Life throws at us many challenges that trigger various emotions such as hatred, anger, sorrow, pain and anxiety. How do we free ourselves of these negative feelings?
There are actually many ways, but don’t try to sort out complicated emotions like solving a mathematics equation. Two negatives make a positive? Well, our emotions don’t work that way.
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, everything has yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy), and our mind is no exception.
Like light driving out darkness, Chinese medicine practitioners believe in canceling out negativity with positivity, with happiness, joy and love stored in the heart that rules our vitality.
When we open up our heart, positivity will flow through our body and we will become happy, joyous and loving.
Emotions are in fact different forms of qi, which literally means air or vital energy. If our body can convert cold air into hot air, it can also turn negative qi into a positive one. As long as we are aware of our emotions, we are in control.
Try laughing for a minute the next time you feel upset and see how it works!
Aside from turning negative thoughts into positive ones, a more fundamental approach is to face the dark side of ourselves bravely. Our world is designed to operate from daytime and nighttime, and likewise, our emotions do not remain constant. They change from one form to another. We should not judge or label any emotions as either good or bad, right or wrong.
Chinese medicine practitioners advise us to treat all emotions equally. When we get emotional, just delve into the emotion and reflect upon it – what causes such an emotion?
Maybe we feel angry because we are not confident enough or we feel intimidated. If we see through the helplessness and suppression behind the facade of our anger, we can turn those core feelings into something that will motivate us to fight injustice in society.
Once we take responsibility for our emotions, we will not feel victimized and it will be easier to free ourselves of negativity.
Remember, emotions are signals and they should not be reasons for us to feel negative. To conquer negativity we should let go of the belief that emotions are bad.
Accept our true selves and stop being judgemental. Only then will we be able to find peace.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 9
Translation by John Chui
[Chinese version 中文版]