A snake penetrated into a carpentry workshop. As it slipped, it passed over a saw and got slightly wounded. Suddenly, it turned and bit the saw, and biting the saw, the snake seriously got wounded in its mouth!
Then not understanding what was happening and thinking that the saw was attacking “him,” _it decided to roll around the saw to suffocate it
with all its body by squeezing it with all its strength, but it ended up being killed by the saw!!!_
What we can learn from the story?
Yes……Sometimes we react in anger to hurt those who have harmed us, but we realize later that after all *we are hurting ourselves.*
Is not it?????
Probably, you heard that famous punch line….Do not let hate take over your life* because love is stronger than anything.
Do you have any idea..what is the LAWS OF NATURE ???
The food we eat has to be digested and then thrown out of the body in 24 hours, else we will fall ill.
The water we drink gets in our body and is thrown out in 4 hours, else we will fall ill.
The air we breathe has to be thrown out in 1 minute, else we will die.
What about negative emotions like hatred, anger, jealousy, insecurity … we hold in our body for days, months and sometimes may for years ….sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously….
If these negative emotions are not thrown out regularly it props up into psycho-somatic diseases.
Are we doing anything to get rid of all these negative emotions???
It gives me pain that though we all are aware of our physical well beings what about mental health? Do we give importance to it??? I doubt.
To take control of your emotions, first, we have to know, what is emotion all about.
Emotions are regarded as ‘lower level’ responses. They first occur in the subcortical areas of the brain such as the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortices. These areas are responsible for producing biochemical reactions that have a direct impact on your physical state.
We cannot get rid of emotions because Emotions are coded into our DNA.
Emotions are thought to have developed as a way to help us respond quickly to different environmental threats, much like our ‘fight or flight’ response. The amygdala has also been shown to play a role in the release of neurotransmitters that are essential for memory, which is why emotional memories are often stronger and easier to recall.
Another way, feelings are our reactions to the different emotions we experience. Where emotions can have a more generalized experience across all humans, feelings are more subjective and are influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations of our world based on those experiences.
Feelings occur in the neocortical regions of the brain and are the next step in how we respond to our emotions as an individual. Because they are so subjective, they can’t be measured the way emotions can.
Paul Ekman, an American psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco identified six initial basic emotions:
Ekman later expanded on this to include a further eleven basic emotions:
- Sensory Pleasure
One of the more popular psychological theories of emotions is of Robert Plutchik, professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and adjunct professor at the University of South Florida.
It’s named Wheel of Emotions.
There are eight basic emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust. Plutchik went further by pairing the emotions with their opposites and then creating the wheel of emotions, which serves to elaborate on how complex and interactive our emotions are.
Your emotions are crucial to your ability to adapt to the challenges of your daily life.
When you feel good, you’re able to shrug off even the most burdensome of tasks, but when you’re miserable, you view even an enjoyable activity with a sense of gloom and doom.
Emotions also affect our relationships with others.
From an evolutionary perspective, we are primed to see the negative (potential dangers) at all times to keep us safe. Thus, unless you retrain your brain, negative emotions like fear and anxiety are most likely dominating your typical day as an Individual.
We can’t stop emotions and thoughts from entering our minds. And we shouldn’t.
Every emotion and thought has its place and is there for a reason. What we can control, however, is how we deal with our emotions and thoughts and how much we allow them to impact our mental state.
Now, the million-dollar question is: what’s the solution???
You will find many tools that help you retrain your brain and control your emotions. What I found most effective is the 4-Step-Emotional Reset Process as described by author Robyn Openshaw in her book “ Vibe”.
Step 1: Notice & Accept your Emotion
When you notice a negative emotion or thought entering your mental space, stop, take a deep breath, and actively acknowledge your emotion. Remind yourself that you can’t control which thoughts and feelings are entering your mind. Suffering and experiencing negative emotions is inevitably part of our shared human condition.
Instead, ask yourself:
- How do I feel right now?
- What is happening?
- How is it affecting me?
Step 2: Metabolise the Emotion & Extract the Lesson
- Why am I feeling this emotion now?
- What is this feeling trying to tell me?
- What can I learn from this experience?
- What are the actionable steps I am taking away from this?
Step 3: Reframe
- How could I see this differently?
- What if I reacted the opposite way?
Step 4: Release
Take a deep breath and consciously choose to let go of the experience and fully immerse yourself in the positive emotions of the reframing exercise. If you are having trouble finding a positive emotion to feel instead, try feeling grateful. It works every time because you can feel grateful for the most “basic” things like having a warm place to sleep, that you and your family are well or that you get to work on your company every single day.
The best way to deal with negative emotions is by applying NLP.
NLP can help you to spot and change negative thought patterns, assumptions, and processes.
NLP ( Neuro-linguistic programming ) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes.
Use these 4- NLP techniques to change how you think and feel happier.
These techniques can help you live a more enjoyable and meaningful life.
Anchoring is one of the most common NLP techniques. The goal is to elicit positive responses at will by associating a particular mental and emotional state to an anchor, which can be an image, a word, or a gesture. Anchoring improves our ability to control emotions and to take an active role in self-management, making us less prone to feeling powerless and overwhelmed.
How to use the anchoring NLP technique:
- Elicit a time when you experienced the intense positive feeling you want to trigger in other situations (e.g. feeling achievement the moment you got a promotion).
- Bring in sensory cues associated with that state (e.g. what you saw, felt, smelt, heard).
