When someone you are with makes a negative comment, the weather in your world immediately changes. You’re going along feeling good inside yourself but then their critical comment or complaint hijacks you. You may notice the burn of frustration starting as a pit inside your stomach. You might feel a creeping constriction in your throat as you feel you want to say something but can’t.
You don’t have to stay feeling cranky in your body just because the other person was projecting their negative stuff onto you!
Try these three strategies to keep feeling a positive vibe even when others are negative:
Close off your energy field
You can ‘close off your energy field’, so you don’t have to absorb their negativity. If you are interacting with them in person, try crossing your ankles, your wrists, or your arms – that subtly creates a barrier to taking in their insults. If you are interacting with them on the phone or via text (not in person with them), try going into “Wonder Woman” pose where you cross your wrists and direct your energies to how you are here to ‘save the world’ (or at least help the people in your world)!
Practice cooling breath
When you are in the presence of someone who is a critic or a complainer, it makes you want to react to them. When you react, you feel heated or get red in the face. Yet you have the power to stay cool, calm, and collected. Try using cooling breath.
Cooling breath is a reverse breath in which you breathe in through your mouth as if you are sipping through a straw, then exhale through your nose. (When you are doing it right you should feel a cooling and drying sensation over your tongue.) It takes you out of the part of your brain that is in hijack and puts you back in the part of your brain where you can have perspective and show up as the person YOU want to be.
Instead of trying to change the other person, calm yourself down and change the course of the interaction.
Chop away your negative emotions
As women, we feel our emotions (both positive and negative) more intensely on average than men. We are built to deal with stress by processing our emotions. It’s important that we move emotions through our bodies so they don’t accumulate to cause potential disease processes.
Negative emotions tend to accumulate in the trunk of your body. You can dissolve the negative emotions that you feel in the middle section of your body by using the motion of a karate chop. (If you’ve ever had a Chinese massage, you’ll notice that at the end of the session, the massage therapist does this kind of karate chop motion on your back to stimulate the meridians.)
With bent elbows, face your palms toward one another, shoulder-width distance apart. Then make a ‘chopping motion’ by alternating your right and left hands up and down. Try to imagine that the source of your frustration is between your hands and you are taking out your anger on the situation! Try it for one minute. You’ll see that you’ve ‘flushed out your negative feelings’ (and had a big laugh, too). At the end, feel how much energy is in your hands – you are ready to rock the world!