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Dealing with Negative Emotions

The journey to happiness. Hint: It includes unhappiness.

Sharing positive vs negative information online.

I find topics on negative experiences or feelings a thing that people shun talking about because a) most people feel like it’ll seem as if they’re seeking attention, and b) people don’t have the patience to hear about your negative feelings because it doesn’t add value to their life. (Ironically we are drawn to negative news as if it adds anything to our great pool of general knowledge.)

I wrote this on an Instagram story the other day:

You think it’s attention seeking to share sad or negative feelings (online). But do you realise that talking about your happiness is the same thing. (It’s just a) Stigma.

I mean, we should probably keep it to a minimum but I don’t see it different to how people share their happy posts. Your “positive news” can (sometimes) cause negative energy too. Everything in moderation.

Law of Attraction: Know that your mindset is important.

Our mind is an amazing tool — use it correctly and we can achieve whatever we want, use it wrongly and we’ll end up suffering more than we should.

Yes I used the words “correctly” and “wrongly”. Because being (blindly) positive doesn’t mean it’ll help you in your situation, and (sometimes) being negative doesn’t mean it’ll cause you hindrance.

If you’re grappling for something to help ground your mind, start with reading up the Law of Attraction.

“What? Really..?”

Yes, really. I know this is non-scientific, depending on how you look at it*. But having faith in something helps overcome or deal with negativity. And if the theory itself doesn’t convince you, why not try out a simple within-24/48-hour manifestation exercise.

I’m not exactly a believer (though the manifestation exercise has worked more than once in my test), nor am I religious (though I am agnostic), but the point of me suggesting this idea is that it helps shift your mind. It pulls you away from reality and allows you to see things from a different, larger perspective. It also shows that if you are in control of your mind, you can achieve many things.

1. Be aware. Acknowledge. Stay present.

Know when you’re plagued by negative thoughts you can’t get away from, acknowledge it. When you’re feeling a certain way, hold on to it for a moment, but don’t obsess or be critical over it.

Best way to do so is by meditating.

Meditation doesn’t have to be the way you imagine it as– sitting cross-legged on a futon, keeping silent and thought-free. Yes, the point of meditation might be to get there (thought-free that is, not the former points) – if that’s your goal – but it is the process of learning to let thoughts flow that is important.

Stay in the present and not go to the past or future in your mind.

2. Analyse. Live outside your mind.

The scary (and messy) part. Analysing feelings is tough because we overthink things. Our brain is powerful and we have overlapping storylines and scenarios playing in our head all at the same time. So the best way to deal is to live outside your mind.

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” ― Sigmund Freud

Express. Analyse verbally, or in written words. And then when you’ve done all that, distract yourself. Write, talk, draw, sing, read, exercise. Come back to it and see if you still feel the same way. Then you can think about how you should handle the situation, if you can. If you can’t, move to step 3.

3. Zoom out. See a different perspective.

The world is big, there is much to be explored. You are one in a million — and that goes two ways, you are the only you here on Earth (because I can’t guarantee that a parallel universe doesn’t exist), but you are also a part of the crowd.

If you need assurance, you can tell yourself that you are unique and there is no one else like you. If you feel like you’re not good enough for this world, you can tell yourself that you’re part of the world population, no one will notice if you’re actually good enough or not. Who cares?

(Obviously, don’t use it as an excuse.)

Life is not a math question (physicist might disagree but I’m the one writing this), and you don’t have to have an answer to everything.

Some issues have easier solutions than others, some require more courage and time, and some involves the cooperation of others. It’s a progress, you don’t have to rush yourself.


In order to appreciate the things you have, you need to first come to terms with the things you don’t.

People often say, “You should be grateful for X even though you don’t have Y”. But if we reside in the darkness of resentment and unhappiness, how will we be able to have the capacity to feel gratefulness and contentment. Darkness exists to emanate brightness; one exists to make the other stand out. You can’t be fully happy if you don’t accept your unhappiness.

Stay balanced and healthy. 💕

If you’re suffering any serious mental demon(s), please seek a professional mental healer (aka therapist) or someone to talk to!

* While writing this post I came across the book titled The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life (and a podcast episode) where the author talked about the law of attraction and neuroscience. Have not read the book yet at the time of posting this but perhaps it’s something you can look into if you’d like to know how science plays a role in this.




Life, by designers.

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Esther Teo

Esther Teo

Human. Designer. Feels a lot. Thinks a lot. Writes sometime. https://esthertch.com

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