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While the desire to let go of negative emotions might be strong, understanding the difference between suppression and true closure can be difficult. A lot of it is found in the approach to feelings you need to work through. Suppression is a gut reaction for many people. The logic is that if you deny the feeling’s validity and push it away, eventually it will disappear. The exact opposite is true, however, and the feeling will inevitably rear its ugly head again.

Here are a few ways to help you get past the dwelling phase, and move on to learning to honor feelings that you’re ready to let go of. With a few tactics and a visit to an Allen Counseling, you can live a happier life.

  1. Physical Release

Externalizing emotions in cathartic ways can help you process them. Tiny Buddha recommends that performing symbolic acts can help reinforce closure, such as burning a letter or drawing with window crayons that can be wiped away. The idea is to tangibly express the negativity you’re working through, helping you to move past it and find closure. It’s the opposite of repression.

  1. Compassion for Yourself

Self-blame is one of the most toxic emotions and it’s an easy one to dwell on since it’s deeply rooted and internalized. This is a surefire way to work a feeling even more deeply under the surface. Psychology Today advises to have compassion for yourself and literally write down something you did wrong that’s bothering you. This process facilitates self forgiveness and the ability to see in writing what you feel guilty about, face it head on, and then move past it. Honor your feelings by acknowledging that they exist and are based in things that really happened.

  1. Find a Centering Force

Forbes suggests that a great way to combat negative thought loops is to find a mantra that steadies you, which can be something as simple as, “Let go.” Feelings that you can’t shake can cause panic and self-loathing, but this isn’t a way to process emotion in a constructive manner. Find a phrase that appeals and resonates with you, and repeat it over the course of the day when you have the urge to dwell in a feeling you’re trying to move past. Remind yourself not to panic, and keep your mantra focused on the end goal.

  1. Change Your Perspective

Transform the negative feeling by viewing it from a different perspective, finding a lesson in it, and forgiveness, suggests Edge Magazine. Therapy can help and Allen Counseling offer a wide range of services depending on the type of counseling you require, whether it’s a family or personal issue. A change of perspective isn’t always easy either, since it requires letting go of negative beliefs you might have held about yourself for a long time. Reassessing feelings in different contexts can help you view it from another angle and take some of the bite away from an emotion that just won’t go away.

  1. Don’t Preemptively Self Blame

One of the most deadly sins of holding onto negative emotions is to blame actions on the feeling, or preempt failure by attributing your lack of ability to a negative belief, says Mindful. This is also the essence of dwelling, rather than processing. Blaming feelings for faults and pessimism is also a passive approach, whereas if you’re ready to honor your feelings, you need to proactive.

  1. Choose the Right Therapist

I Choose Change states that 60 percent of couples who actually start couples therapy still get divorced, but that’s often because the therapist was the wrong choice. Matching a therapist to your needs, whether as a couple or an individual, is absolutely essential to helping you let go of negative feelings and leave them behind. I Choose Change offers a lot of options for both couples therapy as well as other family counseling.

The key to effectively working through feelings that you’re ready to leave in the past is allowing yourself to feel and honor them. This can be achieved through a combination of lifestyle tactics and therapy with local Allen counseling that meet your needs.