Creative work brings many disappointments, whether its work that doesn’t go well, opportunities that don’t pan out, or financial success that rains down on others while evading us.

It’s easy to wallow in hurt and disappointment, but we probably agree that this isn’t healthy.

When I have those feelings, I can feel angry or resentful, two emotions that are not conducive to easeful creative work. I might also feel physical symptoms, tension in my breathing or my shoulders. I might clench my jaw. At its worst, my guts might ache and I’ll start to feel fatigued.

Generally, this sucks.

I’m not always successful, but I practice breathing through my negative emotions.

The next time you feel some creative pressure – jealousy, disappointment, resentment – stop what you’re doing and breathe. Take long, slow, deep breaths, counting as you inhale and exhale. Relax your body. Name your feelings and accept them as neither good nor bad, but merely something that is for the moment. Sit with them for a while without fighting or indulging them, and see what happens. When you refuse to feed your feelings, you’ll might find it easier to send them on their way.