There are three key sources that most people look to in order to find happiness and avoid the pain of negative emotions:
- People – Mate, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, parents, et al. People often don’t light up our life because they are preoccupied with meeting their own needs. Even in intimate relationships we can experience hurt, frustration and disappointment. Eventually we discover that instead of fulfillment, people actually dim the light we have.
- Places – Often we believe that if we had a new home near a beach or a cottage in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle then we would be happy. Places usually bring happiness for only a season. Even the most spectacular view or blazing fireplace can become ordinary and routine.
- Things – Money, a new job, more talents, a new car, etc. Many people believe that they will never be satisfied until they have acquired a certain amount of possessions or those special things that they have longed for. Eventually things soon begin to dim our light and short-circuit the hope for fulfillment.
Note: The problem lies in our expectations. When we expect people, places or things to bring us happiness, we set ourselves up for unhappiness. We begin to experience negative emotions such as anger, worry, hurt, jealousy, envy, etc.
What is the Secret for Turning Negative Emotions into Positive Gain?
- Picture negative emotions as warning lights. These warning lights reflect that you are expecting people, places or things to make you happy. Rather than being overwhelmed by these feelings determine to use those signals as a motivation to evaluate and change your focus. The hurt feelings, anger, and other destructive negative emotions you experience are directly proportional to the expectations you have of others and your desire for them to fulfill those expectations.
- Recognize and begin meeting other’s needs. ‘The electricity must flow out of your life.’ Happiness is a byproduct of serving other people and meeting their needs. Happiness is the prize for doing what is right with regard to other people. Lasting happiness and fulfillment are an automatic byproduct of helping others achieve happiness and fulfillment in their lives. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35.
- Maintain the proper perspective during hurtful experiences. All painful experiences have the power to develop a deeper more abiding love within you. They can make you more sensitive and empathetic with the pain of others. Develop an attitude of gratefulness for everything that God allows in your life – He intends these painful experiences for your good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28.
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