5 Fun Ways to Deal with Toxic Emotions and Thoughts

Table of Contents Fight or Flight System5 Ways to Take The Edge Off of Your Fight or Flight…
A girl Dealing with toxic emotions and thoughts

Right.  You’re here again.

In the endless, silly and emotional stories.  You wish you could get out of here right now, but you can’t.

Your monkey mind is doing a great job, even though you are wishing otherwise, to trap you in the same stories over and over, and you are so disappointed in yourself and start to hate yourself, your situation and the whole world.

The voice of your monkey mind is so loud that your ability to function is hardly left.  The wise part of your brain is totally shut down, and you end up hurting yourself more by expressing your emotions inappropriately, craving ice cream or drinking shots of tequila.

You know you need to change the self-destructive patterns, but don’t know how.  Or, you might say, “I tried everything: meditation, breathing exercise so on and so forth.  None of them worked for me.  Why is that?”

There is nothing wrong with meditation or breathing exercise.  They are quite efficient and can help you immensely… when you are centered.

Do you know why those traditional ways didn’t calm your toxic emotions before?  It takes practice after practice till you actually get them down because they are the ultimate ways to handle emotions.

All you need is to understand what happens to your brain and body when you are in stressful and emotional situations and load yourself up with some extra fun steps before you start to assess the emotions.


Fight or Flight System

Before diving into the introduction of those fun ways, let’s talk a little about our fight or flight system.

Fight or Flight system is our self-protection mechanism in our body.  It kicks in when we are in some dangerous situations, stressful situations or, of course, traumatic situations.

Experiencing toxic emotions is not in a ‘live or die’ level of danger, but very stressful, right?

So, once those toxic emotions explode within you, your brain turns on the fight or flight system and starts to send signals to all over the body so you can focus on how you protect yourself from the harm, your own toxic emotions.

The major part of the blood flow goes into arms and legs so you can run and move faster and stronger, the adrenaline kicks in, and all the logical part of your brain is taken over by alertness along with your chatty monkey mind.

At this point, trying to meditate or doing a breathing exercise doesn’t give you much success in calming yourself.  You are so fired up that you need to take some extra steps to come back to your normal and logical state.

Here, those fun steps come in very handy.

Higher and positive emotion and thoughts make your life better

5 Ways to Take The Edge Off of Your Fight or Flight System

Here is the first step before you try any of the 5 methods below.

The moment the toxic emotion turns the switch of your monkey mind on, write down what the emotion is and where in the body you are feeling it on a piece of paper like “rage at solar plexus” or “fear in my throat” so you can come back to it later.

I know some say you should face it, work with it and release it right away, but when you are deep in the chatty mind’s trap, it is too late to do that.

Also, naming the emotions and figuring out where in the body you are feeling them are the first healthy process to slow down your mind and feel the emotions fully.

Now, let’s get into the fun part.


1. Laugh It Out

Do something that you can enjoy and laugh out loud like watching a funny TV show or YouTube videos for a while.

It’s scientifically proven that laughing not only makes your body relax but helps your brain create more endorphin – ‘feel-good hormone’, boosts your immune system and decreases the heart issues.

Just by reading the scientific facts about laughing, you feel lighter, don’t you?  So, make sure to write down about the toxic emotion and laugh!

2. Go Work or Dance it Out

Since the fight or flight system has already made you ready to run or move faster and more efficiently, let’s use that to calm the monkey mind.

Doing aerobic exercises like running, walking, swimming, or dancing till your body gets a little tired and uses up the extra adrenaline helps your system calm down and brings the logical part of your brain back online.

The important trick is to visualize you breathing in love and breathing out the negative thoughts during the workout.  That speeds up the process of calming down.

3. Sing it Out

Have you ever felt great by singing out loud to the car radio while you are driving?

Singing out loud helps your brain create endorphin, ‘feel-good hormone,’ like laughing does and also oxytocin that alleviate your stress and anxiety.

It also has the similar effect with doing yoga in the upper body because of the diaphragmatic breathing while singing.  It uses similar major muscle groups in the upper body for you to hit the right notes.

Plus, it is not only a great way to do the deep breathing exercise but also, by singing your heart out, you can feel the emotions fully without expressing them inappropriately or putting them away deep inside of you.

So, turn on your iPod, CD player or radio, and sing out loud.

4. Play Some Musical Instrument

If you are a musician, you probably already know how effective this method is to calm your mind.  Music has tremendously positive effects to our lives.

