For most of us managing our emotions successfully is our greatness challenge.
Why is it we can be so technically proficient in our careers but fail dismally with the tricky world of emotions especially in relationships?
You know the saying “if you think your enlightened and got it all together go and live with your parents for a week” and see what happens, yes the old
buttons get pressed and bingo your cool new age demeanour you had a week a go, is now in tatters as you either lose it with your folks and or feel
like running off the edge of a cliff.
The good news is there IS a way to stay calm and compassionate whilst engaged in conflict or disagreement without being adversely effected.
By understanding our emotions and learning ways to manage them we can avoid falling into the dark side of our emotional patterns and preserve important
relationships including the one with yourself.Developing a higher level of emotional intelligence means having the ability to recognise our behaviour,
moods and emotions and manage them in a positive way.
Emotions shape and give meaning to our life connecting us to an inner fabric of our Being. We are naturally emotional, it’s what drives our instincts and
colours our life.The spectrum of emotions from happiness to sadness, and everything in between will be experienced throughout the chapters of our life.
Despite our attitude to emotions, they are part of us, and therefore need careful consideration if we are to live life to our potential.
As children we express our emotions freely and openly until we are taught to suppress or control them, to conform to a set of cultural values where ‘negative‘
emotions are judged as wrong or unacceptable.
Historically, children were punished if they expressed their emotions inappropriately, leaving them feeling confused and hurt. As a result, we grew up
suppressing our emotions to survive or conform to the norm, ‘to fit in’, to be accepted, loved and ultimately feel secure.
Today as adults, most people either control and repress their emotions, others hang onto them becoming the emotion. Both options are toxic and disempowering.
Controlling negative thoughts and emotions for most becomes a survival skill and a way of being. Repressing the emotion doesn’t resolve or release it as
they are stored and accumulate in the body in time becoming a potential cause of illness and disease. For example the term ‘don’t mention the war’
can trigger deep unresolved emotions from war veterans who previously were resting peacefully.
Hal Hershfield is an expert in behavioural economics from the University of California Los Angeles. His study on the role of emotions in health and observed
47 adults undergoing psychotherapy for difficult life events such as going through a divorce and found that simply increasing levels of happiness didn’t
improve people’s wellbeing. Rather, it was the people who experienced a mixture of positive and negative emotions who saw subsequent improvements in
their wellbeing. In other words, it’s vital we allow ourselves to connect, feel, express both positive and negative feelings.
It is the repression or control of our emotional truth that has the most toxic effect on our mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s unrealistic and naive to expect you can be happy every day all the time.
While it’s a noble and worthwhile pursuit to live a positive and happy balanced life, most of us will experience some pretty tough emotion chapters along
the way like losing someone close to you, or being left by someone you love in a relationship, or being publicly humiliated etc.
The question isn’t how to avoid these experiences and emotions (life will throw them at you anyway), it’s how do we best manage them in a way so they don’t
manage or define us or feel victimised by them?
How do you deal with your emotions?
Common ways people repress or avoid feeling emotions;
For some people they become defined by their emotions, hanging onto anger or the sadness etc unable to release or resolve them. These emotional people
will often use their emotional state to their advantage getting some form of payoff. Some get attention as the victim, some avoid taking personal responsibility
by constantly blaming others, some use the silent sulk approach to punish people until they submit to their will.
A father used his anger as a bullying tactic to manipulate everyone to enforce ‘his’ will upon his wife and children. Inevitably, the marriage ended in
divorce with all the adult children moving overseas permanently.
Either the repression or indulgence of an emotion will have a negative impact on how you feel, think and behave as the emotion acts like a lens effecting
how you see the world. For example if you hold onto worry that’s the lens you see through, projecting worry into all your life relationships. Triggers
have the same response. Usually, people who worry, worry about everything because of this lens projection.
Emotions can also act like invisible buttons, lying dormant waiting for the next person or situation to press them triggering a predictable reaction that
defines behaviour over and over again creating a repetitive destructive emotional pattern.
Blaming the button presser instead of dealing with the button keeps the emotional pattern alive – the unconscious mindset justifies the reactions instead
of taking responsibility for how they are and managing their emotions effectively.
