Transform Your Emotional Reactions

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Mind Sciences

Carl Jung has said that wisdom is the ability to state the obvious. I would say that wisdom is the ability to see the obvious in ourselves and in our own lives. We should not underestimate the power of self-awareness. If we can master seeing our automatic emotional reactions, we can effortlessly empower our lives by changing them.

It is easy to see emotional patterns in others, but when it comes to ourselves, we can be amazingly blind. A situation arises and our automatic reactions kick in. It’s easy to get stuck in the same patterns because we cannot see ourselves. A mirror works because it displays a separate image. Without a separate image to look at, we cannot see ourselves.

The good news is that our brain is not designed to stay in blind emotional reaction for an extended time. The initial emotional wave overtakes us and lingers until it must ultimately subside. After the initial wave passes, we can begin to analyze the trigger and our personal reaction to it. When we are able to analyze our selves, logic will help us focus on a better course of action. Now that you’re more emotionally detached, watch the situation unfold in your mind, as if it were remade as a comedy. You’re watching the Comedic Remake based on true events. This takes you out of the situation, and removes the serious tone. As you watch this new comedy, focus on your character. How do you add a comedic twist to what upset you? Your lighthearted side wrote your character, so it’s not too much of a stretch to identify with yourself. When you see yourself as your character, you empower that aspect of who you are. Now, when the same type of situation arises in the future, you can think of your sitcom-self, and identify with your more lighthearted reactions. This technique will help separate your emotion from whatever upset you, and will help you see that different reactions produce different outcomes. Use your imagination and have fun with this. It is an easy way to release automatic patterns that might be holding you back. You must decide what your self-defeating patterns are, then use your imagination to change them into empowering patterns. The first step is to lighten up, as described above.

With kind permission of Dr. Moiz Hussain
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