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How to Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Action Steps

When we find ourselves in the midst of an unpleasant situation, it can provoke negative emotions within our heart space. You may find that you're experiencing feelings like sadness, anger, or even disappointment. It can be challenging to know what to do with these feelings, and many times people stuff them, ignore them, or allow these feelings to fester and dwell on them. These coping mechanisms are not healthy and can cause more pain mentally and emotionally. When we can learn how to process and work through negative emotions, we allow ourselves to become more emotionally resilient. There is a simple yet very effective exercise you can do to process any negative feelings you are facing. Start by doing a Google search for a negative emotions chart and work through this process:

1. Start by choosing the emotion you are feeling, like sad, angry, or fearful.

2. Once that emotion is selected, go a step further by defining that emotion. This will allow you to be more specific and accurately describe what you're feeling. For example, you may think that you are sad when really you are feeling lonely and isolated. Pinpointing a more specific emotion will help you to know what you are dealing with accurately.

3. Identify what you need not to feel that emotion.

4. Think of a solution to the problem at hand. For example, if you feel isolated, a possible solution may be to connect with others and surround yourself with community.

5. Create 1-2 action steps toward that solution. If you can't think of a solution, prayer is always one! Ask God to show you what to do, and He will give it to you.

Following this exercise will help you go from feeling helpless and succumb to whatever emotion you're feeling to working them with a plan and action steps. Repeat this as many times as needed, and you can even do this for multiple emotions you are experiencing.

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