So instead of over-reacting and over-compensating when things don’t go as you planned, you can learn how to be aware and manage your emotions using mindfulness
meditations and simple stress management techniques.
Becoming more aware of your own thoughts and feelings and managing them consciously, will improve your ability to interact calmly with others both in the
workplace and at home.
This newly found emotional freedom allows you to communicate more effectively, succeed at work and achieve your career and personal goals more efficiently
The Mind Body Dynamics
The relationship between mind, emotions, body and performance are linked through the energetic system. Each part can have an upstream or down stream flow
on effect on the whole, positively or negatively, as a stress response or a relaxation response.
MIND > EMOTIONS > BODY > PERFORMANCE
For example, if we have a negative mindset about a specific task, our emotion may be resentful, our body becomes tense and the quality of our job may be
inferior as a result. Conversely, we may feel very stressed and tense from a busy week at work and receive a massage or part take in exercise, afterwards
feeling better about life and thinking more positively. In order to have a more permanent holistic change we need to identify at any given moment what
part of our being is the cause of the stress response.
For most of us, the absence of emotional management in our education, often becomes the weak link in the mind body dynamic. This emotional weakness can
be addressed through conscious mindfulness practices offering an opportunity to strengthen and improve our overall health, wellbeing and performance.
Research shows positive happy people live up to 10 years longer than depressed unhappy people and have 50 % less risk of developing a chronic disease.
Studies in psychoneuroimmunology PNI clearly show our capacity to Attend to, Connect with and Express and Release symptoms, supports our wellbeing and
ability to heal and reduce the toxic effects of stress in our lives.
Dr Mogens R Jensen followed the progress of a group of breast cancer patients for two years. Women who suffered more rapid spread of cancer shared certain
personality traits: repression as a way of coping, non-expression of emotions and feelings of helplessness. i.e. avoiding attending, connecting and
expressing difficult emotions . In contrast, those who displayed or developed the ACER factor had a remission rate of 46 percent higher than those
who repressed emotions.
The “attending and connecting ” components of the ACE factor are experienced and released through the Mindfulness of Emotions Meditation and the Letting
The Letting Go Technique
The Letting Go Technique allows release of a held emotion.
Sometimes no matter how positively we apply ourselves to life, we can emotionally react to a difficult situation despite our best intentions and find ourselves
angry, frustrated, fearful etc. It’s important to attend, connect, express and release the impact of the emotional stress to minimise it’s toxic effects.This
meditation combines feeling and connecting to the emotion using the breath and by conscious intention, letting the emotion go using the out breath.
In certain cases of emotional trauma and chronic emotional stress, a one on one session with David Flakelar maybe needed to resolve the mental and emotional
stress using accurate energetic techniques tailored to an individuals needs.
In the Meditation Essentials 5 week mindfulness course participants learn a step by step process to achieve 5 power practical mindfulness meditations to positively manage your mind, emotions and body.
The Letting Go Technique
Take a moment to adjust your posture so your sitting in a upright supported position . . . gently close your eyes and settle into your body . . . Now,
in your own way, take a few moments to connect with yourself . . .Take a few deep, conscious breaths feeling your in and out breath.
1) Ask yourself what am I feeling right now physically and emotionally?
For example, you may feel tight neck and shoulders and feel very frustrated and angry……. or you may feel sick in the stomach and be worrying…..
either way identify the emotion you are feeling.
2) Now ask yourself does holding onto this emotion serve me?
3) Once you identify the negative emotion make a conscious decision to let it go despite the story.
4) Close your eyes and allow yourself to feel the in breath into your navel area connecting to the emotion. On feeling the out breath let the emotion go
feeling your breath out your mouth. Combine feeling the breath and the intention to let the emotion go completely.
5) Repeat the process of feeling the in breath into the emotion and letting it go using the out breath until you feel a sense of peace in yourself devoid
of the subject emotion. For some people this may take 6 times others a few minutes.
Ideally, getting to the root cause of emotional patterns through one on one sessions and learning proven mindfulness meditations is the best insurance
for managing your life on a daily basis. Getting help through the difficult chapters we all face at times helps you get through the storms of life
and back into happy days…..
For private consultations, workshops see www.davidflakelar.com