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The cost of your negativity!

1By Erica Danielle

Negative emotions can come from anywhere. There are the small things like watching someone zip through a parking lot while you wait in traffic, dealing with someone in customer service with a bad attitude or waiting forever in a line for something you swear should not take that long; there are the big things like being cheated out of your money on a big purchase like a car or a home, being treated poorly by someone you love and trust or being subjected to an impossible-to-get-along-with co-worker, boss or subordinate on a daily basis.

Wherever the negativity inside of us comes from, we generally feel that we have a right to feel the negative emotions of anger, frustration and aggression. But here's the question: Where does all that negative energy go? What happens when you take the negative feelings that you have from the fight with your significant other to the grocery store and you share them with one of the cashiers? What happens when you take the negative emotions of being treated badly at work home to your children who are looking for your support? I'll tell you – they take the negative energy and pass it along to the people they come into contact with.

Negative energy is like carrying around the flu virus and sneezing on everyone you come into contact with. Some people are resistant to it, but most people take your flu bug and share it. Before you know it, everyone is sick. Negative energy is indeed a sickness and once your share it, there is no telling how many people it will touch. In essence, your argument with you wife before work could result in the neglect of a child that you don't know.

Sounds crazy, right? Perhaps the cost of negativity is higher than you thought. How can you possibly be responsible for that? Your bad attitude doesn't justify the poor treatment of children! Anyone who treats their child badly should learn to control themselves. They should realize that that child does not deserve to be treated in such a way. But why is that true? Why do you believe that another person should be capable of controlling how they feel about the negative actions that you triggered inside of them when you haven't learned how to control the negative emotions that someone else created inside of you?

In the sharing of negative emotions, no one wins. So what's the answer? Simply put, you are. Let's say someone hands you some negative energy in the form of cutting you off in traffic. Should you speed up to yell at them, drive around them while shaking your fist in the air, take it out on other drivers? May I suggest an alternative? Try sitting with the pissed off feeling that comes up. It's that feeling of anger and frustration that makes you want to lash out. There is something about these emotions that desire resolution in the form of aggressive action. We feel that we have to do something to make ourselves feel better again. Here's what you can do instead:

1. Don't act immediately (or at all in some situations).

2. Stop replaying over and over again in your head the incident that caused the negative emotions.

3. Refrain from telling the story of the offensive action to anyone who will listen – especially if you still become fired up and angry about the incident.

4. Try to get in contact with the peaceful part of you that knows "this too shall pass" and everything will be alright.

5. Return to your regularly scheduled activity in peace.

This is not to say that you should not take peaceful action to resolve issues in your life. I don't believe for a minute that we should allow ourselves to be treated badly while we smile and take it. The goal is to peacefully try to resolve each issue with the person with whom you actually have the issue – rather than wildly directing anger and aggression at them or any other person who comes your way.

Some issues that create negativity in our lives are not so easily let go. However, begin to practice sitting with the negative emotions that come up when smaller, less painful occurrences happen. This is practice for the big stuff. The cycle of negativity can end with you and me.

"[T]o the degree that each of us is dedicated to wanting there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close."

~Pema Chödrön

Feel relaxed, happy and more peaceful. Try yoga, meditation or coaching with Erica. Contact info: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / 1 (721) 554-3662.

 

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