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Handling Your Emotions

English: Diagram which shows links between emo...

English: Diagram which shows links between emotions, feelings and expression. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Handling your emotions can be difficult because their origins are in both your conscious and unconscious minds and even when you are aware in your conscious mind why you think you may be feeling a certain way, you may not be right.  A lot of associations are made early in life before you even go to school.  Many associations are being formed in the brain long before we can actually think and/or talk about them.  Understanding why something happens is limited or if explanations are formed, they may not always be correct.  This is why child abuse can be such a powerful influence on children.  For example, a child may wrongly assume that there was something they did or thought that was the reason for the abuse.  Children are very vulnerable and when there is no one there to protect them, they may feel deserted and frightened especially when they can’t help themselves.

Often as adults we feel that our feelings are caused by something “out there” and that justifies what we do in response to express or act out those feelings.  Often that feeling that there is something out to get us stops us in our tracks and we becomes unrealistic in our thinking.  We often think there is no way out and we are helpless.  This is often a flashback to childhood when thinking that way was elicited by the fact that we did not have a lot of experience finding solutions to problems and did not feel very capable of solving our own problems.  We were often in situations where we had to wait for help to come from outside ourself.

Say, “I think I can; I think I can”, like the Little Engine That Could instead of, “I can’t.”  We aren’t helpless when we experience emotions.  We just think we are.  We are just under the influence of unconscious learned associations.  Think before you react.  Did somebody really hurt you or do you just think they did?  You can learn to control yourself and to use your emotions instead of letting them use you.





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Generating Fear and Anger

Can't Get You Out of My Thoughts

Can't Get You Out of My Thoughts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you resent people for what you think they have done to you in the past?  Are you concerned about things over which you have no control in the future or in the present moment?  Do you continually have such thoughts and they make you anxious and get you upset?  Did you ever think about how easily you can be controlled  because of these thoughts?   You may be calmly sitting in your recliner watching TV when something is mentioned that you are concerned about but is not happening to you at the present moment.  Are your feelings aroused?  These are usually not positive thoughts.  They can prevent you from enjoying life’s present moments and keep you from being in the here and now.  What might have been a pleasant break from everyday responsibilities turns into an unpleasant reaction to hidden fears and concerns that are associated with the content of the TV program you are watching.  The news often does not calm you and fill you with gratitude for the things life has given you.  The current presidential campaigns have taken on a negative slant and they must think that it works or why do they this?   Why do people think that the best way to motivate people is by hate and fear?  Psychological studies involving behavior modification find that rewards do a better job of changing behavior especially when they are associated with a desired positive behavior.  Unwanted behavior when eliminated must have the behaviors that are wanted already in place to take their place.

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Unwanted Thoughts

Where do all those unwanted thoughts come from?  Endless mind chatter, more frequently negative than positive, is a common complaint among people.  Whispers of fear and doubt drift through our heads.  “Should’s” and “can’t’s.” mess up our minds.  Just think how much we could get done if we could just focus on what we are doing instead of these irritating thoughts in our head.  These are road blocks of thought that often prevent us from doing what we want or would like to do and may even prevent us from fulfilling our purpose in life.

Where do these ideas come from?   Considering that we usually don’t like these thoughts and we feel bad when we think them, why do we continue to think them?   Why do we believe them?  There is a time in life when we are very vulnerable to establishing these kind of thoughts in our mind.  There is a time in our life when we don’t know better than to believe these ideas are true.  The younger we are the more vulnerable we are to adopting others’ ideas even if not true as part of our self-concept.  We learn them.

Why is it so difficult to change these ideas especially when we learn later in life that they are not true.  It happens because after awhile, when we learn something like this, we often accept this as the way things are in life as we may not have any experiences to the contrary.   Such ideas become automatic such as learning to ride a bicycle or learning our multiplication tables; but this not beneficial when we have had the experience of being bullied by someone who does not know us and sees us as a convenient victim.

There is a part of the mind where information is stored to which we usually do not have direct access and is, therefore, almost invulnerable to being changed. Another big problem is that we often accept this kind of information as factual and you know that facts are facts because they can’t be changed or at least that is what most people think.

This kind of information is usually said to be at an unconscious or subconscious level and is difficult to access and difficult to change. It even follows some different rules from that which is stored in the conscious mind. There is a method to this madness. One thing is that it enables us to do things without thinking like ride a bicycle. Another is that when we can access it, we can usually find information that we thought we had forgotten. Hypnosis is often used to do this.

Unconscious learning can be the source of thoughts and ideas that effect our behavior and self image in very often damaging ways. It can help us because this is often how we develop rules that make it easier for us to make decisions as long as the rules make sense.

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