Even for people who have done years of self-development, even for participants of EI trainings a large percentage of emotions are identified incorrectly. We think we are angry but deeper down is guilt. We think we are sad but underneath is uttermost frustration. We think we possibly may have depression but below is a nagging old guilt. How can we get out of it, if we don’t know how we got into it?
Identifying emotions more accurately and instantly is important. When I ask: Are you aware of your negative self-talk? Most people answer: Yes. Some already with an “AHA”. The Aha is about: Maybe my feeling bad is just related to the way I talk to myself inside? Maybe if I knew how to change this internal dialogue I could also change some of my low moods, doubts or troubles? Yes you can.
Don’t we all know negatively or critically talking to ourselves. Negative self-talk is another word for worry or self-critic. We worry about worrying and we criticize ourselves for critizing others or ourselves unnecessarily. This inner debate takes energy and produces low emotions and certainly no results. They are made of the same material that guilt, depression and trauma is made of. Wow- interesting. How can such different emotions be based on similar structures? These patterns are called vicious thinking and feeling patterns. Vicious – because they keep circling with no way out. This is a dilemma. This is like the dog biting himself into his own tail running around in circles continuously. The only difference is: the dog will stop at some point. Those vicious circle patterns are called vicious because they do not stop. They are endless and that is why the possibility for human suffering is so great.
Here some tips to identifying emotions more accurately. It is important to find out the type of negative dialogue inside. It could be “Poor me” which is self-pity. I bet we agree to quickly interrupt this one. Another one: “I am responsible for his or her problems” will lead into “but I can’t solve this.” Then, of course “I can’t solve this” results in feeling even worse about being responsible for someone else… Here we have the vicious circle. Clients come to me saying: I suffer from low confidence. What an interesting perception. See, I think such thing does not exist. Low confidence? Where does this idea come from? Everyone is wonderful and prefect as they are. Everything else is a badly made up story that we have to learn to distance ourselves from. For example: Putting oneself down for putting oneself down. So if you think you have low confidence then of course it results in an form of “I can’t”. When you think “I can’t” the result is low confidence. Vicious circle pattern. This is the beginning of what is called guilt. The shadow of guilt goes hand in hand with low energy, no motivation, depression or even suicidal thoughts.
How can we get out of it, if we don’t know how we got into it? This is a good question according to our negative emotions; however the focus should not be on the problem but the focus should be on the solution. People are so used to feeling bad that the they don’t even remember feeling good anymore. More importantly they don’t remember that it is our nature and our birth right to feel great, happy, expanded.
All of our emotions are based on an inner story and an inner movie. It is not real but made-up. Something that makes you feel bad is like a virus in the computer or in the body. If there is a virus, what do you do? Take it out. Right. You would not wait and cry. You simply do something about it. That’s what we have to do with our thought and emotions as well.
Become Your own recording artist and movie director
Step One: “I noticed” Response
Remember: We can be trapped in our inner stories and movies and believe them as if they are real – but they are not. Just a mistaken internal dialog, wrong movie channel. Praise yourself specifically if you caught a vicious circle pattern. You can add saying to yourself: “Thank you”
Step Two: Interrupt
Interrupt the negative self-talk or vicious thinking pattern. Take a deep and loud breathe. Interrupting most resourcefully goes along with: a – move somewhere else, b – say something else c – look at something else d- do something else. Even if it is something silly like making a face, singing a song, a loud sigh or sound. Do whatever helps to interrupt the emotion. It is better to exaggerate as the stronger the neuro-intensity the greater the success.
Step Three: What is my Purpose?
Feeling bad, a sense of confusion, being lost or stuck is directly related to organizing our thoughts and so emotions. Most important about organizing thought is defining purpose. What is important and what is my purpose within this context, project, activity, time, etc. It could also be as simple as: Feeling good. When we align with what is most important to us everything falls into place.
Step Four: Apply Emotional Intelligence
After handling the negative emotion do something to feel good.
Mostly people can quickly name the emotions they don’t want to feel anymore. Often it is not misery that we are afraid of, but uttermost bliss. When asked to define what emotions we actually need and desire, the answers are rare. Rather than focusing on what not to feel, how about focusing on what to feel more? Learn about the emotions that raise serotonin. Relaxation, contentment, satisfaction, happiness, joy, amusement, excitement, inspiration, enthusiasm, passion, gratitude, compassion, and even bliss, ecstasy are emotions you can have more in your life. Gratitude and awe are so important. And so are sensuousness, compassion and love emotions that you can further to enrich your life. More humor and deep-felt conscious laughing are so often a solution. Learning to laugh more is an art and needs to be practiced.
Step Five: The Rainbow of Your Wonderful Emotions
In the Emotional Intelligence I share the Rainbow of Emotions Technique. We work with ten emotions that we stick onto a drawing of a rainbow and then select and practice them in a certain way. Please eventually consider working with this technique. For here today, how about choosing three. What three wonderful emotions would really make a difference in your life? If you already feel excited easily maybe it would be calmness. If you have an easy time relaxing maybe you want to increase passion and thrive. Once you name the three emotions you begin to invite them more into your life by thinking about them, feeling them, speaking about them. Now please as a recording artist sing or speak those emotions more into a pretend microphone if it helps. Design movies with these emotions. Become an actor and play out the emotions you want to feel more. It is normal that it may not feel so real yet in the beginning. Please trust that many people have used this Emotional Intelligence technique successfully and now can feel their desired emotions more.
Dr. Doris Greenwood, SNLP Master Trainer, Corporate Trainer, Master Coach and Master Hypnotherapist is specialized in Emotional Intelligence and certifies in EI Practitioner, Master & EI Trainer Trainings.