Changing Emotions by Acting Opposite 

Most of us are controlled by our emotions but do not realize it.

Take a moment to think of an example when your emotions stopped you from doing something you really wanted to do or made you avoid a person or situation. Maybe you wanted to sing karaoke with your friends but you were too afraid to go on stage or you were asked to do a public speaking engagement at work but declined or you avoided talking to a difficult family member because you felt stressed.

Now think of a time when your emotions made you do something you should not do like eat that extra slice of cake or have a glass of wine when you swore that you would not drink or yell at your partner or your child when you got upset.

Most of us do not realize how often our emotions run our lives, in both big and small ways, until we really stop to think about it. Strong feelings like fear, guilt, shame, sadness, and anger can take control of us before we realize it.

One strategy that can set us free from our emotions is called, “Opposite of Emotion Action” or O.E.A. Whenever you feel a strong emotion come over you, make a fierce decision to act the opposite. Set a goal today to start acting opposite of your emotions and watch how this changes your life! 

Changing Emotions by Acting Opposite 


  • Do what you are afraid of doing…OVER and OVER and OVER.
  • APPROACH events, places, tasks, activities, people you are afraid of.
  • Do things to give yourself a sense of control and MASTERY.
  • When overwhelmed, make a list of small steps or tasks you can do. DO THE FIRST THING ON THE LIST.


  • When guilt or shame is JUSTIFIED: 
    • REPAIR the transgression.
    • Say you’re sorry. APOLOGIZE.
    • Make things better: do something nice for the person you offended (or for someone else, if that is not possible).
    • COMMIT to avoiding that mistake in the future.
    • ACCEPT the consequences gracefully.
    • Then LET IT GO.
  • When guilt or shame is UNJUSTIFIED:
    • Do what makes you feel guilty or ashamed…OVER and OVER and OVER.
    • APPROACH, don’t avoid.


  • Get ACTIVE, APPROACH, don’t avoid.
  • Do things that make you feel COMPETENT and SELF-CONFIDENT.


  • Gently AVOID the person you are angry with rather than arguing. (Also avoid thoughts about that person, rather than dwelling on them).
  • Do something NICE rather than mean or attacking for that person.
  • Imagine SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY for the other person rather than blame.

Contact me. If you would like to schedule an appointment for coaching or counseling sessions to free you from your emotions, please email me through my website.

2 thoughts on “Changing Emotions by Acting Opposite 

  1. I use this technique to change my thinking in a ct approach. When you consider that mother nature is designed in opposites. Up down, east west Oct. Conditioning oneself to acting opposite realizing that there is a much better way of feeling optimistic.

  2. Mother nature herself is designed in opposites in her perfection.If life was about highs all the time we would never learn anything the key is to strive for the positive. When you lift weights you resist the negative aspect of the lift and you become stronger. So it is in life.AJL

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