Select Page

by Gerald Epling

Challenging situations are a part of life.  What do we do, when a problem in life begins to resonate and overshadow our other thoughts?  The sort of problem that I have in mind is one that begins with changes from an otherwise bright and positive outlook to one of worry and negativity.

It is good to have some techniques that you can use to banish worry and negativity, whenever they come your way.  Skills of observation and precise thinking are two of the most important skills that anyone can use on a daily basis.  Even if you are very good at observation and analysis, there will be times when something catches your attention in a negative way.  One day you may learn that a loved one is facing a health challenge.  You may experience any number of difficult circumstances in life with varying degrees of personal impact.

When you are negatively impacted by life experiences, it is good to know that you already have some tools to help deal with changing events.  If you do not have tools at hand, then you will need to quickly learn some skills.

First, you need to become aware of the experience of negative thoughts or feelings in your life.  Your problem may center around your work relationships.  Your problem may have nothing to do with you personally; it may just be part of your environment.  The problem that you face could be the result of an accident.  The key to finding a solution to problems that have gotten under-your-skin, is to accept that you are being affected.  To deal with this sort of problem, you need to decide if you can let go of the problem.  Even if your problem takes you to seek medical treatment, it will be beneficial if you can “let go” of the problems, that divide your attention.

Here is a process that you can use to gain emotional freedom from negative thoughts.

First, ask yourself if you can let go of this problem.  If you really wanted to let go of the problem, could you do it?  This simple question may be important for many reasons.  It deals with forgiveness and solution.  If you hold onto the little insults, that someone offers to you, then you will be diminished.  Your life energy will be diverted from the best and highest use of your time.  Every minute, that you spend thinking about how another has injured you, is time that you could have spent becoming who you were meant to be.  If you resent someone, then that person owns a piece of your soul.

After you understand the importance of this first question, you are ready to move on the second question.  Would you be willing to let go of the negative feeling?  Finally, ask yourself the question, “When will I let this negative emotion pass?”

With persistence you will develop the ability to answer “yes” to the first two questions.  The last step is to let go.

Now, you have a simple thee part process which can profoundly change the way that you see the world.  It is likely that you will need to go through these three questions more than once before the sense of negativity lifts.

Here again, are the three questions that you can use to diminish the negativity in your life.

  1. Could I let go of this feeling?
  2. Will I let this feeling go?
  3. When will I let this feeling go?


After going through these three questions a few times, you may come to the conclusion that you could let this emotion pass.  This a wonderful place to be, because now you are confident that you can control this feeling.  You can let it go!

Having the will to let go of negativity should come quickly after realizing (1) it is your problem and (2) you can let it go.

The final question deals as much with location as anything else.  This process is not something that you want to do while riding the train into the city.  The actual process of letting go can be emotionally intense as it is healing.  Often there is just a lifting of the negative feeling, as you go through these three questions.

So, there you have it.  A simple three-part process, that is much more complex than it appears.  It is worthwhile to remember these three questions, because changes of the heart often take time.

You might want to try this process, for physical stress too.  As an addition to all of the good things that you do for yourself in life, you may want to apply this technique while placing the palm of your hand over your heart.  If something is bothering your heart, then you can work the issue as a negative feeling in the heart.

Go through the three questions again, when you sense the negative feeling in your heart.

  1. Could I let go of this feeling?
  2. Will I let this feeling go?
  3. When will I let this feeling go?


This three-step approach can be a helpful thing to do in addition to the other things that you do to take good care of yourself – eating right, drinking plenty of water, making room in your schedule for adequate sleep, and regular check-ups with a health care provider.

Now that you have a really good tool for stress reduction, it is a good time to take a look at what it might mean to be able to observe your heartbeat.

The brain is marvelously attuned to bringing many different kinds of changes to mind.  Changes in an existing pattern are always interesting.  Imagine a crowd of bicyclists rolling down the hill at the Olympics.  When an onlooker steps out onto the road, it immediately catches our attention.  A similar effect takes place, when the heartbeat changes.  For some, the ability to sense the heartbeat only comes with great exertion – like running a race.  For others this is something they can do at will, just by putting a little bit of extra attention on the heart.

There are some theories about how people can sense activity that begins deep in the chest.  One of the more intriguing explanations includes a connection between the heartbeat and the special cells of the nervous system.  Although not often discussed, there exist cells in the nervous system which only send a signal after receiving a number of similar signals.  These cells appear to be adding up pulses until they are ready to send a signal of their own.  Knowing that these cells exist, a group of researchers wondered, “Do people who are able to sense their heartbeat have a better sense of time than others?”  Their results showed that this is the case.  This improved sense of time may be linked to cells in the nervous system (known as summating cells), a sense of pulse, and heartbeat.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.  The second leading cause of death is cancer, and the third is medical error.  It makes sense to do all that you can do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This will help you experience a good life and help to make the world a better place as only you can.


Relevant Reading

Ariana Eunjung Cha (2016).  Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States.  The Washington Post. May 5, 2016.

Christian Jarrett (2011).  People who are more aware of their own heart-beat have superior time perception skills.  British Psychological Society Research Digest.

University of Iowa (2009).  Second pathway to feeling your heartbeat, study reveals.  Science Daily.