19 minutes | Dec 11, 2019

Epi 003- Emotions are not the enemy

Too many people are waging war on their emotions are trying to avoid them out of existence.  Emotions have a bad rep I think mostly because people don’t understand them and don’t have a very good grasp on what to do with them. Emotions are a vital part of the human experience. Without emotions, the world would be bland. But what have we been taught? Don’t show your emotions because you will be seen as weak, over the top, crazy and a whole slew of other things. Society has classified that emotions should be something to shy away from and as a result, people don’t know how to read their emotions, how to control them or generally what to do with them so we end up avoiding them. Your emotions are linked to your thoughts. Those thoughts you can either be aware or unaware of.  Yur thoughts create your emotions and you end up playing a game on ping-pong back and forth between the two.   So going back to neuroplasticity and how neurons that fire together wire together you end up with emotional pathways. So depending on what you are continuously thinking about you will have certain emotions expressing themselves over and over. We have mistakenly been taught to believe that you should spend the major not feeling anything. This is absolute garbage. You should always be feeling something. Numbness is a coping mechanism of shutting yourself off from your emotions. People who have good emotional management don’t need to numb because they know that emotion cannot harm them. It comes and if you acknowledge it and give it the space to exist it will dissipate on its own.  Each emotion has a way that it feels physically in your body. What that means is that you will feel different sensations in your body depending on what emotion you are feeling. For everyone, this will feel different. Your body has a reaction. But we are not well versed in sensing and understanding what emotions we are feeling and because we have been told that emotions are bad we feel a certain way and we automatically think that this bad.  So people are always feeling anxious because they have a physical sensation that they have associated with fear and anxiety and that’s automatically where they go to. And because this cascade happens so quickly you can get into the pattern of perceiving that physical sensation as negative instead of positive.   I’ll give you an example. I took my daughter to the park one time. She was maybe 18 months old. Now she’s started talking very early so her vocab was pretty good. I put her on the swing and push her. She looked at me terrified “Mama I’m scared!!” I didn’t stop pushing all I said was “baby you’re not scared you’re excited” the second I said it you could see the switch flip she had this huge smile on her face and she wouldn’t get off that swing. Still loves it to this day.  At that moment I basically reclassified her emotions. I had to give her a bigger context. How many of you who have kids would have stopped that swing and fed into the fear? This is how anxiety is passed on from one generation to the next. You have an adult who is not in control of their own emotional experiences who give the child “evidence” to support their lack of control. I want you to think about how many times you have done that? If you just have a moment don’t beat yourself up. Don’t expect to be able to coach your child through their emotions if you can’t say with confidence that you have a good handle of your own.  When we don’t know any better and have never had someone who is emotionally rich teach us about what emotions are and how to deal we are at the mercy of being run by those natural automatic ways of the brain. Now your brain may develop a preference or familiarity with certain emotions. The brain does what is easy and what it has practised. Therefore ee can get stuck in a couple of emotions.  Think about what emotions you are familiar with, what emotions do you typically function in? what comes up a lot for you? Identify those emotions. Over the next week when you remember just observe when you are having an emotional reaction. Identify what your go-to is. Then think if there is a better identification. I want you to do this and feel the sensation you feel in your body. What this exercise does is really opens up your awareness. As you open your awareness you will be exercising and growing new neuro pathways. This gets you unstuck. This may be slow for the first week. The reason its slow is that it requires your brain to work. It may be uncomfortable, you may feel clunk and heavy that is ok. We are not born with these skills. They are learned through our interactions with family, friends, the environment etc.  I didn’t always have their handle either but I learned. I spent the majority of my life in fear and anger.  This was my default mode I got my fault from each parent. Look at yours and see whose emotions they are. We mirror our caregivers growing up. This is not a bad thing. This isn’t meant to chastise those who have not grown up in great environments. Everyone has some level of dysfunction. But detaching yourself from your upbringing at this point is important. You cannot be YOU if the things that you are doing and saying is someone else’s record. There’s shit out there when people start talking about emotions others will begin to shame them. The “oh we didn’t have this when we were growing up” “ we were told to suck it up and we did”. Right sure you did. You sucked it up to the point that you ended up with so much pain that you are a crusty old bag of bones. Avoiding dealing with shit can get so bad that for some suicide was the only way out of that misery. Stop playing those primitive one-liners to yourself and others. And I get it there are those who say it with so much conviction that it sounds like they’re right. They are not. Avoidance leads to all sorts of trouble- PTSD, clinical depression, clinical anxiety, bipolar disorder, narcissism, etc. We are here to feel emotions. This is what makes us human. You are a soul in a meat vehicle. That vehicle is there to be able to experience things. If you are not experiencing you are not living. You feel empty. Emotions are not always good, however. We are not supposed to be happy all the time. You will experience a variety of emotions each and every day and that’s how it’s supposed to be. You can make one side more of your go-to however that takes work. If you want to be happy you have to create experiences that bring joy and then at that moment you need to feel it and relish in it. That’s how we get more of it. This is also how you increase your emotional intelligence. When you are able to identify emotions in yourself you are more able to identify it in others. [pdf-embedder url=”https://bojanamilic.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Podcast-freebie-episode-3-Emotions-are-not-the-enemy.pdf” title=”Podcast freebie episode 3 – Emotions are not the enemy”]
Play Next