A Positive Purpose: The Power of Emotions

The Power of emotions can’t be denied. We’ve all been swept along by the unstoppable power of emotions like a tide, for good or ill. Once they grip you, have no choice but to hold on tight and enjoy/survive the ride.

It’s only once their purpose has been fulfilled that they let you go and you have a chance to assess the success/damage.

We routinely categorise the power of emotions into positive and negative without ever really considering what they’re trying to do. I mean, why do we even have emotions in the first place?

I have a theory.

On a day-to-day basis we have to perform an essential but delicate balancing act around where we focus our attention. It’s important, from a survival of the species (as well as ourselves) that we take advantage of opportunities and avoid danger.

The difficulty is, as you may well recognise, that when we do focus our attention it brings a major a problem for us. The clue is in the word ‘focus’. Whilst some aspect of our life is getting our full attention ensuring that the advantage is taken/danger avoided, our attention simply isn’t focused anywhere else. This leaves us extremely vulnerable because most of our environment isn’t being attended to. We might miss an opportunity or worse, we might not see the danger sneaking up behind us with its shiny pointy teeth…

The Power of Emotions

The Power of Emotions © Tony Burkinshaw

This is where our brain performed a minor miracle of software engineering and came up with the ides of an unconscious mind. It’s a part of us, (many say it is by far the larger part of us), which ensures that all our auto-pilot responses work effectively.

You’re already very familiar with it. It is that part of your mind which learns to change gear, do up buttons, tie shoe-laces, walk, run, cycle, catch a ball all without you having to consciously work out which muscles to move. It saves you the laborious effort of  calculating any number of complex mathematical equations involving gravity, air-resistance, trajectories, momentum and all those other useless things we nearly learned in school.

It also decides how we need to behave in order to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pain and danger. It constantly scans our environment looking for patterns it has encountered before. If it spots an opportunity pattern, then it drives our behaviour to take advantage. If it sees a danger pattern, it drives our behaviour to avoid it / fight it / stay still and hope it goes away.

Of course it is much more subtle than this simple explanation but you get the gist.

The crux of this is how does our Unconscious Mind get us to behave the way it wants?

Emotions. That’s how. The power of emotions are our unconscious mind’s communication method of choice. They are powerful. They flood our entire body and brain. They not only guide your behaviour, they rule your thought processes too. This is why you can be in the grip of an irrational fear, at a conscious level you know that it is irrational and yet you cannot stop yourself being fearful and thinking fearful thoughts.

It is the power of emotions that keeping us alive. In a very real way, there is no such thing as a negative emotion.


Emotions are a fundamental tool for our survival. They are MI5, MI6 and the CIA all rolled into one and in theory working on our behalf. The problem is, like all clandestine agencies, sometimes they make the wrong assumptions about what constitutes danger.

This is where Cognitive Hypnotherapy comes in. It is vitally important that we leave our self defence systems in place. We don’t want to stop fear or anger or sadness from being able to be used in the right circumstance.

But it is possibly even more vital that you find a way to prevent them being used when they’re not needed. Counterproductive use of emotions can be extremely debilitating.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is adept at uncovering these misinterpretations of what constitutes danger and gives you the tools to re-interpret patterns from the past so they simply fade into normality.

The counter-productive power of emotions rapidly becomes a thing of your past.

If you recognise this and would like to work with me to put it right. Please feel free to get in touch.

Related Links:

Anxiety, Depression & Stress

Panic Attacks

Harley Street

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