Learning to Communicate Negative Emotions

Learning to deal with negative emotions is an important part of growing up and becoming a functional person. It’s an essential part of what we teach our children, too. But even more important than what we tell our children about communication and emotion is the example we show them and how we handle it ourselves.

Everyone could use a brush-up course, so here are some ideas to get you started...

Remember to Relax

Before trying to communicate when you are heated up and angry, try to separate yourself from the situation, briefly, so that you can try to relax and calm down. This might seem like a difficult thing to do in the moment, but there are a handful of relaxation techniques that can be used to help you keep anger at bay. Try some of these techniques:

  • Breathe. Just breathe. Take deep breaths from your diaphragm and imagine the air coming up from your gut. Take a good deal of time to do some breathing exercises until you feel your heated energy come down.
  • Think of a calming phrase that you would like to hear, and then proceed to repeat that phrase to yourself in between your breathing exercises. Sometimes, just assuring yourself that something isn’t a big deal will do wonders to calm you down.
  • This sounds cliche but think of a happy place. Closing your eyes and trying to visualize a place of relaxation, whether it is something you remember or are just imagining, can go a long way toward reducing frustration and anxiety.
  • Write your thoughts down. Sometimes, just venting on a piece of paper all of the things that you’d like to say (but know you shouldn’t) will help you get in a more rational headspace.

Work Out Your Frustration

One of the simplest and most practical ways to handle anger is to get all of the negative energy out of your body through physical exercise. Exercising also uses your brain chemistry to release endorphins that relieve stress and calm an angry mind. This is what makes exercise such a great way to manage anger. Taking the build up frustration and using it towards physical activity helps get rid of pent-up emotions that bottle up when you’re angry. This enables you to relax and get a better grasp of your mind. You don’t need an extremely vigorous exercise, either. Just taking a quick jog and a walk will help reduce stress and release endorphins.

Think About Your Speech Patterns

If you’ve followed some of the other steps on this list, then you’ve hopefully calmed down and let go of your irrational responses. This doesn’t mean that your anger is gone, though, but it does mean that you can be measured about how you talk about it. When speaking with a person about why you’re angry, remember to use good communication tools, and don’t get caught up in a pattern of blaming somebody else for things, out of hand. Keep track of your particular speech patterns that you use when you are angry, and keep them in check, so a situation doesn’t devolve into a pointless argument. Here are some tips for better communication, especially in fraught circumstances.

Address Difficult Topics Head-on

Sometimes, there’s a tendency to avoid difficult subjects to talk about, because we know that it will lead to negative emotions that we’d rather avoid. However, avoiding these topics only prolongs the problem more than it needs to be. For this reason, it’s important to take these challenging topics and discuss them directly with the person who it affects. This doesn’t mean the conversation will be comfortable, but it prevents harmful emotions from being bottled up until a breaking point within both parties.
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