Are you constantly on edge? Do you feel as if the world is against you and that no one understands you? Do you react first and then ask questions later… if ever?
If you answered yes to those questions, it means you are a slave to your emotions. The key to your freedom lies inside YOU but how can you throw off those bitter shackles and be the best version of yourself?
By taking a good, long look at your past. Believe it or not, those experiences are the ones that are making you react so negatively.
Consider this scenario whether it applies to you or not. Imagine yourself as a child who had to show his drunk mum his homework every night before going to bed. How would you react to that situation if she always found something to complain about regarding your work? If you heard the words ‘failure’, ‘loser’, ‘useless’ etc during your childhood, you know exactly what that boy would feel.
Negative Emotions Shape Adult Experiences
Now, since you were a child, instead of dismissing your mother’s views as those of an alcoholic, you turned inward. You blamed yourself for being all of those things she accused you of but you suppress your reactions to remain sane. As a result, you develop a fear of being criticized and the belief that you are not ‘good enough’. Those negative emotions bob to the surface of your conscience as an adult without warning which is why your reactions to them are so extreme.
The thing is, none of those things were true then and they have no significance today either. Unfortunately, the lessons you learned during your childhood warp your thinking. As an adult, you channel the same fears but your anger at being treated that way debilitates your potential.
Your mature mind realises that those allegations don’t apply to you, but the fear of rejection makes you react out of anger.
In other words, even though you are an adult, your childhood is still making you angry/sad/ depressed/moody. As an adult, you think everyone around you is judging you the same way. If your boss asks you to make corrections in a report, you respond in anger. Your friend said a hairstyle didn’t suit you and you translated it to ‘I don’t look good enough for anything.’
Such reactions are not triggered by those incidents. They are the result of years of emotional abuse, trauma and rejections that have shaped your perception of the world. These also have an impact on how you perceive relationships and the people around you.
If your communication with your partner is based on arguments, both of you are reacting rather than understanding the issues you face. Instead of talking TO each other, you talk OVER each other to win an argument. This reactivity destroys relationships because in your anger and depression, neither of you tries to understand what caused problems in the first place.
That is not to say that you should never get angry or react to certain things. In some cases, expressing displeasure can save you from difficult challenges but extreme reactions have the opposite effect.
Mindfulness Is the Opposite of Reactivity
Mindfulness is the key to unlocking healthy reactions since it is the opposite of reactivity. It allows you to stop for a moment and deal with negative emotions in a healthy manner. When you hold in negative emotions for too long, you turn it inward until you explode with rage. All of that negative energy has to go somewhere.
This can have a number of adverse effects on your physical and mental health. Here are a few ways negative emotions can put your health at risk:
In Australia, two out of three families are affected by heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing 125 people every day.
In the US, someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds and most of them are triggered by angry outbursts.
Internalizing anger and depression can have an adverse effect on your heart. In fact, 2 hours after you have an angry outburst, your chance of having a heart attack increases. This is known as Anger Proneness, a condition which is actually a personality trait. In simple terms, if you suffer from this, you are twice as likely to get a coronary disease as compared to others.
To protect your heart, you need to address your feelings before you lose it. You have to understand that while your anger is justified, it isn’t constructive. To be constructive, that negative emotion has to be channeled into a conversation that helps you communicate your frustration gently.
If you lash out frequently, then you are at risk of a stroke. According to one study, people who have angry outbursts are 3 times more likely to die from a stroke from a blood clot in the brain. Your brain might actually start to bleed 2 hours after your outburst resulting in an aneurysm.
The good news is that you can learn to control those reactions by identifying what triggers them in the first place. Once you determine those, you can think of ways to change your response. After all, if you are in control of your reactions, you are in control of your emotional state and how people perceive you.
Weak immune system
Think about it. If you are angry or depressed most of the time, do you feel tired or ill after? Do you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning because you feel as if your body is too heavy? That is the result of an immune system that has been ravaged by erratic emotions.
This is based on fact. According to a study by Harvard University, even if a relatively healthy individual recalls a negative experience, levels of immunoglobulin A reduce in their body for 6 hours.
This hormone is our cells’ first line of defense against serious infections. If it is allowed to deplete to dangerously low levels, chances of contracting a deadly disease are imminent.
Anxiety and Stress
Emotional reactions almost always lead to anxiety which is understandable if you think about it. If you are constantly anticipating an attack, your defenses will always remain up. That can be exhausting for the mind thus leading to migraines, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, grinding teeth and a decrease or increase in appetite.
