The power of negative emotions can’t be denied. We’ve all been swept along by unstoppable negative 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 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.
Why Do We Have Negative Emotions?
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 © Tony Burkinshaw
This is where our brain performed a minor miracle of software engineering and came up with the idea 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.
The Unconscious Mind
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. So you don’t have to consciously work out which muscles to move. This saves you the laborious effort of calculating any number of complex mathematical equations. You know, gravity, air-resistance, trajectories, momentum and all those other useless things we nearly learned in school.
Your mind decides how you need to behave to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pain and danger. It constantly scans your environment looking for patterns it has encountered before. If it spots an opportunity pattern, it drives your 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. Emotions are our unconscious mind’s communication method of choice. They are deliberately powerful, flooding our entire body and brain. They not only guide your behaviour, but they also rule your thought processes too. This is why you can be in the grip of an irrational fear, know that it’s irrational but can’t stop being fearful and thinking fearful thoughts.
It is the power of emotions that’s keeping us alive. In a very real way, there is no such thing as a negative emotion.
Turning Negative Emotions Into Positive Actions
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 from being used when they’re not needed. Counterproductive use of emotions can be extremely debilitating.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is adept at uncovering these misinterpretations. It gives you the tools to re-interpret patterns from the past so they simply fade into normality.
The counter-productive power of negative emotions rapidly becomes a thing of your past.
If you recognise this and would like to work with me to put it right just get in touch.