Transforming Emotions into their Higher Qualities

Your base emotions can become energy trapped in reactive and protective defensive patterns. Fear, anger, resentment, and all their variations of emotional pain are all base emotions that are reactions to perceived danger, violation or hurt. But within each emotion is a higher emotional state, a non-reactive state, that can respond with love and intelligence to the appropriate circumstances of life.

When fear is transmuted it opens you to the quality of courage. When anger is transmuted it transforms into an expansion of your capacity for reaching out into life, for setting clear boundaries, and for acting with loving fierceness on behalf of your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.


Pain transforms into loving compassion and kindness. Hatred transmutes into positive power and love and paradoxically leads to inner peace.

3 Ways to Transform Your Emotions 

Don’t act out the emotion. 

Acting out any emotion discharges the energy that is actually needed for the alchemy. Learn to contain the emotion you’re experiencing by breathing, grounding the energy of the emotion, and exerting the mindfulness practice of awareness.

But let’s face it, sometimes an emotion has too much “charge,” and you cannot easily process it. That is a natural part of life and being prepared for that situation will help you safely and consciously release that emotion and energy.

Don’t suppress or avoid, experience it fully. 

Invite and engage the emotion by taking the attitude of curiosity and allowing. For example, how does hatred or anger or fear feel in your body? Anger has a lot of dynamic energy, often in the arms or jaw. It wants to strike out. Hatred is cool, contained deep in the body. 

Pain is another reactive emotion. There are many causes of pain and many kinds of pain. Pain is a hurt, a wounding and a sense of loss. Often when you think you are feeling pain, you are in fact more likely thinking it than feeling it directly. Pain is often sensed as a contraction in the area of the heart. You might have learned to cut off the pain, or rationalize it, or discharge it through emotional drama. Humans often judge themselves for feeling pain. But when you actually feel your pain without trying to get rid of it, you open the door for compassion to take its place.

Develop a sense of truth and understanding. 

Everyone has different ways of managing their emotions. Sometimes you may judge them, thinking you are weak for having certain feelings. Or maybe being afraid to give them up because they have protected you for a long time. It is important to understand the relationship you have with your emotions in order to move forward.

Hatred is a great example here. As a society, we tend to judge this emotion as bad or think that feelings of hatred make us a bad person. Hatred arises from a deep hurt, often a perceived betrayal, or a deep fear of being annihilated. It’s a natural defensive emotion. Jealousy, self-rejection, disdain, contempt, arrogance are all variations of hatred. While it can be dangerous to act on hatred or turn it against yourself, the actual feeling of hatred is a natural protection.

Clearing out your judgments toward emotions like hatred is a core component of the transformation process. Once you allow yourself to understand the root of your emotions, breathe into it, and open your heart and mind, you will begin to transmute that emotion its higher aspects. Your emotions are gifts because they are doorways to their higher expressions, and the alchemy of emotion can bring unexpected gifts to your life.