7 STEPS TO MASTERING EMOTIONAL HABITS
What would life be like if you mastered your emotional habits? Many of us feel like helpless victims, when it comes to our emotions. By recognizing the hidden patterns behind the habits of the mind, we can change the perception of a situation and so free ourselves as to how we respond. Yes, we can then exercise the power of choice in our life.
"To a lover a beautiful woman is a
The habits of the mind
or "schema", based on the work of Tara Bennet-Goldman in her book
"Emotional Alchemy", are a framework for what we perceive at one time to
have been useful coping strategies. However to keep them as core beliefs
when they no longer work, means we are acting from our subconscious, and
not from our awareness. We are then a victim to our emotions and our
regrettable reactions are not under our control..
Other core beliefs emerge later as we grow to meet the social standards of independence and capability and include social exclusion, vulnerability, failure, perfectionism and entitlement.
Mindfulness practice hones our intuition, sharpens our mental faculties, improves our memory and brings an understanding from a mature viewpoint, thus developing the intelligence of the emotional brain.
"As human beings our greatness lies not so much in being
able to remake the world ....as being able to remake ourselves."-
1. Acknowledge the stimulus
Mindfulness can be like this soulful embrace… intimately connecting us with our raw senses and tender feelings, allowing them to naturally move through us, embraced by empathic awareness" -Tara Bennett-Goldman, Emotional Alchemy
2. Explore your feelings
What are you feeling?
And have you had that feeling before? Do you see a pattern?
Mindfulness allows you to see that we do not have to believe our thoughts, they are not reality. Old mental habits like 'I'm hopeless" are like smoothed out grooves in the mind. Recognizing them for what they are breaks their hold. "Oh, I'm having those thoughts again!" A thought is merely a small voice and you don't have to listen to it! .
" It is not things themselves that trouble us, but our thoughts about those things"-Epictetus.
4. Empathic reframing
a. For Self
Empathise with your feelings by giving them a nod, then acknowledge your needs
"Of course I am feeling rage right now, my schema fears of not being trusted makes me assume I am going to be betrayed,………. and what I need is reassurance.(recognizing needs)
Self talk: "I am not depriving you(myself ) if I don't eat this ice cream…….I am creating a new ideal of myself"(applying antidote)
b. For Others
Becoming aware of your partner's schema cultivates empathy for them. Understanding that we all have these "wounds" and mental habits gives way to compassion. Create safe space by empathizing with what is behind someone's actions, listening and mirroring back what you have heard them say, and tuning in to their feelings and needs. This then allows a greater platform for your feelings and needs to be heard and met. Blame has not entered the picture at all, so angry defenses which fuel arguments, do not need to be put in place.
"When I didn't call last night you thought I had been hurt, and so you were afraid because you needed reassurance"
Equanimity practice can help us out with those moments, when it is difficult to be impartial with others, and we become agitated and under the influence of other disturbing emotions. By observing our thoughts and feelings with equanimity, we neither react or judge them, we simply witness them . The practice is repeated silently to oneself while reflecting on the phrase:
I accept things as they are…
Mindfulness breaks the chain of emotional habit by allowing reflective awareness to take place between the emotional impulse and the action. We then can just say no. We have the power not to act.
Changing the pattern of habitual responses takes intention and effort in order to make a real difference. Here are various ways:
a. Cultivating a positive state of mind acts like an antidote. Anger can be eased by reflecting on loving kindness, arrogance by reflecting on humility, fear by dwelling on trust..
b. Counter-thoughts rehearsed beforehand are a powerful ally in breaking the chain of habitual response: For example when the inner critic tells you that you are incompetent, say " I am competent and accomplish things with grace and ease"
c. The greatest
antidote to a persistent "schema" or habit is a
Spirit of Playfulness.
d. Just saying "Thank you" for whatever has arisen allows humility to flow and a return to the here and now. It allows an acknowledgement of what is, and invites more fulfilling relationships into your life.
e. Above all, take time to be by yourself and cultivate silence. Tune into the wisdom of the heart, take inspiration and tell yourself you are mastering yourself more and more each day. See every opportunity that arises to trigger your emotions, as the universe supplying you with a practice session!
"Life does not need to be about 100% change all at one. It is more about one hundred 1% changes!"
Remember the more
you practice mindfulness, the more free you will feel in yourself!
Below is an offer for you to see how coaching can help you to move ahead and close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, achieving more peace and happiness in your life.
I am especially interested in empowering Leaders in the Workplace or the Community and sharing the coaching model with them, to enable them to be effective Leaders and get the best out of the people they work with. So please share this with others so we can collectively realize our dreams and our soul’s purpose AND better humanity in the same breath! spreading peace throughout the world!
Feedback and questions are most welcome!
May peace, true happiness and love be yours,
Anna Parker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna has helped me free myself from old emotional patterns and I have learnt much at all levels. I have been given spiritual and psychological tools, emotional support, spiritual community and a feeling of love and connection.
Jo Evenden, Byron Bay NSW
Anna has helped me through a difficult time in my life, and has helped me gain clarity and manage my emotions more effectively. My communication and relationship with my children has improved and I have learnt to listen to and look after my own feelings and needs and also to think positively about myself again..
M.Hilton, Broken Head NSW