When we feel emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness, our instincts will tell us to act a certain way. For example, when you are feeling depressed you may want to isolate yourself and be alone (different than me-time which is enjoying healthy time alone). It may be tempting to stay in bed and sleep the day away. Opposite to Emotion Action is a skill used to fight against those initial responses that are actually damaging.
First, recognize the emotion that you are feeling. Try using this emotion wheel to identify specifically how you are feeling in the moment.
Next, identify the action urge or your initial idea for how you want to react to the emotion. For example, if you are angry you may want to yell or punch something at first. Your instinct could be “fight or flight”.
Reflect on if the action urge matches the FACTS of the situation. Will the action actually help the situation or make it worse?
If the action urge does NOT fit the fact, do the opposite action until your emotions change.
Here are some examples of Opposite to Emotion Action that we completed in group:
How do you “act the opposite” when faced with difficult emotions? Comment below!