Feelings are really powerful. When you experience negative emotions like sadness or anger, it can be difficult to remember that you are separate from those feelings, not defined by them and that they are TEMPORARY. It’s so easy to get wrapped up your emotions and give them more strength than they really have.
What makes matters worse is the language we tend to use. For example, we often say “I am depressed, or I am angry.” But stop for a moment and consider what you are actually saying. Whether you mean to or not, you’re defining yourself as being your emotions—and all of that negative self-talk can really ramp up your stress level and make you feel worse.
Technique of the week: Notice when you feel swept up by a strong negative emotion and simply observe the feeling. Instead of telling yourself you are mad, say you feel mad. This will help you make a clear distinction between being your emotion and having an emotion, and distancing yourself from those bad feelings.