Negative emotions can consume us. Whether we’re thinking about a friend or partner that betrayed us or a bad encounter during the morning commute, many of us keep replaying the events in our mind, unable to let it go. Robyn Openshaw, author of VIBE, shares why it’s so important to digest negative emotion instead of keeping it bubbled up.
Research shows that the average emotion lasts just ninety seconds.
That’s a fascinating fact that may be very helpful in your desire to have your life emphasize the positives, minimizing the negatives. Just knowing it may help you with metabolizing emotions if you remind yourself often, “This is just a feeling. It will go away.” This has been important self-talk in my own lifelong fight with anxiety.
Using a couple of stories from my own life, I’m going to walk you slowly through a process in which someone enters your energy field and does something awful that you don’t deserve, and before you’re done, you’re wishing him well, releasing all negative emotion, and leaving it behind—and you’re happier than you were before it all happened.
I’m not kidding.
It’s not for everyone. If you want to be a victim, if you want to stay in whatever stuck place you’re in because it serves you in some way, then this is not for you. If you spend a lot of your time talking about negative stories, this may rob you of some of your conversation. That could be a drag.
But if you want a high-vibration life, every day, every month, every year? Even while bad juju happens all over the globe and in your own world? Then you absolutely must master this.
And guess what? Even though we’re going to go through it slowly, you can do all of this, when you get good at it, in ninety seconds or less! And you can do it anytime, anywhere, without anyone even knowing.
Let’s start with Metabolizing. If you don’t digest the negative emotion, it will keep festering, bubbling up, and resurfacing, affecting many parts of your life. Just like undigested food in your gut, it will eventually make you sick.
To metabolize an emotion, ask yourself the following two questions—and do not go on to the second question until you clearly know the answer to the first. You’ll eventually become very quick at this, so that you can complete the entire process in just seconds:
Q1: Why I am feeling angry [or uncomfortable, frustrated, anxious, discouraged]—what is really bothering me, beneath the surface emotion?
Make a one- or two-sentence statement to yourself. Often the clarity alone, after answering this first question, moves stuck energies forward significantly.
Example: “I’m unable to focus because I keep thinking about what my boss, Connie, said. I can’t tell if she’s unhappy with my work, and I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her when I was in her office.”
Q2: Now that I know what’s really eating at me, what actions could I take to solve it?
Example: “I could send Connie an e-mail. The timing is important, because I want to write it when I’m not assuming anything. Maybe I shouldn’t write an e-mail—then I still don’t know what she’s thinking, and I want to see her body language. I’ll stop into her office after lunch. I’ll gather my thoughts right now and think how to ask it. I’ll be really warm and encourage her to be forthright with me. I’ll preempt any unhappiness she has about my work by telling her really clearly how important it is to me to do a good job, that I welcome her feedback, and that I have a sense she may not be completely happy with my work.”
After asking yourself these first two questions to metabolize what’s really going on, you may have a plan in mind that resolves the emotion and has the additional benefit of movement toward solving a problem. Often, when I ask myself questions to get to the bottom of why I’m stuck in a low-vibe state, I find that I am worried about something. I then schedule a time to worry! That’s right: I table it, because I know it needs attention that I can’t give it right now.
Other times, though, checking in with myself (“Why am I feeling ______?”) helps me get clear within mere seconds about why I’m not optimizing my Vibration Quotient and what needs to happen in order to get back in sync with my purposes. Many times, all I need is simply awareness and choosing a shift, using any of the practices that raise vibration.
The ability to live in the grounded frequencies starts with awareness of the principles you’re discovering and making a commitment to choosing a high-vibration life. It truly must start with choice.