A few months ago, my sister shared an article that she contributed to and it has had my mind going ever since. It’s a fast and easy read, basically about how when a person is emotional, sometimes they have a secondary response to how they are feeling. According to the article the most common emotional response is negative emotion can bring a second negative emotion.
I can relate to this. In a way it was somewhat liberating to read. You might be wondering why I felt liberated. The topic isn’t exactly fun or sassy, but it was something I immediately related to.
The link below will take you to the full article.
Have you ever been so frustrated that you took that frustration and lectured yourself about how you knew better, and you can’t believe how stupid you were to expect anything but the worst? Or have you had a hard day, tears are flowing and feelings are hurt, maybe it’s heart break or maybe fear has you overwhelmed, or maybe you’re just having one of those days where you’re sad for some unknown reason you can’t even pin point (those are the worst, I blame hormones regardless of age!). If I’m having a day like this, I’m likely crying in the shower, I’ll manage to make myself pull it together and then as soon as I look in the mirror, BAM, I burst into tears all over again! What is it about a mirror that can keep the tears flowing?!?! Maybe I’m the only one this happens to, I kind of hope so, because it’s not a pretty sight.
Or has your heart ever been broken and besides crying and yelling at yourself in the mirror the next thing on the list to keep the tears flowing is turning on the sappiest, most heart wrenching music that will keep the sobs going? Music can be a very emotional trigger for me. If I’m angry, I’m probably going to play some Demi Lovato, that woman knows how to put emotion into her music! Depending on what might be influencing my emotions depends on what I play.
This is true for my happy moods too, I love anything that makes me want to dance! My absolute favorite music choice is anything that makes me feel close to the people I love. There are a hundred different reasons I may have a strong response to a song, maybe it’s a shared memory, maybe it was a milestone moment, maybe it’s the emotions of the lyrics and what they mean, but music can bring me down or be wonderfully therapeutic. From Bishop Briggs, to Meghan Trainor, to Foo Fighters, to Incubus, to Ludacris there is meaning and emotion to it all. When I think about it, the music I choose evokes far more positive influences and uplifting emotions than negative.
This article made me realize that not only am I not alone in the chain reaction of emotions, but that the negative ones really stand out and can shake my foundation. When I started thinking about not just the feelings I have every day, but the way I react so strongly to negative feelings, I realized I’m treating my emotions like I tend to treat compliments. You know what I mean, one person says something critical like, why did you color your hair? Immediately I feel awkward and dowdy. Ten others can ask where I got my hair done and compliment me but the one I stay hung up on is the one that was critical. This is something I’m trying to work on. It’s so easy to accept negative feedback, but positive comments are easily brushed aside. This is so wrong, and yet I must actively remind myself to enjoy the compliment. Basically when it comes to feelings, in my opinion, anger, frustration, hurt, and fear do not deserve a louder voice than pride, happiness, hope, and love.
I’ve been quiet for the last few months, a little was the holidays, a little was life and honestly some was me taking in how I handle and appreciate my own world. I’m very fortunate, I spend far more days happy than I do sad, scared, frustrated or angry. Yet the hard days can seem to overtake the ease of everyday life even though there are fewer of those moments. So, I’m trying something different. Why not take my downer days and whatever takes me there and combat it not by crying in the mirror, but by playing some music that reminds me of a better day, or some music that makes me want to dance, or by turning on Hallmark channel. Don’t laugh, Hallmark is my go-to sanctuary, no thinking required, only warm and fuzzy moments, heck the commercials are even easy going, zero horror movie commercials on Hallmark network😉 Yes, I’m a big wuss, but what works, works!
What I am finding is, life is emotional, and I can’t control my immediate response to what is thrown at me on the daily, but I can try to make my long-term response easier to handle. Part of me has always known my own perspective is the difference between a good day and a bad day. I think until I started taking in my emotions, I didn’t realize how much I allowed my feelings to wildly control my day. I feel like I finally realized I’d been doing it wrong. Why would I hold onto the negative??? Why wouldn’t I cherish all the happiness that surrounds me each day?!? I’m shutting out the negative white noise that inevitably enters each day and focusing on the parts of my day that matter: family, friends, home, and joy. By making small changes, and honestly by not being hard on myself, I’m learning to let the negative go, and hold on a little tighter to the happy moments.
If you see someone dancing and passionately singing completely off key in the car next to you in traffic, it might be me getting my happy on😊 Sending BIG hugs and hoping everyone has something that helps keep a little extra happiness in their day!