How to React to a “Seemingly” Negative Situation

Posted On: December 18, 2020

During a negative situation, this common self-help notion “be positive’ creeps in and makes us feel even more unhappy for not being able to stay optimistic and continuing to wail!

The confusion just doubles with this idea. Neither are we prepared to face our present adversities nor can we hold our self-loathing for not being positive!

However, the truth is, a situation is just a situation; it is not negative or positive in itself. When there is an Earthquake, human beings feel some horrible event is happening. However, it simply means the earth is shifting its tectonic plates.

fire and water
Image by Comfreak from Pixabay 


Whatever situation is there, it takes place in existential reality and there are different pieces, different entities involved.

If human beings are involved in a situation, it goes as per human rules and nature. Knowing a human being and human rules have evaded humanity till now and that is the root cause of fear. We have not realized that every human soul is the same even though as a human being he looks behaves and thinks differently. 

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, all happen as per the laws of nature. They are neither positive nor negative.

earth in human hands
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

Only human situations cause us pain because we have insulated ourselves from all non-human situations. For example, we have created earthquake-resistant structures in earthquake zones, we have windows, air conditioners, etc. for hot climates.

Because the human creature has not been understood properly by human beings, we fear almost to the extent of paranoia about problems the root cause of which are other human beings. This is only because of our ignorance about the real understanding of human nature.

Similarly, we human beings can not give rise to any special circumstances that are not there in existence, in reality already. All events take place inside the existential reality.

The existential reality of human beings is every human being is a union of the soul or consciousness or life atom and the physical body.

body and soul
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

The body itself is the most evolved species on the whole planet with the most complicated neural systems working in order as a single unit.

The conscious soul is a life atom, a complete atom that is without mass or form. It enlivens every cell in the body by traversing through each cell at lightning speed.

The capacity of the human being thus comes from both these elements. The physical receptors or the senses help him interact with the outside world and the soul life-atom helps him make meaning and experiences out of those interactions.

The sum of all the experiences till date is what every human being is at the moment.

Our Reaction to a Situation

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” –Victor Frankl

We can learn something about what it means to be human in this quote from Victor Frankl. We often react without thinking. We behave impulsively instead of choosing our behavior wisely.

wise owl
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

We have the free will to choose how we perceive a situation, how we allow a situation to affect us, and then ultimately how we react to the situation. Retaining that power and making choices that are positive for our physical and emotional health allows us to be in complete control of our lives and to not be unduly influenced by others’ actions.

The acknowledgment comes first when it comes to dealing with situations that “appear” negative. We need to observe our reactions to a situation and if they are not right and we need to fix them. As soon as we observe and realize that this particular reaction is harmful, we will change it automatically upon realization. It’s a natural process and we are built that way. So till we know a better reaction through observing that we could have reacted differently, we keep reacting and getting stuck.

As an observer, once we become aware of our thoughts and how they turn into reactions we will learn how to shape thought. When we see our reactions in hindsight we can see how we reacted and what prompted us to.

watching thoughts animation
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

To Sum Up

Situations keep occurring in life. Think about the same from as many different angles instead of ruminating and seeing them through the same fixed angle.

Since the thoughts are unlimited, understand, and think of various angles that you can visualize your reactions to a situation.

Make every new angle as diverse as possible and you will find that the whole issue starts to look very different.

Then zoom in and out and increase the size of the frame to include more aspects into the same thought. Get more characters to be involved in the thought.

Expand the frame to include the whole universe. Then again zoom in and zoom out from a very different angle.

All the while remembering the fact that you can still have as many thoughts/reactions as you could have had before starting this exercise. This has worked for over 1000s of people to whom I personally have recommended for years.

Popular Belief: Situations are either positive or negative.

Supported by:
This article from Lifehack shares tips on being positive in a negative situation.

Existential Reality Check:
Human beings have the free will and intellect to infinitely imagine, understand, and adapt to every situation. Being in harmony is easily possible and you just need to understand the existential reality of the situation you are in. Situations may appear different from different angles you look at it, but your response can always ensure your better future from that point onwards.