thanks to my past anxiety problems, I was able to develop an exercise routine that helps to manage my anxiety while I stay in shape.
It sounds counterintuitive, but being sad can also bring a positive effect into your life by making you more aware of your surroundings, especially when served as a benchmark for happiness. Being sad is a part of being human; we cannot help but feel sadness over the sufferings around the world, sadness over the loss of our loved ones, or even sadness over things that didn’t turn out the way we planned. Sadness can create empathy about the difficulties other’s face and awareness that our lives aren’t eternal so we need to embrace every happy moment. Whenever I feel sad or disappointed after a bad day, I try to analyze what can be improved in order to be positive and happy again. More times than not, there’s usually a bright side to every situation. Feeling sadness over the loss of a loved one, can turn into happiness over the memories. We simply need to become more aware of our thoughts and emotions—acknowledge rather than suppress them. Be honest with yourself and uncover the key takeaway from every negative emotion and transform any experience into a positive one!