NEGATIVE FEELINGS PLAGUE all of us from
time to time. Worry creeps into the mind like an unwelcome in-law,
and if something isnt done about it, the worry will stay
and eat you out of house and home. Anger strikes, pumping your
body full of adrenaline, making it hard to concentrate on your
work or speak with a civil tongue. Depression brings feelings
of hopelessness and helplessness, darkening and saddening your
world like a cold, bleak day in winter.
These are the three faces of negative feelings:
Worry, anger, depression. Most negative feelings you ever feel
are a shade of anxiety, anger, or sadness. You know these feelings
are unpleasant. You know they arent good for your health.
But what can you do to minimize the amount of time you feel them?
First, of course, is to look at the situation
causing the negative feelings. If there is a concrete circumstance,
a real problem causing the feeling, give it some good hard thought
and then do something about it, if you can.
But if theres nothing you can do
about it, get involved in something that engages your mind and
forget about it. Dont try to stop thinking negatively.
Simply try to get absorbed in doing something constructive.
Purposeful activities occupy mind-space,
and the more the task engages or takes up your attention, the
more mind-space it occupies. Get involved enough in something
or do something absorbing enough, and theres no more mind-space
left to think about anything else.
What continues a negative emotion is thinking
about it. Just as you can distract a crying child and he will
forget his skinned knee, you can distract yourself with something
so interesting or challenging or important, your mind will stop
thinking about the problem, and your negative feelings
now that youre no longer producing them with your thoughts
Seek escape from unnecessary negative feelings
by fleeing into a purpose. It will take your mind off the negative
thing, giving you a healthful break from those negative feelings.
The side effect is that something purposeful and productive gets
done in the meantime. And that will give you something to feel
Relieve negative feelings by
turning your attention to purposeful activities.