Managing Emotions with NLP

What are Emotions?

An emotion is a reaction.  A reaction to something that has happened and the immediate response to it.  What triggers the emotion is how we react to the situation that creates the response.

Emotions are very personal in nature. The nature of response to a particular situation needn’t be the same for everyone. It differs from person to person, depending on their closeness, seriousness, personality type, outlook, mental strength, and so on to the situation/person/event. When we emote, it is just like any other behavior. You either have it or you don’t.

There is no negative or positive emotion. Emotions to a particular situation can wary from person to person. What could be a very emotional experience for one could sometimes not even connect with another. To cut it short, how we emote depends on our personality type, genetics, past exposure to a similar situation, and many other reasons.   It also depends on the phase of life you are in at that moment. Emotions are fixations of energy applied to various situations. Now it is up to us to choose how we use this energy.

Why do we get emotional

Living beings, especially humans and animals – I don’t about aquatic animals or plants and insects – have emotions. Emotions are normal, and many a time, find its way out in the form of an outburst or a crying which later makes the person calm. Heightened emotions could be due to the fact that either you are very sensitive or it can come down to diet choices, genetics, stress or maybe due to some underlying health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or hormonal imbalance.

There are various reasons, big and small. Some common reasons are:

1. We are human beings, so emotions are a part of our default packaging.

2. Emotions are also influenced by genetics. An emotional mother, may have emotional kids. It is also possible a family member could suffer from major depression.  In this case, you may have a higher risk of experiencing one as well.

3.Amnesia or bad sleep patterns. Lack of sleep can in time, affect our whole functioning, let alone our emotional well-being. We can face all sorts of trouble in thinking, concentrating and performing, which can make us feel inefficient.

4.  If we are prone to sickness due to weak immunity or suffer from stress and anxiety.

5. If we have experienced some tragedy and have not been effectively counseled.

6.  Being too emotional can also be influenced by the foods we eat. An unhealthy diet increases levels of mood swings.

7.  An unhealthy lifestyle with no exercise or any kind of physical activity can deter emotional well-being.

8.It’s just the way you are. Some people are, at different phases in their life, very sensitive.

9.  Hormonal imbalance is another cause for heightened emotions. Especially if you are fighting with Thyroid issues, Menopause, PMS, PCOS, Stress or even when you are pregnant or taking some form of birth control.

10.  Major upheavals. An emotional person can become highly sensitive when they have to or are going through some major change in life like shifting from one place to another, changing schools, college, getting married, changing jobs, getting retired and so on.

The flipside of being too emotional

Emotions are an integral part of us and the lives around us. Being too emotional brings with it de-motivating emotions like fear, sadness, anger and helplessness. When a person starts experiencing these and it continues for a long time, life becomes a struggle and the person is at a loss of knowing how to deal with the situation effectively. Trying to fix the issue that led to the emotional high can sometimes wreck it and could lead to the situation becoming worse.

Many times people deal with such situations in the following ways:

  1.  Pretending it doesn’t exist – Self-Denial – by refusing to accept or coming to terms with the situation, that they require help.  This leads to bottled-up emotions that build up over a period of time leading to actions that could only cause undeniable harm.
  • They hit out at others – I am not OK, you are OK. People who are too emotional, sometimes develop this mind-set which makes them cause harm to others in order to feel good about themselves. This slowly develops into a habit that is harmful and self-destructive.
  • They withdraw into their shell. When a tortoise or snail senses danger, they withdraw into their shell thinking they are protected.  People who are highly emotional, many times, do the same, so that they won’t have to interact much with other people.But they fail to understand that withdrawal will only bring in extreme loneliness, anger, disconnect and distorted thinking. To be healthy and alive, we need to interact with other people.
  • Self-Harm.  One of the dangerousnegative trait of highly emotional people are, they cause self-harm in the form of cutting themselves, not taking care of self, starving or over-eating or forming destructive habits like substance use.  They do this with the intent of either escaping from reality or teaching their close ones a lesson. These behaviors give them temporary relief and make them feel in control of their lives, which in the long run only leads to more isolation, self-doubt and misery.  In the long run, such behavior can even lead to depression and suicides.

Emotional Mastery with NLP

Our thoughts, actions, emotions, behaviors have a lot to do with what is in our minds.  The most efficient science or tool that understands our mind like no other is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP tools and strategies if practiced diligently in our day to day lives, help us be in charge of our emotions and bring us to a realization that we can overcome self-inflicted barriers and deal with our negative emotions in healthy ways and come out as capable and efficient human beings.

How does NLP do it? Some of the methods are given below to get a better understanding.

  • Since emotions are at play here, NLP has ways and active strategies that help one develop more emotional flexibility. Increasing emotional flexibility goes a long way to help you master your emotions. Creating settings that allows one to experience a broader range of emotions is a strategy used in NLP where you are exposed to different situations which invoke different emotions like joy, sorrow, anger.  Doing these types of exercises allow you to experience more positive and varied emotions and you don’t get pinned down to negative emotions.
  • Raising your baseline emotions – Every person more often than not, operates from a baseline of emotions.It could be either one or more. NLP helps you raise your emotional baseline, more in the positive emotions direction, which allow you to have better experiences and changes your outlook towards life. This exercise help you experience fewer emotional impacts when anything negative occurs.
  • Exposure – People who are highly emotional, mostly thrive on negative emotions. When such behavior surfaces, they are not able to take logical decisions and do not welcome anyone giving any kind of advice. NLP can cause a shift in this pattern of thinking. NLP believes that even if situations, people or events make you feel bad or emotional in a negative manner, it is just as easy to bring yourself out of that emotional situation, motivate yourself and feels good instead. 
  • Meet challenges head on – Challenges are part of everyone’s lives. We all have to deal with it time and again. NLP works around this theory and brings about a mindset that prepares you to consciously meet these challenges without breaking up. It teaches you to expect to encounter problems, and how to appropriately handle them. It helps you change your perception about a particular challenge with the help of introducing the challenge to your senses – auditory, kinesthetic visual. You experience the challenge with all your senses, which breaks down the challenge in a way that helps you handle each part objectively.

To conclude

NLP’s goal isto help you break your pattern of heightened emotions that is destructive in nature. This is done with the help of strategies and tools designed to help you know what the emotion is, expose you to a variety of other emotions so that the concentration on a particular emotion is diluted, and deal with situations causing negative emotions in a manner that will only add a positive pattern to your life.

The process is not difficult but requires consistent effort and a will to have a better quality of life.  With expert guidance from an NLP expert, this is not only doable but will change you into a person with limitless potential.

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