When you are trying to overcome anxiety, the last thing you want to hear is…. “You’ll succeed when you learn to win the battle of your emotions”. Have you ever considered that your way of processing emotions, is the actual driver of your anxiety? Take a moment and think about it. Somedays you feel like you’re sailing right along, emotions in check. You are positive that you are ready and capable to handle any situation. And then boom! Something changes, and your calm nature switches to a steady flow of intense emotion. Feelings that were once neatly buried away, are now unleashed and run pouring through your mind, like a burst of hot lava through the mouth of a volcano..
You know work is not the problem, but rather the process in which you choose to handle feelings that are unpleasant. Once again you are caught off guard. You instinctively hold your breath, hoping to stabilize these unleashed emotions. Rather than feeling relief, you begin to notice the walls of your mind closing in on you. It is as if you are underwater, and a feeling of panic hits, as you begin to recognize your need for air. You can see the surface, but you’re not close enough to lift your head up out of the pool of water and take a breath. Despite all your efforts to stop this wave of emotion, you begin to feel totally out of control. So once again, you reach for some substance to sedate what you are unable to stop.
Is there No Relief from this Emotional battle?
Yes, there is. This article will teach how to turn unwanted emotion into a helpful, signal of warning. No longer will you lose control over your feelings; but rather you will gain the determination to take the wheel of your emotional car, and drive.
If your ready, then read on to understand the process of how Real Positive Change…
- Will stop the mental clock from counting down the minutes of an emotional explosion.
- How to ignite focus and move in a positive direction.
- And how to change the action that will allow you to grab the steering wheel of your own emotional car and drive.
What do I mean by “stop the clock”?
The clock is your mind. And to “stop the clock” means, to stop and see the real picture of what you are feeling. Below are a few helpful questions to ask yourself.
- What is the real message?
- What do I need to change?
- Do I need to change my perception?
- Do I need to change my actions?
Stopping the clock means to create a healthy way of dealing with the emotions that are presenting themselves. The goal is to see the real picture, rather than your interpretation of what you think you see. The ability to see the real picture is your greatest challenge. Why? Because we all look at the world through a pair of perceptual glasses.
These glasses define every situation. They link a file of information that is stored within your mind, to what you perceive is presently going on. Your glasses do not take into consideration, the reasons and facts of other peoples thoughts and ideas. The story is one-sided and does not take into consideration the view point of another person. That is why determining what is truly real, becomes of great importance, when dealing with situations and people.
One thing we all have in common….the way we deal with emotions.
Typically people deal with upsetting emotions in 4 different ways.
- The emotion is avoided – the tendency is to suppress and avoid the feeling, simply because you don’t want to feel any feelings. The method comes out as a feeling of loss, or a death of something, that is why people choose to avoid. Often times addictions are created from this method of coping. The person finds avoidance, and some form of distraction, much more easier than facing what they perceive as pain.
- The emotion is endured – this thought process of enduring an emotion is to “tough it out”, to push it down, and endure what is going on. Many times the individual will disassociate with the event, thinking that it is not their problem, in an attempt to cope.
- The emotional response is competitive – Here the individual keeps track of their personal events, and the emotions felt from the situation. When someone mentions what they might be going through, this individual is able to bring up their own past stories, as if to argue with the other person on who had the worst situation. It is not uncommon to hear the person say, “You think this is bad, look at what I am dealing with.”
- The emotional response is to share their pain and problem – This comes from the old saying, “sharing is caring.” Here the individual is seeking connection with people, hoping to forma a friendship. They feel that they can make a deeper connection with another person by sharing the pain. It is true that people do bond over tragic or tough situations, but hoping to build connection to people by sharing painful emotion is not a healthy way of handling ones feelings. The result is opposite from what they were seeking, and instead of building connection, they end up isolating themselves even more.
Find the Real picture, and win the battle.