- Bring the memory to its most intense point and then associate your feelings to an anchor (e.g. twist a ring on your finger, pinch your earlobe).
- Take a short break and repeat the steps above.
- Test the anchor (e.g. pinch your earlobe) to elicit the intense feeling of achievement.
- You can then use this method whenever you need an emotional pick-me-up, either on its own or alongside the other NLP techniques outlined below.
II) Reframing :
Reframing’, or viewing adverse events from a different ‘frame’. This allows you to open up your mind to opportunities that may be lying ahead instead of dwelling on the negatives. In short, reframing changes the focus from negative and overpowering to positive and empowered.
How to reframe a thought, feeling, or behavior:
- Identify the thought, feeling or behavior you want to change.
- Establish contact with the innermost part of yourself that is triggering the negative mood. This could be an image, voice, expression, etc.
- Find the positive intention behind that part. Let’s say you have a fear of flying. The sound of a plane’s engine taking off triggers anxiety because it wants to protect you. This intention is good, but the response is inadequate.
- 4Focusing on the positive intention, try two or three ways of responding that will help you realize such intention. For example, acknowledge the protection and self-preservation, which is why you choose the safest way of traveling (flying vs. driving)
- Ensure your subconscious is fully committed to trying alternative responses, and that it won’t sabotage your reframing efforts. Check for conflicting beliefs, and if you find yourself making excuses, go back to step IV above and find alternative ways of responding.
When recalling past events, the amygdala responds by triggering an emotion that replicates the original one, but reframing reminds us that the nature of that emotion isn’t fixed and that we can break automatic patterns and prioritize rational responses over knee-jerk reactions. Reframing is an NLP technique that proves it’s possible to break free from the so-called amygdala hijack.
Meta-modelling is one of the most powerful NLP techniques given its ability to help identify self-imposed constraints that may be preventing you from finding happiness. The easiest way to meta-model is by looking at the language you use in everyday life, paying attention to these three types of patterns:
- Generalizations, evidenced in thoughts along the lines of “I’m always so unlucky” or “all men are the same.”
- Distortions: mind-reading (e.g. “Abdul didn’t greet me today, he must be upset with me”) or cause-effect statements (e.g. “if I don’t lose weight, I will feel like a failure”).
- Deletions, or cherry-picking your understanding of reality to confirm pre-existing beliefs. For instance, someone with poor self-esteem would ignore compliments and pay undue attention to critiques, leading to thoughts like “people don’t find me attractive.”
How to use meta modeling:
Identify which category your thoughts belong to, then start the exploratory process of questioning the maladaptive thought pattern. For example, if you catch yourself in a deletion like “people don’t find me attractive”, meta-modeling questions to ask would be “which people specifically?” and “how do you know that?”.
The chances are that your answers will include a generalized statement with the words “always” or “never”, then it’s time to ask yourself whether you are realistic by claiming that things are always this way and never that way. When meta-modelling, it’s also useful to ask about alternative courses of action. For example, in the statement “if I don’t lose weight, I’ll feel like a failure”, ask yourself whether feeling like a failure is your only option.
Meta-modelling works because it forces you to challenge ingrained response patterns that can evolve into what experts in psychological science call excessive avoidance behavior, which limits your ability to learn from new experiences.
The effectiveness of this technique is also linked to pattern separation. When faced with a new situation, we tend to compare with previous ones, but if pattern separation is active, you will understand that different scenarios require different responses.
Meta-modelling can prompt you to develop habits like listening to yourself and challenging limiting thoughts. This can help you become more resilient to cognitive distortions, and more skilled at challenging deep fears, lessening anxiety and tension.
IV) The Swish Method
This is one of the most powerful NLP techniques that emphasize the severely limiting effect of negative thoughts. The goal of the Swish method is to identify mental and emotional triggers of negativity and replace them with an ideal response. When using the Swish technique, you don’t have to take any action, but become aware of the alternatives available and train your brain to set off a “happier mood” whenever negative thoughts and emotions begin to overpower you.
How to put the Swish NLP technique into action:
- Identify the feeling that triggers anxiety. Example: you may be anxious about exam performance even though you’ve done your best to prepare for it. In this case, the trigger feeling would be nervousness and uneasiness.
- Next, know how your mind and body react to such feelings (e.g. nail biting, knots in the stomach, etc.) Create a visual image of the context in which this happens (e.g. as you walk into the exam room).
- Think about how you would ideally like to respond as you physically enter the context in which the negative thoughts take place (e.g. confident, well-prepared, optimistic, etc.).
- This is called the replacement thought. In your mind, visualize the negative state and figuratively place the replacement thought over it, make sure it appears bigger, stronger, and more vibrant while making the negative emotion appear in black and white or blurry.
you need to practice the Swish Method a few times to ensure the replacement thought becomes the default response. Do it at least five times and speed up the visualisation, which is the most important element, with each round. To check for effectiveness, evoke the trigger thought/feeling and its context, and see how you feel about it.
Other studies have shown that the type of mental rehearsal involved in visualization has a direct effect on fundamental cognitive skills, including memory, attention, and perception. The benefits of mastering this technique include improved emotional performance and a calm and confident approach knowing that you don’t need to let negative thoughts dominate your life.
If you use the above techniques congruently, It is for sure that you can empower yourself in a more resourceful state to take control of your negative emotions which ultimately leads to happiness and success in life.
Life will definitely be more meaningful if we remember the famous quote :
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
For further reading, you can click here.