Imagination Helps You Manage Negative Emotions

September 6, 2017

Emotions are inherent to us, meaning we can’t escape from them no matter how hard we try. It’s normal to feel anger, jealousy, and resentment, although we have to know how to manage these negative emotions. The big problem is that nobody teaches us how to do so. But with the help of our own imagination, we’ll be able to achieve it.

“Imagination creates reality.”

-Richard Wagner-

We know that negative emotions are hardly something to brag about, so we try to repress them and cover them up. But this is a bad idea because as you must know, they end up getting out one way or another. Although you can’t choose which emotion to feel, what you can do is choose what to do with them.

Emotions are trains that come and go

What do trains do? Do they remain stopped in the same place? No, they move, they come and go. We’re often told to imagine that our lives are like a train; people get in and some stay, while others get off. Now use your imagination to visualize the same train, but instead of people, it’s carrying your negative emotions.


Sometimes it feels like you won’t be able to free yourself from your anger. It’s stuck to you and you can’t get it off. But what’s really happening is you’re not letting it go; you’re allowing it to stay. You have to start to look at it as if you’re in a train that, in a few minutes or an hour, will start to follow a different route.

It might be hard for you to imagine your emotions like a train, or maybe you don’t think it’s possible that this will help you. You might be unaware that your mind is the most powerful thing you have. If you believe something is possible in your mind, then so it is. If you think you can’t go any further, then that will happen, too.

Everything your mind believes is close to becoming reality.

Answer this question: why don’t your positive emotions worry you? If they don’t, then your negative ones shouldn’t, either. The problem is that the negative ones are given too much attention because they feel bad. Don’t make them out to be more important than they are. Don’t focus on them. That way, the train will be able to move and they’ll go away.

Characterize your emotions

This can be a helpful technique to use with children, but it can also work well with adults. Sometimes, we repress our emotions so much that we run away from them and ignore them, even though they’re still there.

That’s why it can be really helpful to give your emotions a physical form. Give free reign to your imagination and picture your jealousy or anger in your hand. Try to picture how much it weighs, what color it is, whether it’s big or small. Ultimately, what you’re doing is characterizing, analyzing, and observing the emotion.

butterfly girl

This will allow you to deal with it more effectively. Instead of ignoring it, you’re describing it, and this will help you manage it. Say you’re picturing it as really big, dark, and heavy. This will make you reflect on whether it’s really like that, or if maybe you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

“We make mistakes when emotions invade us and drive us to bad behavior.”

-Dalai Lama-

This technique can also help the little ones in the house, since they don’t know how to deal with their negative emotions. And sometimes we don’t either – or not that we don’t know how, but we don’t want to face them. But remember, even if you ignore them, they’re still there. They won’t go away, and if you don’t resolve them, they’ll consume you.

If they scare you, ridicule them

Negative emotions scare us. When practicing the above technique, you might find yourself faced with a terrible monster that personifies the rage you feel inside. Or maybe it’s a tall, dark shadow, painting the silhouette of jealousy. Whatever it is, if you want to free yourself from it, you have to counteract the fear you feel.

Going back to the above technique, when you have the emotion in your hands, it won’t survive if you ridicule it. Imagine the terrible monster talking in a ridiculous voice, or the dark shadow dressed in a terrible skirt and hat combination. This will make you laugh, and believe it or not, it will help you let those negative emotions flow and disappear through the hole that you’ve opened up for them.

balloon head

You can’t escape from negative emotions, but you can release them. By using imaginative techniques like these, you can stop feeding into them and making them bigger. If you focus too much on anger, you might end up doing something you’ll regret later.

There’s nothing more powerful than imagination.

These techniques might seem like a ridiculous way to deal with your emotions, but they’ll definitely help you more than once. Don’t think about how silly they seem – save the ridicule for your negative emotions. If you think about it this way, you’ll be able to rid yourself of the weight of negativity and bad thoughts. Your imagination is more powerful than you think.

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