Letting Go of Negative Emotions and Tension
I work with quite a few clients who have difficulties of letting go. Letting go of their irritations, anger, sadness, disappointment and releasing their physical tension. How do you change negative emotions and tension quickly and profoundly? How do you let go of negative emotions and release physical tension?
Whatever some people do, going for walks, to the gym, mindfulness, stretching, thinking of other things, distracting through drinking, sex and what have you. All of that may ‘help’ a moment or even a bit longer. However the emotion or tension is back in a instance when some thought or event occurs.
What is going on here?
I am a believer in ‘change that sticks’. Through time I have had enough experience working with people and in my own life to realize ‘magical’ solutions do not exist. The promise of life changing events through a new machine, crystal, energy burst and what have you. Most are self-made theories and marketing and self believe of the people offering these (quick) fixes. However this does not have to stop us to research means that can accelerate profound change. So how do we do that? Two ways: 1. Understanding the latest developments in neurology. 2. Figuring out how people create their realities. And I am fortunate to understand something about both of these fields.
So, what is going on with these emotions and bodily feelings that are so hard to ‘remove’ or change?
Depressed thoughts and depressed feeling
The other day I worked with a client who suffers from depressive thoughts and feelings. He told me about something that I describe in my book Happiness is Depressing as Bad Luck Thinking. Bad Luck Thinking has a couple of distinct features. Actually many people with depressive thoughts and feelings suffer from this kind of thinking. There are two main things the person experiences. 1. Misery in life, setback, negative stuff that happens. These experiences stack up and start to unconsciously create the expectation of more bad experiences that will happen. Because these expectations have become matter of fact in the mind of the person a specific inner dialogue repeats itself. Bringing me to point 2. Yep, that’s me again or Yes of course more s*** on my plate. This dialogue reveals some interesting things the person is experiencing. 1. The ongoing nature of all the trouble and expectation of more to come. Trouble, in fact has to happen. And 2. it is always happening to the person itself, almost as if the person is cursed by some ill fate, it is inescapable. Hence the term Bad Luck Thinking.
Inescapable tension in your body
Now this particular gentleman remembered that he always had some of this thinking since he was a young man. However, that ‘just’ gave him lifelong inescapable tension in his body, particularly in his shoulders and legs. When he felt that, something told him he was unsafe. This occurred when people came to close, and logically this gentleman had a lifelong experience of relationships that didn’t work out. He had a lot of trust issues and was very avers of ‘making mistakes’.
Doing what you can to change tension
Working around his physical tension was a good part of his daily life. He lives healthy, goes to the gym, does relaxation techniques. Whatever he tried during his life, this particular tension was persistent, very persistent. And very disturbing for him. He developed a reaction pattern of pushing people away or retreating when this tension came up. Most of the time he feels others are to blame when these feelings occur.
This brings me to the question: How are our emotions made?
What are the ingredients of our emotions? Very recent neuro-scientific research has shown that our emotions are made from interoceptive* information. Interoceptive information is information from within our bodies. I am talking about feelings of tension, pressure, change in heart rate and so on. Now the interesting thing is that most of our interoceptive information is unconscious. That means that we have all kinds of feelings going on in our body, but we don’t consciously feel them! Not feeling them, does not mean that they do not influence us. And as has been shown, these bodily sensations are meticulously associated to experiences in the past. Sometimes buried deep within our unconscious.
Memories, predictions and the creation of emotions
These hidden, felt memories trigger us to do one thing: Predict what will happen next. And this prediction will create your felt emotion and or tension. As it turns out we can’t change this reaction with our consciousness, techniques or meditation. You can temporarily influence your state however with recurring patterns and complex states the emotion and or tension will come back. Because you haven’t changed the prediction!
Magic in action
So, can we change these negative emotions and tensions instantly? Actually, you can! You can change a deeply ingrained (unconscious) emotional response. And you can change this profoundly once you understand how to change this neurological pathway. Once you find how the whole pathway works you can change it! Often in on or two session. How? You have to change the prediction!
You don’t have to believe me, come around and experience it yourself. I trust the response of my clients who in one session change their predictions: “This changes my whole life!”
Can you get stuck in feelings? Do you find yourself struggling with of tension? Want to learn how to let go and release? Do emotions come in your way of connecting? Drop me a line and experience for yourself how feelings can change profoundly.
Go to the Life Coach page to make an appointment. Talk to you soon!
Are you curious about the latest neuro-scientific knowledge and how that knowledge changes everything you know about emotional change? Go to the RETaC training page to learn more.
*In NLP this was already called ’state’. However, interocepsis is more than state and more subtle.
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