For example, drumming is great for centering and grounding yourself.  Just by drumming along with your heart beat can calm your nervous system easily.

Any metallic sound like a Tibetan gong, guitar or piano cleanses the toxic energy out of your space.  Visualize the sound cleansing you while you are playing.

Also, like singing, if you play those emotions out with the instrument, you get to feel them fully without getting into any of the endless stories.

Remember that you don’t have to play beautifully.  Just make some sound and align yourself with the sound while you are hitting a gong, plucking a guitar string or hitting some rhythms on a drum.

5. Draw or Paint Abstract Images, Shapes or Designs with Colors

This is a great way to ‘see’ the emotions objectively.  Think what color or shape your emotion is and start putting those colors and shapes on paper.

‘Seeing’ your emotions in colors and shapes on a piece of paper helps you keep you centered while your creativity is being stimulated.

Again, remember that you don’t have to make them pretty.  Just trust your creativity, follow your instinct and allow your hand to move freely.

Now, you are calmer and ready to face your toxic emotions.  What can you do to make them non-toxic?

Manage the emotions and thoughts with mindfulness

How to Make the Toxic Emotions Non-Toxic

The reason we think those negative emotions are toxic is that we store them in our body without dealing with them properly.  With the help of our monkey mind, they feel so icky that we just put it away deep, deep inside.

Then, they turn into some solid belief systems or self-destructive patterns like self-doubt, shame, addictions…, you name it.  However, by taking the above extra steps, they become less icky and easier to embrace them.

Though it sounds ironic, here is the truth that you don’t want to forget.  The part of yourself that is feeling the negative emotions is where you need to LOVE most.

That means that the more you hate and try to eliminate them, the more you hold onto those emotions.  So, it’s time to align yourself with the truth and start to love yourself more.

Here is how to assess the emotions and find where you need to love most.

Once you calm down after doing one of the fun methods above, go back to the paper that you wrote down your emotion and the place in the body at which you felt it.

Have some time to sit quietly in a meditative state, embrace yourself feeling the emotion and the spot in the body calmly and go over the questions below like you are asking them to a little kid:

“What triggered your emotion?”

“Why did you react the way you did?”

“Did it bring your old memories?”

“Was it your usual pattern of reaction or someone else’s?  If someone else’s, whose pattern did you buy into?”

Once you get all the answers to those questions, embrace the part of you that the answers reflect to and love your wholeness like you have never loved.  Feel the toxicity of the emotions melt away and shift into something positive.

Remember.  Loving yourself more, even the part that is feeling negative emotions, is the most important key.

“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Now You Are Ready to Face Your Toxic Patterns

Let’s go back to the first scene.

Somebody or something pushed your button.  This time, you are loaded up with these fun ways to face the emotions.

You might even feel excited because you get to have some fun, healthy or creative moments.

If you like to move your body, you can jog it out or dance it out.

If you are an artsy person, you can paint it out and might end up with an amazing painting for your wall.

You can feel, observe and dive in those toxic emotions without getting trapped in your old patterns.   With these practical and creative ways, you could conquer your monkey mind better and love yourself more from the bottom of your heart.

Over to you –

What are your experiences with your toxic emotions and patterns?  If you have your own creative ways to deal with them, please share them with me and the community in the comment below.


Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected]. Thanks.

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  1. Thank you keiko for your dedication to producing such valuable content. Your insights and perspectives resonated deeply with me, and I found your writing style to be engaging and informative.

    Additionally, I would like to contribute another tip that I believe could complement the ideas you shared.
    Engage in Self-Reflection: Set aside time for self-reflection and introspection. This helps you gain insight into your thought patterns, identify recurring negative thoughts, and work on improving them.

    Once again, thank you for your dedication to producing such valuable content.
    With sincere appreciation,
    Wael ES

  2. Hello Keiko,

    This is a great post that I found particularly relevant because one of my interest is how leaders develop non toxic organizations. In that regard, these leaders strive hard to prevent what in organization management is often referred to as “emotional hijacking”.

  3. Thank you Keiko for this amazing post. I believe people close to you plays an important role in handling your emotions and thoughts.

  4. Hello Keiko,

    This is a great post that I found particularly relevant because one of my interest is how leaders develop non toxic organizations. In that regard, these leaders strive hard to prevent what in organization management is often referred to as “emotional hijacking”.

    What is emotional hijacking? It’s when someone through negative emotions hijacks attention from the task at hand. So, for example, you could be having a fantastic day at work and then someone ruins it by displaying a negative mood.

