top of page

Why do we get stuck in negative emotions?

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Last week I learned something new that seemed to open my eyes a little bit wider. I can't wait to share this with you.

Last week at my Workshop, I felt it myself. When I recognized it, I just let it pass by so I could move on with my speech. I will tell you later what it was.

In neuroscientist Jill Bolte-Taylor's memoir, My Stroke of Insight, she notes that the physiological lifespan of an emotion in the body and brain is 90 seconds. The sensations—adrenalin, heat in the face, tightness in the throat, rapid heartbeat—arise, peak, and dissipate on their own.

But it seems like how is it possible, as we often get stuck in that feeling or emotion for so much longer. Do you know why?

I am about to uncover the reality of why we stay in those negative feelings and emotions for hours, days, and weeks.

1. We like to tell stories to ourselves.

So as we already learned, any emotion only lasts 90 seconds. After that, it is your decision how to feel, and YES, you can choose if you do it wisely.

Once the emotion rolls over, we usually start telling ourselves stories in our head, and depending on that story; you choose your scenario. If you keep repeating that same scenario in your head that brought you to that emotion, it will come as a wave again and again. If you keep on adding or creating a story that possibly doesn't even exist, you are once again on that rollercoaster of emotions.

So It all depends on what you tell yourself during you are in the emotion and after it is gone.

2. We fall into scenarios that we already know.

Or neurological connections in the brain are like roads that we use. The more we use it, the more it turns into a highway that you will choose almost automatically when facing certain situations that you have already experienced before in your life. You will be on autopilot without even understanding what is happening to you.

So if you choose to stick to certain emotions by telling yourself a story, you are more and more likely to do it again.

When I found out that, it was almost groundbreaking for me. So if you only can recognize the emotion, let it roll and then choose how you want to feel net ar at least be neutral for some time. It may change everything for you.

So at that Workshop, at the very beginning, I started to read a quote from my book, and a wave of fear rolled over me. My heart rate raised, my voice trembled and my hands start to shake. I cut it on time and told myself, I see you are afraid, but it is ok. There is nothing to be afraid about, all people here are glad to see you, and everything will be fine. AND THAT WAS THE END OF MY FEAR. I know I turned around to my attendees and continued as if nothing had happened.

I don't know if they saw anything or not.

But if at that moment I would tell myself: "That is it! It is a disaster. I probably will not be able to say another word, and I better just walk out,"... that could be the end of my life coaching career.

What to do?

1. Recognize the emotion.

Become more aware of your emotions during the day. Recognize them if it is a negative one. Tell yourself something like that: "I see you and I understand what I feel" then continue with some reasonable description of why it is ok to feel like that for a moment, but after that, you can be Okey. Remember one more thing, you can't change the past!

2. Stop telling yourself negative stories.

Sometimes out of nowhere when we come up with a bad scenario that almost makes us cry. Does this happen to you? I know I did it not once. You just imagine something and here the emotion hitting your entire body. We do it to ourselves. But it is even easier when we have that emotion engine running to start throwing more wood (stories) to keep it going.

3. Get out of the cycle and start building a new road of reaction.

The more you do it the easier it gets! It is a rule of life that can be applied to anything, including your emotions and mood.

4. Have someone to talk to about it.

So often just talking to someone about our emotions can help us to feel better. It could be your family and friends or your Life Coach.


The more you learn about yourself, the better you will understand everyone around you. Maybe today is a good day to start recognizing your emotions and their reasons.

Ready to hire a life coach? - My consultation is free. Schedule today.

19 views0 comments


bottom of page