They are everywhere. Anger. Frustration. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Resentment. Loneliness. You get it. They are all negative emotions. And again…they are everywhere around us.
If you are not aware of that more than likely you are the source of them yourself. To be completely honest, it’s really easy to get lost in them. They start to become who we are. They are a normal part of everyday life when they get their claws in us. People around us begin to label us as those emotions. That person is ‘angry’. That person is always ‘unhappy’.
That’s tough to swallow if you’re that person. You don’t want to be. It just creeped in. Things in your life happened. You created meaning to that event. You created a story to it that validates that meaning. Now you have attached an emotion to it that now defines your life. You don’t know how to get out.
Take a look. What is that emotion for you? What emotion keeps coming up over and over? Is it fear? Is it hopelessness? It is hostility to everyone and everything around you?
Whatever it is, that emotion is your way of protecting yourself from the story you have created around something that happened. Something that made you feel less in some way. You CHOSE that story. You CHOSE that meaning. You CHOSE that emotion. And you CHOSE to continue to define your days by that emotion no matter what happens good or bad.
Even when good things happen you keep going back to that emotion.
“I got a promotion but it’s just a matter of time before I lose my job.”
“I have been healthy for a month now but it’s just a matter of time before I get sick.”
“That person is being nice because I just know they want something.”
“Things are just going too smooth. I know I’m going to get angry with someone today.”
“This relationship is going great but sooner or later they will really get to know me and not want to be with me.”
“I always end up screwing something up.”
“Bad things just happen to me eventually.”
You being to wire your brain to find what supports that negative emotion. You find ways to justify it. Just like if I said focus on the color red all day today. What do you start to notice when you are driving…red cars. What do you notice when you are at work…red pens, the exit lights, the red painting in the lobby. Your brain is amazing at finding what supports it’s focus. It will find reasons to feel angry, depressed, victimized, anxious. It will find them when it’s wired for them.
Negative emotions are exhausting. They are exhausting to the point of dysfunction. I see it in practice on a daily basis. People’s negative emotions, the stress they create from them and the energy that is killed with them is ultimately what keeps them stuck in the physical dysfunction cycle more than the bad physical habits they have…poor exercise, nutrition and rest habits. Our brains, more particularly our minds, will create dysfunction and eventually disease if we allow them to. That is the urgency to finding a fix for this hostage state.
So what’s the point to this. It all sounds like I’m stuck with this emotion…and the consequences of that emotional state. False.
Just like you created the meaning and emotion, you can create a new one. Just like you got stuck in this old one, you can create a new one. It all comes back to what we preach in the clinic on physical rehab…repetition and reinforcement. These two things are a NECESSITY to change a pattern or habit within the body or mind.
Both repetition and reinforcement are choices. You choosing the emotion of anger is a situation that has been repetitive over and over for years. It’s been reinforced by the instantaneous feeling you get through unleashing it. Even though you feel bad after the fact it has still be over-ridden by the short-term gratification of the anger. For you, it becomes ‘easy’ to be angry. That’s why you always go there. It’s the path of least resistance. You feel safe there. It may not be anger. It may be hopeless. It may be anxious. They are all comfortable if you know them well.
The switching of emotions is the exact opposite. You have to start by feeling that negative emotion coming up. When it does there must be a conscious effort to choose differently. Choose to let it go. Choose to smile instead. Choose to breath. This is tough. That urge is there. It’s no different than an addiction. Choice is the only solution. Choose differently. Again and again. You will fail sometimes with this. Choose better next time. It’s that simple.
That is repetition. Reinforcement is feeling the feelings following this. Feeling the gratification of choosing differently. Feeling the confidence knowing you are in control and not your emotions. Feeling the freedom of not being hostage to the negative emotion. Feeling the ease and peace of a better emotion is liberating. That is true freedom. It’s the freedom to choose at your will.
The ability to release these negative emotions in your life and choose differently creates health. Physically and mentally. What are you hostage to? Is it worth it? What are you missing from your life because of it? When is the right time to choose differently? Today?
Free yourself. Feel better today. Choose better today.