HoG Handbook

What to do About Negative Feelings


These are some ways to turn negative feelings into positive ones:

  • Accept that having negative feelings every now and then is normal.
  • Tell someone you trust, love, or respect how you are feeling.
  • Start doing a new activity that you enjoy.  Find a hobby or interest.
  • Reach out and help someone else with his or her problems.
  • Join a support group or a group that has the same interests as you.
  • Ask for help.  Don't think you have to take care of negative feelings all by yourself.
  • Take care of your body.  Eating healthy food, rest, and exercise will help you feel less tense.  

One way to deal with negative feelings is to talk about them. It can be tough to find the right person to talk to. You can become even more frustrated if the people closest to you do not seem to understand.

Perhaps the most helpful person you can share your feelings with is someone who has been through problems like yours. Look for someone with a positive view on life. Your HTC can give you a chance to meet other people or families dealing with a bleeding disorder. The staff at your treatment center can also offer support and understanding.

You can't always tell how people are feeling by looking at them. People who have the same feelings may show them in different ways. The first step in getting your feelings out in the open is to state the feeling in words.  When expressing negative feelings to others, start the sentence with, "I feel . . . .".  If you begin this way, the other person is less likely to become defensive. For instance, there is a difference between saying to someone "you always interrupt me" and saying "I feel angry when I am interrupted".  The first statement accuses the other person.  The second one tells how you are feeling.

When you are feeling down, get out and do something.  Go see a movie, have dinner with friends, take a walk. It may help you feel more in control of your life. Even when things happen that are out of your control, you can take steps to help yourself feel in charge.

Find out what are the things you really like and work to become better at them. Good feelings come from finding something new and becoming good at it. As you take on challenges, large or small, you will have more confidence in yourself.  You'll feel great when you can say, "I did it!"

Give some of your time and effort to help others. If you reach out and help someone else with problems, yours may not seem so heavy. You may also find unexpected resolutions to your problems from others that have experienced the same feelings. Joining a group, club, or organization such as your local hemophilia chapter may help you gain a sense of community. That support can help you feel better about yourself. 

All of us are unsure about how we will meet all the challenges we face. It is normal to sometimes feel stressed and depressed by life's demands. However, each time you weather a crisis or work through a problem, you will feel a little stronger. You will have the confidence to know that you have what it takes to work through problems. You may be confused and depressed at times, but this is normal and will pass.