The emotional merry-go-round and some life-saving solutions
Have you ever thought that sometimes approaching certain life situations with humor might help you make a smoother transition?
Someone said to me in a therapy session, “I’m very afraid. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and this fear of the unknown overwhelms me. That’s how I’ve felt for as long as I can remember. And, I’ve felt the same fear when I’ve had a high school entrance exam, a baccalaureate exam, or when I’ve lost a loved one.”
Fear is a feeling we can feel and it’s okay to feel it sometimes.
“They’re your emotions and you live with them no matter how they manifest. They are like your children; sometimes they are naughty, sometimes they cause you discomfort, but you are always there for them, you try to listen and understand them. What’s more, you still love them as they are.”
Living with our emotions at critical moments is not comfortable for most of us. As a therapist, people often ask me about what certain emotions are, how they can be recognized or defined, or how we can, in certain situations, distinguish between a thought and an emotion.
What is certain is that emotions are not facts, but invisible parts of our being. They are not organic, but we perceive them through our body because we are in close contact with it, whether we realize it or not.
Emotions create thoughts, thoughts create patterns, and patterns give beliefs. The way the whole phenomenon happens often leads to blockages within our being.
When people feel blockages, they say they experience Emotions. Then they identify them into bad and not so bad, into negative and positive. But in reality, emotions are just emotions and that’s it.
Instinctively, the first thing a person wants when they experience an unpleasant feeling is to make it go away. But realistically, through the psychotherapist’s eye, this is neither possible nor psychologically desirable in the long term.
If you have more demanding periods of increased anxiety or fear, with the administration of non-professional treatment or just positive thinking you only achieve an inhibition, a repression of them. Inhibition, over time, leads to destructive mechanisms, more fear, anxiety and finally panic.
But what if you looked at the Negative from a different perspective?
Here are some examples: Think of your Anxiety as a wasp/wasp that you are very afraid of. You know that its sting causes you discomfort or inflammation. It’s already near you and you can no longer avoid its presence, and your anxiety about what might happen increases. You may instinctively feel the urge to clap your hands harder, to spin around in circles, and your nervousness increases. Do you think more intensely about whether or not you should gesture her away? You know it’s not right to do this, yet when you feel her approaching you instinctively wave your hand after her or you feel like running away.
What if you helped yourself a little with the power of reason and remained vigilant without fussing too much, so as not to amplify something you don’t want to happen? You can teach yourself to accompany yourself in such states, to stay in the presence of the wasp and take decisions one at a time, depending on how the facts unfold. It will be effortful, it will consume mental energy, but your well-being, your mental health, is worth the interest and effort you put in.
Another example, for those of you with children!
Think of Anxiety, Panic, negative emotions as a naughty child challenging you at the most unwanted moments. You’re on the bus or out on the town and suddenly he’s screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs and you, the parent, can’t seem to calm him down. People are watching you, and if you also have a conviction about your image or the judgement of others, it’s not long to an emotional disaster. How do you deal with the situation? Your child is your emotions.
You instinctively want to do something as concrete as possible, to get an immediate favorable result, and the child does not respond to your rational urgings and still seems to scream even more intensely and rebel. You don’t understand the reason for what is happening, but you try to stay as firmly as you can with him (with your experience, by analogy).
Put yourself at the level of the child, of the emotion and stay close. Rather, be curious about what is happening at this level, what he feels, what he wants and visualizes and what forms of expression. Then gradually introduce the adult’s reasoning, with sustained and manifested effort. Otherwise, the child will feel the distance and fret further because he needs his states to be fully understood in order to feel understood and accepted.
As an adult, it is more difficult to reason in this way about the seemingly irrational states we are going through. This is why repeated and assumed exercises over longer periods of time are needed. It takes a few months to consume the need to learn from your own self and to get close and in touch with your own states.
This is the only way you will get to know each other and be able to collaborate. Gradually, you will also trust what you feel, not just what you think.
And, just as you accompany your own child as they grow up to acquire healthy habits of living and adapting, do the same towards yourself.
In conclusion, in living with your own emotions, you either choose to meet them gradually, with interest, in the here and now, in a healthy confrontation, or you will meet them on a negative peak of their manifestation, in the form of panic or anxiety.
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