    What’s worse is that this “emotion hijacker ” may not only put a damper on your day but could also make you ill. How? Well, stress hormones secreted when a person is upset take hours to become reabsorbed in the body and fade away.

    It gets worse. When you are upset it’s very hard to read emotions accurately in other people–making you less able to show empathy. You become less approachable just at the time that someone may need your help.

    If you’re having a great day don’t let anyone hijack it. Stay, as hard as it may be, true to yourself.

  5. Hi Keiko,
    Thank you for this insightful post. Fight and flight mechanism based on adrenaline rush is a remarkable explanation for our anxious behavior.

    You idea of counter balancing the toxic emotions against fun activities is quite alluring. I will try them personally.

    1. Hi Abhishek,

      Thank you so much for your comment, and I’m really glad that you liked it.

      Once you are down into the negative cycle, it’s really hard to face your own emotions without stories. Those fun and creative activities give you some pause and space to calm your mind and nervous system so you can embrace the negative emotions without ignoring or rejecting them.

      I hope they will work for you, too!

      In love & gratitude,

  6. Hey Keiko,

    You make some great points. The monkey mind and I am useless for about five to ten minutes. I want to yell and scream and rant and rave. And I allow myself this time. I don’t feel bad about it. I now embrace it. Mind you I am thinking to typing in these time and see what comes of it.

    However ever years ago I used to plan for toxic emotions. I wanted to rid these emotions once and for all. To find to you can never rid of emotions, so the next best thing to do is manage them. I put strategies in place. But I must say I do like your ideas of singing and dancing them out.

    I have never really thought about where the anger or pain is coming from, so I will observe that. As I meditate daily – I find it a pleasant experience most of the time and that is with the monkey mind at times attempting to dominate. It never lasts long because I love my meditation and focusing on my breathing.

    I have always stuck around for the fight when toxic emotions are flying – never one to flee – but I am far better at managing them now than I was 20 years ago. Wonderful post Keiko.


    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thank you so much for your comment!

      Accepting the emotions is the only way to free them. Trying to get rid of them is the same thing as rejecting to feel them. Once you feel the emotions fully, they are gone. That’s why the happy emotions don’t stick around.

      Getting to the source of the emotions can surprise you. Acknowledging one simple event in the past that caused your emotional pattern can heal you tremendously.

      I’m really glad that you liked my post. Thank you again for your comment!

      In love & gratitude,

  7. Hello Keiko!

    You’ve written such a beautiful and insightful blogpost. Luckily, I’ve rarely needed to deal with toxic emotions and thoughts but I think that it’s still important to know the facts regarding your mental health.

    Thank you for the post and have a good one!

    Hilary Ijieh

    1. Hello Hilary,

      Thank you so much for your comment!! I agree with your point that having those tools in your mental drawer for emotional & mental health is important. Plus, it would be much more fun if you laugh more, are healthier, and are more creative, wouldn’t it?

      Thank you again for your comment!

      In love & gratitude,

    2. Welcome to the blog, Hilary 🙂

      You’re absolutely right there, this post is insightful and so glad you liked it. True, not all of us go through those emotions, but it’s always good to be aware, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it. 🙂

      BTW – Do use a gravatar or profile picture so we know who we are addressing here, just a friendly suggestion. 🙂

  8. Hello Louis,

    Yes, those activities, especially cardio related ones, are great ways to calm the fight or flight response. Once you make the response a little tired, you can go back to deal with the emotions while you stay centered.

    Thank you so much for your comment!

    In love & gratitude,

  9. Hello Keiko! Good job on the list. Doing activities that trigger our creative side of the brain can definitely help in minimizing bad emotions. On top of that, I also believe that engaging in competitive activities can also have the same effects. Some of the things that I do competitively are basketball, badminton and online strategy gaming. 🙂

    1. Welcome to the blog, Louis 🙂

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, activities certainly help to keep those negative or bad emotions in place. Good to know you are so much into games, which does help.

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it. 🙂

      BTW – Do use a gravatar or profile picture so we know who we are addressing here, just a friendly suggestion. 🙂

  10. Keiko Katsura, Wow, I used to be an angry kid just angry at the world my triggers were many. Its safe to say my self worth was shot down by toxic people in my life.As I got older finding ways to build up my self-confidence was to laugh. Called a Clown a title that did not hurt gave me the ability to make others laugh. I am a secret comedian said my friends.
    These stressors ( fight or flight response) take time, patience and disciple to overcome. Fear motivate me to change. I try Feng Shui, music everything but it was the laughing that help the most.

