January 31, 2017 by John Andrew Williams
Just as certain kinds of food cause inflammation, so do certain thoughts and emotions. Over the past few months, I have seen clients go through intense emotions and spin into some very negative emotion cycles. I’ve also seen clients craft a variety of different approaches to manage this emotional inflammation.
I want to share the patterns I’ve seen develop and the best responses I my clients have come up with to get out of those negative patterns.
Let’s call the place most people end up “Danger Island”. It’s a tricky place, where negative perspectives throw you off your game. You get gloomy, moody, angry, frustrated, or some other anxiety filled feeling. You’re alone with a phone, and it’s going down.
The usual outcome is someone gets stranded on Danger Island, with nothing to do except to keep spiraling in a negative space.
Here are the best responses I’ve seen lately from clients to get off of Danger Island:
Organizing a group discussion or getting involved can make a huge difference. Many clients found solace in looking for existing organizations that are making a difference and metabolizing their emotion into positive energy. Reaching out to someone else is also an easy way to avoid the negative spiral.
Drawing clear boundaries on how much and when you check social media or news has been huge for many people.
When you can’t tackle the negative emotion head on, positive distractions are always a good way of turning things around. Keeping a gratitude journal instead of checking email is a great way to distract from those negative triggers.
The more you focus on your life’s most meaningful work, the more outside (and inside) distractions seem to melt away. Doing the work puts information into perspective. It empowers you. It reduces emotional inflammation. Such sweet relief through fulfilling work as one of the primary benefits of actively pursuing a clear life’s mission.
Doing your life’s work soothes the soul.
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