Sometimes it feels like trying to manage emotions is impossible. Your mind is going off, you are having so many thoughts that you can’t seem to focus on a single thought, and oftentimes, feelings of anxiety set in. Now, the thoughts are around how anxious you feel, what’s happening to your body, and wanting to feel ANYTHING but how you’re currently feeling. What do you do now?
If this resonates with you, please know two things: 1) You are not alone. 2) It doesn’t have to be this way. You can change this.
Our thoughts about our circumstances create our feelings. Really think about that for a moment.
- There is a circumstance or a situation in your life.
- You have a thought (or thoughts) about that circumstance or situation.
- Feelings arise out of that thought.
I dive into understanding this deeper in my article, Becoming Aware of our Emotional Stress & Fear.
There can be quite a few reasons for negative thought patterns surrounding a particular circumstance: living in the past or in the future, rather than living in the present. The subconscious programming that you have unknowingly taken on and that has created certain beliefs also play a role in negative trains of thought.
Today on The Healing Corner Blog, we’re going to learn more about our subconscious mind, being a victim of circumstances, and how we can take control of our mind, rather than letting it control us.
Managing Emotions and Our Subconscious Mind
Our subconscious mind is crazy powerful. It stores all of the things that we have learned throughout our lifetime, and it ultimately creates our personality. Our subconscious mind is programmed with things that we learned while we were growing up, some of which you may not even realize you are holding onto.
When we are born, our mind is an open vessel and ready to learn. Throughout growing up, we learn from everything around us: our parents, our teachers, our friends, society, etc. and we form thoughts and create feelings based on situations that occur and what we are taught. Over time, these thoughts become our beliefs and habits, thus, creating our programming. If you deal with negative feelings, then the things that you went through as you grew up formed negative thought patterns. It ends up becoming like a negative filter that our thoughts pass through, causing us to have those negative feelings about our circumstances, no matter the situation. You are programmed to react this way.
Your brain patterns form around this programming, which is why we are able to detect things like anxiety and depression in brain scans. However, anxiety and depression are feelings, and you have the power within you to rewire your brain. We wired it to how it is now, and we can wire it again – only this time, we will DECIDE what the wiring is going to be. You can use techniques to program your mind in a way that supports your long-term life goals.
One of the best scientists I’ve learned from about how we can rewire our brain is Dr. Joe Dispenza. “Dispenza proposes that if we think the same thoughts every day, everything stays the same in the body. But new thoughts that lead to new behaviors and experiences begin to change the human biology, including the brain itself. Thus, says Dispenza, when you change, everything changes around you” (Joe Dispenza’s Rewired Using Neuroplasticity to Heal the Body, Gaia).
You can read the full article here.
Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
I want to talk about feelings of anxiety and depression. As I mentioned above, we are able to see the patterns in your brain that cause these feelings. It’s important to note that anxiety and depression are just that – they are feelings. But, they do not have to be permanent. When you are stuck in those feelings and they consume your mind, it becomes harder to manage them so we turn to symptom management, rather than finding the root cause, which are your thoughts.
Most feelings of anxiety and depression stem from something traumatic that happened in our past, an event or experience that we didn’t have the tools to deal with back then. This trauma is commonly compartmentalized and fragmented away from the self. It buries itself in our subconscious and comes back up by taking over our thoughts when we are “triggered.”
We have to learn to be with the part of ourselves that feels anxious, sad, or scared. The little kid that lives inside of you needs to know that it is okay to have these uncomfortable feelings, and that we can work through them. Learn to respond to these feelings you’re having in a nurturing and reassuring way. Go back and help the kid in you address and make sense of the trauma so that you can let it go and so that you can grow. This process is about addressing and resolving the trauma, rather than unpacking and living there.
Being a Victim of our Circumstances
You are not a victim of your circumstances. When we see life from this point of view, we are helpless, we are powerless. We see life as happening “to” us, rather than “for” us. You may be thinking, “Well, I didn’t ask for this horrible thing to happen which has caused me to have a difficult time managing emotions and constantly feel anxious or depressed.”
