A boy starts crying, because he did not get what he wants. Immediately, the father yells:”Stop! Boys don’t cry!” Bobby McFerrin sings:”Don’t worry, be happy”. Things like these have educated into not giving in to our emotions. We are taught from an early age that when we feel something bad, to either ignore it, or wallow in it! Either way is, in my honest opinion, useless. I don’t know about you, but I have the feeling that there must be something more to emotions that this!
Well, the good news is, there is! Looking at our neurology, the way we think and how the mind works, we are not supposed to get stuck with anything. The brain always looks for what is different, what is new sensory information in order to construct a more accurate picture of “reality”. If someone would pinch your arm for 5 minutes, after about 30seconds you would stop noticing, or are you aware of your socks as you read this??
Knowing that our neurology looks for change, how does this apply to emotions? It has been shown that we cannot spontaneously hold any kind of state for more than 90 seconds. After that, we actively engage in maintaining it. So, even our emotions and states are wired up for changing. That means that basically negative emotions as well are wired up to change, yet we decide to freeze them and thus they are stuck. They cannot move or change!
What we are wired up to do is look for what is beneath the emotion. So, the question is, you feel X, what is beneath X? If you keep asking those questions, you will soon arrive at a point where you have no words left to say. Just nothing comes to mind. Then you ask again, and suddenly you have positive feelings beneath that, and you just keep going until you have the exact opposite of what you started with. Figuratively speaking, it is like a water lilly, the negative emotion is the top, you just follow the root to the end, and then out the other side again….
This is what we are supposed to do. Now, doing this is very powerful and can pervasively change what you feel. However, when you do this, please note one condition: Once you start digging beneath, you have to keep going until you come out the other side, with the opposite emotion that you started with! If you do this often enough, guess what: your mind gets accustomed to it, and does it automatically for you…
All we are is change, and once you accept that premise, there is no end to what you can change if you really want to!