    1. Hello Patrice,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Laughing is very powerful, and humor is, to me, a hard technique to learn. I actually admire comedians. They can make people laugh however they are feeling at the time. To make people laugh, you have to be smart and know the fun aspect of everything. It is a true gift, and you have it! Keep using the gift to make people and yourself happier!

      Thanks again for your insight!

      In love & gratitude,

  11. Hi Keiko,
    Great Post!
    Toxic emotions are very exhausting especially the for ones that are spiritually sensitive.
    Laughing out is a good solution to decrease the cortisol levels and increase the capability to dominate toxic feelings.

    Dancing and singing are also good ways.

    But the perfect method is to love yourself. This will create a insulation around us that will keep the toxic emotions or negetive people away.

    Thanks for this post and congrats for your blog.

    1. Hello Swadhin,

      I totally agree with you. Love is powerful and almighty. If we could love ourselves fully, even those toxic emotions and thoughts, the world would be a very different place. I would really love that! To get there, we all need to practice love and joy in our daily life.

      Thank you for your comment, Swadhin!

      In love & gratitude,

  12. Hi Kaiko,
    I love your post and just did imagine how
    it would be if in a mall or in an office,
    when people are in stress and negative every
    body would start to laugh and dance 🙂
    This would be fun. Unfortunately, many are
    not aware of their negativity and keep it
    too long inside. Good if the ones who realize
    start to dance and sing ,we would have a better world 🙂
    I myself seldom have negative emotions and if I like to
    sing or go for a walk in the nature.
    Thank you for you beautiful suggestions.

    1. Hello Erika,

      Thank you for your comment!!

      Fun, especially laughing can be really infectious, can’t it? And it’s pretty powerful. Laughing can ease not only a physical pain but also open up your heart. It’s so great that you seldom have negative emotions. Keep it up!

      In love & gratitude,

  13. Hello Stella,

    Thank you for your great insight! I totally agree with you about being right now and right here. It is very important. I also think working out and music or any kinds of art help you be in the moment and stay in the body, too. Maybe, that’s why they can break our chain of thoughts…

    In love & gratitude,

  14. Hi,Keiko/Harleena

    What a nice post about to deal with your own toxic emotion and thoughts.

    People use many different ways to deal with toxic thoughts. I find out laughing and singing work magically for me every time when I was target by my toxic thoughts. I believe our words or our human sound can break the chain of thought.

    Recently,I adopt the lifestyle of Buddho’s quotes: don’t dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment. It really can delete fear, worry, sadness, anger, etc out of my life.

    -Stella Chiu

    1. Hi Stella,

      SO glad you liked Keiko’s post 🙂

      Agree with you there, and they both are therapeutic, aren’t they? I wish we could all follow what Buddha said to be in the present, life would be such bliss!

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it 🙂

  15. Hi Keiko,
    I have to say, I really loved this post. It was full of both spiritual wisdom, and down-to-earth practical ways to implement what you are talking about. That is exactly the kind of spirituality I love, the kind that is both deep and profound, but easy to understand and digest on a practical, we’re spirits living a human experience, kind of way.
    I use music most of the time to try and get rid of my toxic emotions. I love to sing, and I play both the piano and drums, so I pick one of those instruments to use to try and create, which helps me deal with them. Laughing also helps, and though we don’t think that taking our minds off of the negative emotions is even possible, once you start laughing because you just can’t help it, you also can’t help but start to feel better.
    I think creating something positive is such a good idea, whether that be writing or playing music, drawing, sculpting…it’s a way to turn something negative that we’re feeling in to bringing something positive in to reality. There’s no way to not feel good after doing something like that. 🙂
    And, of course, after doing the fun, creative thing, going back and looking at the negative emotion objectively is such a good way to figure out what triggered it in the first place, and how it was dealt with. I thought your question of, is this your pattern or someone else’s was spot on. Sometimes we copy others that we’re around without even meaning to. Plus, it helps to figure out if the people we’re around are positive, up-lifting people or not.
    Thank you for sharing this post, and I hope you’re having a beautiful holiday season.
    Be blessed,

    1. Hello Rylie,

      Thank you so much for taking some time to leave a great comment!

      Just like you said, we are spirits in our bodies in the 3D world. Because of that, we get to experience emotions, we get to have thoughts, and we get to evolve through those experiences.

      That means there have to be practical ways to unwind emotions and thoughts. At least, I believe that way. So, whenever I write, I try to include as many ready-to-act ways as possible.

