Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Have you ever feel that your emotions drain your energy? How many times have you felt that arguing, discussing with anyone completely depletes your energy? Even ruminating about negative fiction scenery and future prospective outcomes that you create in your mind when you worry can make you feel completely exhausted and of course affecting many of your internal metabolic functions.
Therefore, the idea with this article is to give the tools and skills to find an alternative path towards your emotional state and allow you to reclaim that energy, which is being drained "simply" because you're choosing being triggered by many external cues or just "waste it" with meaningless discussions.
Our emotions belong to us, the ownership of how you want to perceive things is you, therefore it is in you the power to reclaim where you place your energy and how you let your perception affect you!
Then, Where to begin to start taking that power back?
Well, let’s begin with our perception of things, this asset although it has been influenced, many times polluted and programmed, th good news is that it can be changed and you’re now in the position to start producing that change, just like we talk about this asset in regards to habit formation (1), the same happens in this scenery, the easiest way to start bending your reality is by adopting a inquiring mindset that allows you to gain some pause in the continuum of a possible reaction, to be just like a child, and ask yourself why is that event, encounter or that person producing an effect within you? Is it worth to let that cue or trigger spark your feelings and drive you towards a negative response?
Let’s picture a clear situation where you can appreciate how it would work? Imagine that you have a very difficult coworker in your office and she/he is constantly questioning your insights at meetings, many times takes credit for your contributions, and it is frequently trying to look good in front of your boss. Now, you know that is coming a very important meeting where you all will be evaluated, where some promotions will be at play, and is everyone’s chance to perform a great presentations of their projects!
You know your “friend” is going to be there to try to crash your presentation with some aggressive pointing towards something that you might not be prepared, so what can you do to stop being drained by the concern that something might fail due to some trashy comment that this person can make?
First stop wondering what might happen, because whatever it is, probably you won’t have an answer of what she/he is expecting, but if you place your attention in your project, in the possible flaws and alternative scenarios, then you’ll let pass his/her comment or you might even make it appear as if it was something “valuable” probing that you’re not engaged and just allow him/her to stop throwing more comments to you just to see if you lose your rhythm!
You can install a mindset of compassion and empathy towards this person that is just looking for attention because you know that he/she might have a tough background and is just hurt, therefore that will allow you to see his/her desperate moves towards sabotaging your work as a gift so that you sometimes encounter some possible flaws, or just so that you develop the character to deal with these kind of people that for sure you’ll have along your way as a future boss.
Every aspect of our lives will have some insight and you will always have another angle from where to see the things! Just like in ancient times used to say ...
"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment" (2)
— Marcus Aurelius
An essential part of understanding emotion regulatory mechanisms is characterizing the processes that generate emotions. Current models posit that emotions are valenced responses to external stimuli and/or internal mental representations that:
Involve changes across multiple response systems (e.g. experiential, behavioral, peripheral physiological),
Are distinct from moods, in that they often have identifiable objects or triggers,
Can be either unlearned responses to stimuli with intrinsic affective properties (e.g. an unconditioned response to an aversive shock) or learned responses to stimuli with acquired emotional value (e.g. a conditioned response or stimulus–reward association),
And can involve multiple types of appraisal processes that assess the significance of stimuli to current goals, that ..
Depend upon different neural systems. (2)
Taking a deep analysis of the quote from Marcus Aurelius we can clearly distinguish that response comes from you and you're the owner of it, meaning that if your response is just a reaction with anger, fear, doubt, anxiety, sadness that is a signal that something else is within you filling those kind of emotions, because if you are filled with patience, awareness, love, gratitude and compassion you would simply don't react to the "thing/trigger" or you would be able to have a very different appraisal of what is going on and you'll be able to rise up from that external cue.
Moving on to the mechanics of your emotions, we can be able to see in that one of the first responses that everyone has refers now to something that will produced inside of you, whenever we are faced with an external circumstance we can produce a behavior, we generate a experience or we release a chemical emotion. Those are pretty much your three options and in all of them you have the chance to do it in the most conscious and positive way or you are able to perform it based on your past experiences, your programming and your history, the choices is only yours!
