Intense negative emotions like anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, hurt, and overwhelm do more than just feel bad; they affect the body and brain in powerful ways. There are parts of the brain and body that shut down while we're feeling any kind of negative emotion, and this results in impaired judgement and performance, as well as a "vicious circle" effect.
Negative emotions are caused by stress chemicals that flood the bloodstream, resulting in a level of the emergency fight-freeze-flight state. While in this state, included in the physiological responses is the shutting down of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the part of the brain where cognitive thinking happens. It's where we process information; problem-solve; notice opportunities; strategize; and make logical and calculated decisions.
The Vicious Circle
When the body is flooded with stress chemicals, the conscious mind immediately looks for reasons - it's the conscious mind's job to make sense of the world and what happens inside us. As we find reasons for the feelings, those thoughts trigger the limbic system to produce more of the same chemicals. These chemicals feel so real and intense, that it causes the conscious mind to continue focusing on all of the reasons - finding more evidence from past experiences to support the current intense emotional state. This is why it is so difficult to "snap out of it".
Five Steps to Get Back On Track
1. Remind yourself that it's just chemicals. This may be difficult to accept while you're in the middle of the emotions; but you don't have to believe it - just say it.
2. Do whatever it takes to pull yourself out of the emotions in the moment. Take a walk; do some exercise; watch comedy or a Ted Talk on YouTube; listen to uplifting music; dance; play with your children or dogs; do some housework; help someone else. Do whatever it takes to break that state. The longer you stay in it, the more intense that state will become because your brain will continue to pump those stress chemicals into your bloodstream.
3. While you are doing whatever it takes to pull yourself out of that intense emotional state, as soon as you feel a shift, stop and look back at the emotions you were feeling before. Don't go and sit in them, just notice if they're still the same, or if there's a change in the intensity. Notice, then go back to the activity. Keep doing this until you can no longer find the negative feelings.
4. Now, use FasterEFT to change the subconscious programming so that you don't have to continue to experience the same patterns.
5. Look for things to be grateful for. You don't even need to find any - just the action of looking for them changes your brain in a positive way.
Why it's So Difficult to "Cheer Up"
When we're in the middle of painful emotions, even though we don't want to experience them, there is often a powerful compulsion to stay in them. This drive is the result of our survival instinct. We're designed to feel negative emotions far more intensely than positive - and to want to stay in them. This is because it's more important to pay attention to the negative feelings in order to survive. The subconscious refers to the references it holds, and then prompts the brain to trigger the organs to produce stress chemicals that put us into the fight-freeze-flight emergency state - even though we're not in physical danger. The brain and body don't know the difference between reality and imagination, so they react as if we're being threatened by a wild animal.
Doing whatever it takes to pull yourself out of intense emotions in the moment (diluting the stress chemicals with endorphins), and then using FasterEFT to change the subconscious programming that is causing the negative emotional state, will change your life and your experiences in ways you can't imagine!
To find out more about freeing yourself from stress, watch our free webinar: The REAL Cause of Stress, and How to Change it!
Odille and Steve Remmert are specialists in subconscious reprogramming. Having significantly transformed their own lives by changing their subconscious programming, they're excited to be helping others do the same!