Please know that I am certainly not invalidating the situations that you went through that created trauma and left you with a subconscious filled with negative thought patterns. What I am doing though, is making you aware that you are not helpless or powerless. You have the power to rewire your brain, to take control, and to remove the negative thought patterns and the negative filter that has taken over you for so long. Trauma happened, but trauma does not own you, and you don’t have to identify with it, either.
We subconsciously choose the negativity by the way that we talk to ourselves about it. A mind that is aligned with very negative programming will tend to spiral into more negative thoughts and feelings. We create negative cycles for ourselves and oftentimes worsen the symptoms and the feelings of anxiety or depression that we are having, because we tell ourselves that things are getting worse. Our self-talk plays an extremely important role in how we feel and what we create in our life. We end up using our past to predict our futures, and actually continue to manifest a negative cycle based on the familiarity of our traumas and the comfort of what we’ve experienced in the past. We are stuck in this cycle, and we feel like we are victims because again, we feel helpless and powerless.
Once we wake up and realize what has been happening – how we have been programmed with negativity, how we are letting our minds take control of us, rather than the opposite – taking control of our minds, we know that we are not victims and that we have the choice to make change. We have to take responsibility for our life and choose to work on our mindset and begin to manage emotions.
Controlling Our Mind
But, how do we take control of our mind? It starts with awareness. It starts by literally stepping back and breaking down what is creating the bad feelings. As I explain more in my article, Becoming Aware of Our Emotional Stress & Fear, and as I mentioned above, we have to notice what thoughts we are having about our circumstances, which in turn is creating our negative feelings. We have to recognize and pinpoint when something triggers us, and try to work through it.
Understand that making changes to your mind is going to be uncomfortable. You are going to want to go back to your comfort zone every time – you are literally working against your subconscious, which takes up the majority of your brain and programming. Making changes takes a lot of practice and effort, every single day. You have to feel safe and trust in yourself, and take control.
It’s important to recognize that what we think, we become. Stop telling yourself, “I have anxiety, I have depression.” This creates an environment for that to be your reality now and in the future. Instead, acknowledge the feelings by saying “I am feeling anxious” or “I am feeling depressed” and start to work your way back to understand why those feelings are coming up. You have to find a way to self-soothe, tell yourself that it’s okay, tell yourself that these are just feelings and that they are not permanent. You are not your thoughts, do not identify with every single thought that you have.
When we accept that our emotions are just feelings, we can learn from them. Stop running from the uncomfortable feelings and learn what it is trying to tell you. Be compassionate and nurture yourself. Create a feeling of compassion and love and safety inside yourself. Tell yourself, “I recognize I don’t feel the best right now, but I will be okay. I love myself, and I am only human. I need to take care of myself.”
Love conquers fear, every single time. Be with the anxious and depressed feelings, they are not your enemy. Avoiding these feelings, managing the symptoms of these feelings, and identifying yourself with these feelings is not dealing with them. It just holds onto them longer and reaffirms to your mind that you’re going to continue to allow these feelings to take up a whole lot of space in your mind.
There are so many things that you can do to take back the power and to be in control of your life and in control of your mind.
- Anxiety is a symptom of future-based thinking, and depression is a symptom of past-based thinking. Recognizing this will help you to calm down and come back to the present moment. What do you have to do right now to be present?
- Calm your nervous system by breathing. Take deep and slow breaths. Learn different breathing and/or grounding techniques.
- Self-soothe by touching your arms, giving yourself a hug, becoming present. You can also hug a baby, a loved one, or a pet to release oxytocin.
- Go outside and connect with nature. Put your feet on the earth and ground yourself.
- Exercise – listen to your body and see if you need an intense and powerful workout to work through the anxious feelings, or if you need a loving, steady yoga session.
- Journaling – Write it out. Write what is bothering you, and then burn it. Release it into the world so that you can let go of it.
These are just some examples of things that you can do to help calm yourself down when you are in the moment of these negative feelings. Once you are able to catch this cycle and come back to the present moment, become aware of what the trigger was, how you reacted, and how you can change the thought, you can create a more neutral or positive feeling and release the negative feelings.
It takes time, and it takes patience and practice. Do the work, and you will be able to manage emotions much more gracefully, which will bring immense peace into your life.
Contact New Moon Holistic Life if you’re interested in learning more!