Your second level or step comes with the identification of the object, person or experience that is producing the emotion. And here is where you can turn around things to start creating a new story within you, where you can start allowing yourself to gather a lot more positive emotions than the ones that were ingrained in you! For instance, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you have two choices either you get angry, reacting by cursing him/her, honking, etc or you can just let him/her pass and keep your journey! The same happens with any kind of situation is not your business what happens with everyone else, it is just their reaction and their emotions that are being disposed all over everyone that they encounter.
Moreover it is just an experience, it is just a behavior, it is just an object or an event that is being presented to you, that doesn't mean that if you react, because probably at that moment you were not able to control yourself, you're a bad person, you failed, you start victimizing and labeling yourself with diminishing words or adjectives. Instead you can just be able to see the object, encounter or experience as your teacher that probably will be presented to you more often just to check on you and to see how are you handling the lesson! If you are even able to see the meaning of the situation to begin with!
However if you hook up to the game of identifying yourself with your action or behavior and start the labeling game you will easily start generating a cascade of more negative emotions that will start to create a mood and over some weeks you will start to develop a personality towards those kind of experiences! So, you'd better be careful with avoiding the cascade and starting to own your ability to simply catch yourself and doing it better for the next time!
Arriving to your inner tools to control the cascade process of the energy that you're just giving away with negative emotions, in the steps listed above we can clearly see that the next is the appraisal of the experience, finding the meaning or the purpose of why things happened that way! Which many times is the more challenging step, but it can also be the most rewarding of all, if you start learning how to use it in your favor!
Evaluating the experience as an observer, narrating the things as if you were just telling a story can help to detach from the emotion and to be able to see it from another perspective! That simple exercise will allow you to see that things happened in "that way" to allow to get to another level of awareness, to lead towards a better outcome, to reward you from the work that you have previously performed with other people, or maybe it just came with a different wrapping paper but it was the experience, the person, the event that you were expecting, but of course it was not given exactly with the level of details that you wanted and the only thing that now what is missing is just appreciation and gratitude attitude so that you can be able to move on!
Talking about your areas of the brain that you'll be using along this whole pathway of the emotion and simplifying them so that you can appreciate what is happening, let us with the following reasoning argument!
When we get hooked up in an emotion and we choose the path of reacting by past experiences, by beliefs, by patterns or by a victim mode we're just letting our reptilian brain to do its job of releasing fear chemicals and triggering you towards a stressful response.
When we choose to follow a more conscious path, an awakening, a third party appraisal of the "things" that are happening in our lives and we then motivate and ignite the switch of the prefrontal cortex, then we will always be able to find a more congruent and coherent narrative for every lesson that we're experiencing in our lives.
And by doing that we will be able to raise our energetic level, to really integrate the experience, to find the meaning and to escalate in our energy vibration, attracting with that a different level of experiences that will allow us to enjoy a lot more our journey and opening paths that we were not even been able to believe or to see when we were in the previous energetic level and this is the reward that you have acquired simply by using your whole arsenal of conscious assets! Instead of being a prisoner of the external world, now you're detaching, you're deciding, you're accesing a whole different realm of emotional freedom that will take your life to a proper destination! Your dreamt life! Your materialized vision!
In summary, emotions are part of our everyday life, are a core mechanism to allow us to interact, enjoy and savor our lives! They also have a protective side when necessary and more importantly they are only yours, they demand a lot of energy from you and when used wisely they will open up your best pathway to break your way towards your inner and most valuable source which is love and compassion.
If you start discovering, reflecting, becoming a student with an inquiring mindset then you’ll be able to harness all the energy to your benefit to create powerful interactions, relationships, experiences, behaviors and impact the ones around you! It’s a decade to become more conscious, more aware and to start owning what we feel and the way want to slide through life inspiring and helping others to walk the path!
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