The evaluating of a situation, is what produces an emotional message expressing your feelings of what is transpiring. Those feelings that translate into anger, overwhelm, fear, inadequacy, frustrated, guilt, hurt, invalidation, lonely, sad, grief, etc., are all signals, communicating that you have left your state of peace, stability and balance. You have evaluated the situation through your own perception, and now have come to the conclusion that one of your standards, or expectation, is not being met. Your reaction is to generate the emotion.
Each of these emotions become the actors, in your personal story of pain. If you choose not to change your story with a new perception or behavior, over time you will adopt this story to be part of your identity. As humans, our natural response is to ignore, bury, or avoid painful feelings. However, such action will only cause your story of pain to intensify and grow.
How do I change my story? Change the Emotion.
We all hold a standard of wanting to accomplish dreams and goals. To be our best self, and feeling successful. Yet the adoption of an incorrect story can alter the internal compass, leading you down the wrong path. Changing the story is as simple as changing the perception. When you feel emotions that are upsetting, recognize them to be signals of warning, letting you know that something is altering your natural flow.
Important to remember:
- Choose to recognize the emotion as a signal that you are in need of a transformation, a shift, or a switch from where you currently are, to where you would like to be. Many of these emotions come from discovering that a standard you have set, is being violated by another person, or even by yourself; hence the reaction. So, as you identify the emotion as a signal, or warning sign, you are able to take steps to change the way you feel about, or are behaving toward, the current situation.
Discovering the Real story by Changing the Emotion
Discovering the real story happens as I change the meaning, or meanings, that I have attached to the situation or event. I am able to accomplish this by changing…
- The way I am perceiving or looking at something, (the meaning that I have linked up to it). Or feeling about something.
- The way I am communicating my needs through my behaviors, reactions, and responses.
For example, if I get angry about something, I am angry because of the meaning I have attached, or linked to that situation. If I choose to not show my anger than I would either avoid, bury it, or endure it; by acting as if what was happening did not really bother me. Taking this action is like putting a lid on a boiling pot and not expecting the steam to escape, or the lid to eventually be blown off. It is ridiculous to think that I am not going to be bothered and upset, simply because one of my own standards is being violated, which is the source of the anger.
Some might say, “change your standard”. Standards are created to lift us out of mediocrity; to help us to dream, set goals and strive to be our best self, the best we can be that day. Standards can change for the sake of improvement, but to lower one’s standards only leads to a loss of identity of self.
Typically when an emotion happens, the response is, “When you did ________, it MADE me feel ________. “Now I ask you, “Can anyone MAKE you feel something?” NO!
Our emotions are the chemical products of our thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change how you feel. I have heard it said that, “Rehearse something in your mind, and it becomes real.”
Our emotions are the chemical products of our thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change how you feel. I have heard it said that, “Rehearse something in your mind, and it becomes real.” So what is the positive result that you really want?
What is the Positive outcome?
As humans we always seek pleasure. So ask yourself, instead of pleasure, what is the POSITIVE OUTCOME? What do I really want? Be very clear during this stage. Write things out going into great detail. I heard it said that only 3% of the population actually write out their goals. And as it turns out, that 3% is very successful in achieving what they want. So take a pen and paper and ask yourself, “what do I want?” & “I would like to have it by_________.” (give it a date)
If you write a goal that says, “This year I want to earn more money.” Are you being clear on the positive outcome you really want? Let’s say someone hands you a $20.00 bill. Is that what you were really hoping for? You actually did achieve what you asked for. You asked for more money. However, usually when a person sets that goal, they have a much more significant amount in their mind than $20.00. Knowing how much more, is what makes your goal turn into a positive outcome; so be clear.
Ready to Change – and Win the Battle
Now you are ready to Change…You are ready to take action! Then get into the drivers seat and take the wheel. Teach your brain how to change. Change your pattern, whether that is the way in which you have been seeing and feeling about a situation, or your behavior.
- Your behavior is the way in which you have been acting, and the attitude you are giving off.
The key is to see things working well, and in the direction you are seeking, instead of not working out.
Here is an idea….We surround ourselves with pictures of the past, why not surround yourself with pictures of what You Want the Future To Be.