In this four-part series, I’m talking about working with negative emotions. If you ignore or put a positive spin on negative emotions, they will return. If you missed part 1-Working with emotions, part 2-Name the emotion, or part 3-Define the emotion, check them out first.

So, you’ve named and defined the emotion. If you are not clear on the cause of the emotion, return to defining it before continuing. If you don’t, the next steps are unlikely to produce the result you hope for, or might make things worse.

The next step involves simple brainstorming and problem-solving skills. In brainstorming and problem solving, the only rule is that no idea is a bad one.

Starting with the cause of the emotion, someone states an idea for making things better in the future. The other person says, “Yes, and …” and builds on the idea. Keep going until you hit the sweet spot (you’ll know it when you get there).

You’ve got this.

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