      I love music like you do. Singing and playing instruments help me go deeper into my true self who loves experiencing each and every note fully, and that helps me feel my emotions inside out as well without any stories.

      I’m very glad that you liked my post and you already have ways to deal with your emotions and thoughts.

      Thank you again for your great feedback!

      In love & gratitude,

  16. Hi Keiko

    Wow I am very much happy with this post. In fact, I was fascinated by the fight or flight system.

    Toxic emotions does have a way of making our body unhealthy so you are so right that we need to practice how to calm our body and nerves down. The exercises you mentioned are just so fun and interesting and I agree that they help in calming our body.

    As you highlighted, it takes a lot of discipline to overcome our negative thoughts but with all that you have shared, it will help others to be able to calm their nerves.

    Thanks for sharing and do have a wonderful week. 🙂

    1. Hello Ikechi,

      Thank you for your great feedback!

      Our body is very intelligent and fascinating like you said. We perceive the world and also create the world we live in through our bodies. The thing is, most of our actions are fear based. To create a happier and more fulfilled life, we need to learn how to leave the fear-based actions and start the love-&-joy-based actions. I’m hoping my post can clarify that aspect and support the audience to take actions toward the love-&-joy actions.

      Thank you again, Ikechi!

      In love & gratitude,

  17. Thank you so much, Harleena & Vinay, for publishing my post!!

    Starting my own blog and sending a pitch for guest blogging took me a lot of courage, especially because English is my second language. During the process to get here, my monkey mind was super active sometimes, but the tips above brought me back to my center. I sang a lot while I was driving and I drew a lot as well.

    Hopefully, this post can support you and all the readers as it did to me.

    Thanks again!

    In love & gratitude,

    1. Hi Keiko,

      After getting acquainted on the ABC, it is wonderful to have you as a guest author on Aha!NOW. 🙂

      I really liked your post from the time you pitched for it. I’m sure every reader would find it useful because we all need help to manage our thoughts and emotions and do not want them to become toxic.

      Vinay and I wish you all the best for your blog. I wish the readers to benefit from your wonderful thoughts and suggestions.

      Thanks again, and have a great time interacting with the blog audience. 🙂

      1. Hello Harleena,

        Thank you again for having me as a guest blogger. I really, I mean, REALLY appreciate it.

        Since I met my spiritual teacher decades ago, loving and accepting myself and becoming who I am has been my biggest goal of my life. Every moment I noticed mself taken over by my emotions and toxic thoughts, I adjusted myself to bring back to my center, and that became my habit. Plus, by practicing Craniosacral therapy which is a very gentle hands-on therapy, almost an energy work, I learned how to hold space for my clients’and my authentic aspect. I have wanted to share those useful tips that I learned through my spirituality and healing, plus some techniques that I learned through music and art for a while. Here is the post that my dream has come true.

        Thank you again, Harleena and Vinay, for all your support. I feel very honored.

        In love & gratitude,

        1. Hi @keiko.

          Great post.

          I love your idea of handling toxic emotions through fun activities.

          Just as @admin said, all of us readers will find these ideas invaluable
          as all of us deal with our own versions of imperfections 🙂

          As i was reading through your post, I couldn’t help but relate your
          ideas and concepts to some I’ve been exploring myself for sometime now.

          I don’t know if you’re familiar with Eckhart Tolle and his best
          best selling book “The Power of Now.”

          According to Eckhart, our toxic emotions (or our negative behavior)
          exists because of our unconscious ego. Its primary strength is our
          unconsciousness. That means, every time we are not aware of our own
          thoughts or actions, we are most vulnerable to play out toxic emotional
          drama (playing silly games with people, getting angry over small things

          Eckhart suggests that the best way to deal with ego is to cultivate
          awareness within yourself. If we stay aware of our emotions, its
          toxic nature shall automatically dissolve, as ego cannot operate in light.

          It needs your unconsciousness to play out its destructive patterns.

          @keiko, I believe that when you suggest to “write down toxic emotions”,
          “describe the physical body part having toxic sensation” or
          “paint the toxic emotion”, you’re asking us to guide our awareness
          that’ll help us dissolve the toxic emotions.

          I realize that, if I can manage to stay aware while I am feeling anger in me
          (“I see myself feeling frustrated and angry right now”), it becomes
          impossible to get angry.

          Your questions, such as —
          “what triggered your emotion?”
          “why did you react the way you did?”
          “did it bring your old memories?”
          all help to bring our awareness into our unconscious part.

          Great job @keiko 🙂

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