All of these reactions are triggered through anxiety which is triggered by your reactions to stress. According to the American Psychological Association, this is tied to a number of health issues because stress makes circumstances seem worse than they actually are. It can cause diseases because it can actually change the way your body works leading to bad habits as coping mechanisms. These can include smoking, overeating, and anorexia among many others.
Fear has a powerful impact on the human brain as it changes the way we process information. Imagine a tiny version of yourself in your mind who is constantly whispering negative thoughts to you. When we are frightened, our initial reaction is to escape the source of the fear.
In such cases, the rational parts of our brain, the cortex responsible for risk assessment, favors short term solutions or reactions. If you faced trauma in your past, anything that reminds you of it will trigger fear leading to a chain reaction in the brain. Your heart rate increases, you start sweating, you get anxious, your knees feel weak and your bowels loosen.
To avoid those reactions, you might take refuge in harmful habits such as consuming alcohol or sleep inducing meds. Unfortunately, if sleep could help us forget traumatic experiences, the world would be a much happier place.
There is some good news though. According to a study, 80% of those with traumatic events in their past do NOT suffer from PTSD. Those people deal with their emotions by calming down and addressing them. So whether people develop this disorder or not depends on the subjective perception of traumatic events.
Perceived Threats Reduce Quality of Life
The thing is, when we feel threatened, our natural inclination is to get as far away from the threat as possible. If you are not in control of your emotions, even the smallest ‘threat’ seems horrifying to you. That’s because your brain has been rewired by an excess of stress hormones causing it to shut down rational thought.
While this reaction was great for our ancestors who needed to run from wild animals, it’s not so great today when you consider your passive-aggressive friend a threat. Your natural inclination to an argument will always be to attack even if the other person is talking calmly.
This can cause you to come to emotional conclusions with you as the victim. You allow other people to determine how you respond to their behavior which only leaves you open to danger. Trigger reactions prevent you from regulating your emotions and communication then breaks down as a result.
You see, when you react emotionally, your body and mind go into autopilot mode. Suddenly, you are not in control of your body, your words, your tone of voice or body language. Your eyes get cloudy and the loved one in front of you transforms into a threat.
You want to shut them out and shut them down by being as harsh as possible. You want to win at any cost. You are a ticking time bomb that can explode at the slightest provocation and your erratic emotions are the fuse. If your partner is reactive as well, communication becomes a war of words and conflicts are never resolved.
Aren’t you tired of the fights? Aren’t you exhausted physically and mentally because you allow your emotions to rule you? It’s high time that you turned your reactive responses to mindful ones. It’s time that you anchored yourself to the present and stopped judging it based on past experiences.
With a mindful approach to life, you can remain aware of your feelings, understand them and understand how they trigger reactions that can hurt others and yourself. With mindfulness, you can understand what you are doing to yourself, not what others are doing to you. It will help you become more self-aware and gain conscious control of your feelings.
How Hypnotherapy, Matrix Therapy and Time Line Therapy Helps
We are rewiring our brain every minute of every day. Our mind holds an enormous wealth of information that shapes our perception and reaction to the world and people around us. If we allow it to work through positive reinforcements, that information can result in positive change rather than negative ones.
Think of it as a time-out for adults. Just because you are an adult with kids and a job does not mean you don’t need to calm down sometime. It gives you the chance to regain control which should be easier as an adult. However, if you are a reactive person, that is easier said than done.
This is where Hypnotherapy and its treatments come into the picture. Every new thought or experience we have creates new neural pathways in the brain and stores them as memories for future reference. While many of them can be used to take positive action and maintain healthy relationships, a reactive person often gets too attached to them. These attachments are often connected to a significant emotion that develop into bad habits.
Emotional stability starts by clearing the 4 primary emotional responses which include anger, sadness, fear, and guilt through the use of Hypnotherapy, Matrix Therapies and Time Line Therapy® combined.
Hypnotherapy combined with advanced coaching methods, Matrix and Timeline Therapies® can help you change the way you process those memories and the emotions that are triggered by them. These therapies will help you create processes that can make this happen. This includes but is not limited to:
- Changing the way you perceive the world
- Overcoming phobias
- Removing obstacles to success
- Preventing procrastination
- Motivations for positive action
- Eliminating negative emotions
- Teaching mindfulness
- Preventing emotions from overcoming reason
These are all among others that can help you take control of your life and change it for the better. Take control of the emotions that have ensnared you since childhood and become the best version of yourself today! That is when you can be truly FREE and HAPPY.