5 Ways to Get Rid of an Emotional Hangover

Has someone ever said to you {or perhaps you’ve said to yourself}, “just get over it”

As a life coach, people often tell me that advice is far easier said than done. And they usually feel guilty that’s the case. But our inability to “get over it” quickly isn’t a failure. It’s actually part of how God wired our minds. 

When we have a negative experience, our brains release certain chemicals that correlate with what’s happening. Those chemicals act like helpful little messengers that tell us about what’s going on in our world.

Yes, our thoughts have influence on what we feel but there is a decidedly physical aspect too. That shouldn’t surprise us–with almost everything intangible God ties a physical manifestation to it {ex: the Word made flesh}.

So long after you’ve decided that you will indeed “let it go” there are still those chemicals floating around in your body. It’s like you have an emotional hangover. 

Fortunately, there are some ways to speed up the process of moving past negative emotions…

1) Take a walk – Actually, any kind of exercise helps because it releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals God put in our brains. Those endorphins replace the negative chemicals and give our moods a boost. Even ten minutes of exercise can help.

2) Listen to upbeat music – Music also impacts us physically in some mysterious ways. It helps release endorphins as well. And if you move around to your favorite tune, even better. 

3) Find flow – The state of “flow” is described as when you do something that’s enjoyable, challenging, and makes you lose track of time. You are completely “in the moment” and everything else is forgotten {including that experience you just had}. Flow might come for you by cooking, writing, painting or any other activity where you mind is fully engaged. 

4) Pray honestly – When we have negative emotions, we can pray some pretty cliche prayers. It’s okay to say, “God, I’m really mad/hurt/disappointed.” Throughout the Psalms David fully and deeply expressed ALL of his emotions–we can too. 

5) Spend time with a positive person – If you’re down in the dumps, find someone who’s a little closer to cloud nine. Research has shown that because we’re created to be social, we often “catch” each other’s moods much like we would catch a cold {but in a good way}. Being with someone uplifiting really can make a difference. 

If you try all of the above and there are still some traces of negativity hanging around, then it’s time to wait it out. As you do, give yourself grace. It’s okay for it to take time to get over hurt or frustration. It’s simply a reflection that you are human {and a wonderfully made one too–even in those moments}. 

What helps you move past negative emotions? 


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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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