3 Steps to Releasing Your Negative Emotions

In the day to day hustle and bustle of modern society, it’s not hard to get caught up in all the negative experiences we come across. Maybe it’s your friend who said something unkind to you. Your boss who doesn’t appreciate you. That frustration you feel with whatever your current position is.

At times like these, it’s easy to let the anger, frustration, and negativity run its course. However, the flip side to this is that you are subconsciously cultivating habits of resenting others, complaining, and letting anger get the best of you. The more you let your negative emotions fester, the more you encourage them to affect you in the future.

It’s important to realize that you can release these emotions from within yourself. Follow the four steps below to release your negative energy, and bring peace into your life.

1.  Observe your conscience.

During stressful situations, that voice in your head will automatically get louder and louder. It will begin to complain, and project angry, or hateful images into your head.

For example, one of your close friends has accidentally embarrassed you in front of a group of others. The moment that happens, that voice in your head comes in.

“I can’t believe he just did that! Why would he do that? What an ******! I’m going to get him back!”

Your mind may then start to fantasize about getting your friend back by projecting mental images and videos into your head.

The same sort of negative thinking will begin to enter your head during different situations, to a greater or lesser degree.

These negative voices, pictures, and videos in your mind, can be collectively referred to as the ego (in this context).

In order to stop the ego from running your life, you must do one simple thing. Observe those voices, pictures, and videos from a third-person perspective. Watch as if the ego is completely separate from you. But do not judge the ego, or condemn it. If ¬†you begin to judge that voice (“I hate my ego! Stop controlling me!”), the ego will have just come in through the back door. See the irony?

By observing and treating your ego as separate from you, you are disassociating yourself from it. Eventually, the negative imagery will stop.

2. Observe your emotions.

Once this mental imagery has halted, you will realize that although there are no voices, images, or videos playing in your mind, you still feel your negative emotions. This may be anger, misery, frustration, or a great many other emotions.

Similar to how we observed the ego, it’s now time to observe your emotions. Observe them, but do not judge them. Close your eyes and take a moment to view your negative emotions in a third person perspective, as we did with our ego in step one.

You may feel the hotness of your face, the tension in your body, and all the physical symptoms of your negativity. Really take 1 to 2 minutes to sit there and observe the negativity inside you. See how it is trying to pull you back into a cycle of negative thoughts. See how it is tugging at every fiber of your being to let that emotion consume you.

Remember though, do not judge the emotion. Simply observe. As ironic as this may sound, let your negativity rage on inside you, and simply watch it without becoming drawn into it. You will realize that the negativity is not really part of who you are.

3. Alternate between observing your ego, and observing your emotions.

While you are observing your ego, you realize that even though your mind is quiet, the negativity is still there. At that point, switch to observing your emotions. If you are observing your emotions and begin to see the mental imagery in your head again, switch to observing your ego.

By switching between the two when one starts to take over, you can go through a cycle of counteracting each one, until you are completely at peace. The more you practice these steps, not only will you be getting rid of your current negativity, but it will begin to affect you to a lesser and lesser degree in the future. With great practice, you may eventually be able to live a very stress-free, and peaceful life.

The key to all this is observing, without judging. Know that negativity is not a part of who you truly are, and that it can be released in a healthy way.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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