Use Science To Become BFFs With Your Emotions
Raise your hand if you and your emotions are BFFs.
Aka… Best Friends Forever!
However, if you are like most, you may be far from friendly with them.
You may even experience your emotions as:
1. A jousting match, constantly fighting against them.
2. Lost in turmoil, trying to decipher their confusing messages.
3. Or fallen into emotional neglect, locking them away in a deep dark corner.
If you cringed just now, then keep reading onwards!
I knew I had to write this post because this topic always comes up eventually in my one-on-one conversations.
Here are the 2 biggest myths I’ve heard about emotions and my #1 antidote for understanding and speaking with your emotions.
**Disclaimer: Sit tight while we geek out on science for a moment! Promise, I’ll pepper in some plain ol’ english too.
Myth #1: Emotions are logical.
I am not a scientist, and there is high debate about what exactly triggers emotions. But, all in all, “something” triggers a chemical reaction to elicit an emotional response.
“Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in four major ways: neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Communication along all these conduits significantly affects the brain’s activity. Moreover, our research shows that messages the heart sends the brain can also affect performance.”
– The Institute of HeartMath
What this means for you:
You know those times when you don’t understand why something small caused you such a big emotional response,
Or maybe someone said something you understand and even agree with, but you can’t shake the hurt you feel,
Myth Buster #1: You can’t move through an emotion by analyzing it. Emotions scientifically speak a different language.
Myth #2: Emotions are something you can get rid of.
Further down the rabbit hole, The Institute of HeartMath has fascinating research where test subjects had a physical reaction before they saw an emotionally stimulating image.
“HeartMath researchers sought to augment science’s understanding of intuition, the process by which we become aware of, or perceive information outside our normal consciousness. They wanted to replicate and extend previous research showing the body could respond to emotionally arousing stimuli seconds before experiencing it. Among other findings, participants experienced a significantly greater heart-rate deceleration before future emotional stimuli compared to calm stimuli, indicating that their hearts appeared to receive and respond to intuitive information.”
– R. McCraty, M. Atkinson, R. T. Bradley; published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2004
What this means for you:
Aside from proving scientifically that our bodies are intuitive (super cool!),
This also means that unless you lock yourself in a fantasy bubble, emotions are here to stay.
Whether the conscious mind likes it or not!
Myth Buster #2: You can’t eliminate emotions. They are built-in primal responses.
Our world is currently dominated by emergency mode.
Be faster, be smarter, be stronger.
Do better, do more, and do it even if you have to sacrifice someone else. Even if that someone is YOU.
This incites a mentality that emotions are weaknesses. And vulnerabilities are to be hidden.
The ER is highly effective during rare occasions when there truly is an emergency, but the other 99% of the time what would happen if instead we SLOW DOWN?
What if we choose to savor instead of struggle?
What if we become curious instead of careless?
What if we go deeper into our emotions instead of against them?
My #1 antidote for becoming BFFs with your emotions: SURRENDER
Imagine your emotions as if they are a little baby crying.
They just want to be acknowledged and held.
Imagine your emotions as if they are an ocean.
If you try to fight your way through the waves, you will be pummeled into exhaustion.
Instead, when you flow through the waves, you can find the calm peace of the deep.
Imagine your emotions as if they are a caterpillar inside the cocoon morphing into a butterfly.
They think their world is ending. You can show them it’s actually a new beginning.
Share in the comments… what can YOU choose to surrender to?