Step 1.Be alerted on negative emotions

Negative emotions are a reaction on your pain, but you tend to explain it differently. You will interpret this pain as anger, grief, rage, envy, irritation, jealousy, distrust and suspicion. If you notice one of these emotions with yourself you have to be aware. They are signals that you have been hurt by the behavior of somebody from your vicinity.

– denial of pain
Most people tend to feel increasingly less pain (read negative emotions) over the years. There for they invented all sorts of tricks (consciously and unconsciously). Unfortunately feeling less does not mean being stronger. The most powerful people are aware of their feelings and learned their strength and weakness. This knowledge gives them power.

Examples of denial of negative emotions
A middle aged manager isolated himself from his relatives when confronted with tiresome announcements. For example his wife is telling him that he is doing everything wrong at home. The man did not respond to the accusations but isolated completely from her and his feelings (pain). He became unreachable for his wife and went on with his occupations. He did not respond anymore to his wife who is starting to get very angry. Apparently his wife has hurt him. The man does not know what is going on. If I asks him what he felt at these moments he could hardly remember nor could he tell what he felt.

The most tragic example of denial for me is the following. An office clerk retired after forty years of loyal service to the company he worked for. Three months later he died.  One month before his death I spoke with him. He told me he felt very depressed by doing nothing as he described his retirement. He had to deal with a number of emotions (pain) with which during his working life he did not learn how to cope. Denial of emotions works a period of time, but one day we cannot escape from their reality. Then we have to face them. Apparently for this man the confrontation with this postponed misery and pain was fatal. It was too much for him to handle and accept.

– Tension and stress
When you feel hurt, for instance if somebody evokes irritation or anger or the memory to a hurtful incident, this may cause tension or stress. The reason is that you do not accept this emotion and instead of accepting starts fighting it (unconsciously).

You can also be hurt by the memory of a painful event, for instance a fatal accident on the highway with wounded people. You can fight this pain caused by this memory too and again this will cause tension.

The cause of tension is most of the time your ban to feel negative emotions, as showing emotions is considered as weakness. The resistance results in tension. Compare it with stretching your muscles. You strain to feel or express no emotion.

After you have recognized stress you should try to find its cause. What circumstance or what behavior did you annoy? Without admitting this to yourself? Or without permitting yourself to cause this your annoyance?

Often you have to look for these matters that you do not want to see or admit to yourself.

For weeks you are feeling tensed. You think that you are not able to change anything about it, because it is caused by the pressure at work. Or you think it is normal to be stressed at work, at the end of the month when most analyses have to be ready.
Or you think that stress is useful and normal.

I do not think so. We are talking here about circumstances. The fact that there is a lot of pressure at work or having the analyses ready at the end of the month are circumstances that you cannot alter. But the fact that you every time feel irritation when it occurs is your choice! You are not able to change the circumstances, but you can change the way how you are coping with them. As you are able to conquer the negative emotion (annoyance) which each time hits you. That is the solution. Fight the negative experience resulting in the acceptance of the fact that there are moments at work that you have to do more work than other times. Or resign.

In both cases you are acting, instead of annoying yourself, which is in fact doing nothing at all. If you feel tensed you are fighting the circumstances, in your mind. As in reality you are idle. Apparently the feeling that you cannot change anything about it paralyses you.

(inexplicable) Negative feelings
It seems easy to be aware of the moments during the day that you feel bad. Do not underestimate this. You most probably want to ‘forget’ this negative feeling as soon as possible. Suppose you have the intention to write down at the end of each day the ‘bad’ moments. If you do not handle this consciously, you will most likely forget to even write this down and finding out the end of the week that you did forget to do it after all.

Notice that it is unimportant when judging your bad feelings what opinion you or your relatives have about these feelings. Just when you feel bad for whatever reason, valid or invalid, use it to conquer negative emotions, as explained on the following pages.


Your partner stopped your relationship. After some time you yourself came to the conclusion that this relationship was not satisfying for you too. Looking back you are even glad that she broke the relationship. It feels okay for you now. Until Saturday afternoon in town when you saw your ex hand in hand with another guy. You felt terribly hurt. The rest of the afternoon and evening you were upset, but you did not understand why. Still with or without understanding you have to work on this hurtful feeling. Apparently you did not process the loss, else you would not have responded this way. It might be possible that at the end of the day  when you look back on the events of the day that you do  not want to consider this incident as a bad moment. You think you have ended that relationship, so the feelings about it should be over. As stated it is not important what you think of it now. It happened, you experienced a bad feeling, so you have to work with it.

Matters that block you
Every thought of change evokes resistance. Every time you are undertaking something new there is a chance you will fail. Or a new circumstance will happen that you did not want. Together with the intention to start something (new) doubt arises. If this doubt is strong enough you will not carry out your intention. Doubts are a mixture of feelings of anxiety and reasons to stimulate you to make a standstill.

An experienced trainer decides to refine his skills by following a course with fellow trainers.  During every role play he has to perform a trainer, he behaves differently from how he is used to. It seems impossible for him to play himself. Initially he thinks this has got something to do with the setting of the role play, as usually when he takes care of a course there are no colleagues present who watch him and are giving him feedback. The fact that the circumstances are different from how he is used to is the reason for the trainer to stop watching himself. He is saying to himself I cannot change the circumstances that influence my role play.

But the trainer can change his behavior. But before he can do that he has to admit to himself that he has fear to be himself. He is probably afraid that his colleagues will think that he is not a good trainer. This fear of failing blocks him from being himself.

So every time when you have an intention and you cannot understand that you cannot get into action, you would consider that an emotion is stopping you.

People who cannot get into action without feeling what stopped them, first have to examine what stopped them.

Warning. We tend to blame the circumstances. If you really belief this, every action to change will stop because of a condition or behavior of other people.