50 Ways To Constructively Channel Negative Emotions

Emotional intelligence is not about never experiencing negative emotions, but learning how to channel them in positive and constructive ways. Here are some activities I find effective in taking emotions like sadness, anger, or grief, and then using them to learn something about ourselves or creating a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

50 Ways To Constructively Channel Negative Emotions

  • Play an instrument.
  • Listen to music that fits your mood.
  • Paint or draw.
  • Write a short story.
  • Sing a song.
  • Dance.
  • Go to the gym or workout.
  • Go some place where you can yell at the top of your lungs.
  • Watch a movie that echoes how you feel.
  • Do yoga, tai chi, or some other mind-body exercise.
  • Vent your thoughts to someone who is willing to listen.
  • Create a personal blog (see power of writing) or vlog to keep track of your experiences.
  • Donate or volunteer at an organization that works toward your values.
  • Ask yourself, “What are my emotions trying to tell me?” Often there is a thought process behind what we feel.
  • Learn how to reframe a situation in a more positive or productive light.
  • Try doing something nice for someone. Often creating pleasant feelings for others increases our own well-being.
  • Go out to your local park or nature preserve.
  • Find a good place to take pictures.
  • Write and direct a short film.
  • Hit a punching bag.
  • Play a stimulating video game.
  • View anxiety or stress as motivators to act, not things that inhibit you.
  • Write a poem or song lyrics.
  • Try to solve a puzzle.
  • Go outside for a short walk.
  • Reflect on negative experiences and see what you can learn from them.
  • Meditate on your thoughts and emotions without being judgmental (“good” or “bad”).
  • Channel your emotions into a competitive sport.
  • Go star gazing.
  • Respectfully confront someone who may be responsible for how you feel.
  • Engage in simple good feelings so you remind yourself of the finer things in life.
  • Learn how to take criticism like a champ.
  • Consider forgiveness as a valuable way to let go of past experiences.
  • Read a book.
  • Join a forum or online support group that shares similar troubles.
  • Use negative relationships in the past as fuel to improve relationships in the future.
  • When reflecting on negative events in your life, try to see the bigger picture. Often these experiences can build resilience in the long-term (related: post-traumatic growth).
  • Use anger or other “high charged” emotions to drive you to be more productive at work.
  • Blur the line between work and play to handle boredom or apathy.
  • Use physical weakness or fatigue as a sign to take a break or enjoy leisure time.
  • Wake up early and watch the sunrise.
  • Find the value in occasional solitude.
  • Surround yourself with positive and supporting friends and family.
  • Use your emotional energy to create positive affirmations.
  • Create your own self-hypnosis audio.
  • Write your own daily prayer.
  • Reflect on role models who may have overcome similar obstacles.
  • Organize and redecorate your house or office space.
  • Read some inspirational quotes.

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Source by Steven Handel

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