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Turn Toward the Enemy – Mastering negative emotions

Heather Edwards Mental Health Counseling / Articles  / Turn Toward the Enemy – Mastering negative emotions

Turn Toward the Enemy – Mastering negative emotions

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Coaching EmotionsYou feel stuck. Trapped. Immobilized. When in the therapy and coaching room, conversations about fear, regret, disappointment, and frustration arise and take center stage. 

It’s easy to fall prey, be guided and controlled by negative emotions, even feel consumed by them. It’s an uncomfortable place. It’s dark, heavy, constricting. It can hold you hostage. And it can intensify before it dissipates.

Recognize negative emotions not as your enemy but as your informant. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Be open to them. Question them. Break them down. Look those unsavories in the eye. Release their grip.

Identify the building blocks of negativity. Uncover the hidden messages. Initiate a plan designed for empowerment.

When you turn toward your anger, fear, and sadness you validate the experience of the pain. You soothe and comfort, rather than avoid or deny the screaming, stomping, crying, demanding, desperate attempts of that negativity to grasp your attention. Now you are responding instead of reacting.

In turning toward those negative emotions you accept them as real. In that paradoxical open space, you relieve them of their power and control, and master them. You define them, rather than allowing them to define you.

Heather Edwards Oasis CoachingBreak them down into tangible parts. Clarify. Question. Seek answers. What is this fear about? Where is this anger stemming from? What does this sadness represent? From an open, enlightened place you can develop a plan for addressing what’s underlying those feelings.

That big amorphous blob of negative emotions is overwhelming, and stifling.  Make it tangible, definable, understandable, conquerable. Get professional support, if needed.

Dig deep. Do you need more knowledge, tools, information, time, or help? Do you need to let go of tired messages? Get to the root of it. How might your life change if you break through this? Identify what you need for success and move toward it.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Emotions CoachingStand up to the challenge. Embrace your unique strengths and power. Know that fear, anger, resentment, regret, sadness, disappointment and anxiety will at times be your companion. But they need not stifle you.

“Yield and you need not break:

Bent you can straighten,

Emptied you can hold,

Torn you can mend”. – Lao Tzu 300 B.C.


Grow. Evolve. Achieve. You are not stuck.  Feelings are your allies illuminating less obvious truths. Notice them, understand them, and respond proactively. From this point, real change can begin.


Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by stockimages, nenetus.

Heather Edwards, LMHC, BCC

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