Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

Thoughts and emotions, Which comes first?

 

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In my mind, emotions attach to thoughts. Certain thoughts manifest with the same emotion every time they enter our consciousness.

 

Feeling helpless in a dangerous situation, imprints this trauma with these same emotions.


PTSD triggers can activate our fight or flight mechanism, dumping cortisol and adrenaline into our blood stream, intensifying the already scary emotions.

 

We think we are in real danger. The mind is in panic mode as emotional fear freezes us. We may try to fight our triggers fears the first couple of firings, however in due time, we freeze to the constant eruption of cortisol and panic.

 

What can we do?

 

Understand emotions are fleeting, ephemeral and transparent.

 

That means emotions come and go, over and over again. They arrive, stay a while then exit.  They are like ghosts, coming and going on their own.  

 

Count how many emotions you experience in an hour.

 

We all have the same amount of emotions. An emotion definitely does not define any of us.

 

Buddhist have no words for emotions, being present and aware is more important.

 

So we need to experience our emotions fully then release them.

 

We try to make good feelings or happiness last and bad feeling end.

 

 

That engages us in a tug of war we always lose.

 

 

Our greatest strength is our ability to experience these emotions then let them go.

 

We are not engaging cognitively or emotionally, we are focusing on the breath, exploring the body sensations with curiosity.

 

What fires together wires together. Where we place our attention thrives, where we withdraw our attention, whither and dies.

 

Know your emotions do not impact your thoughts. Discount your thoughts and emotions attached to them.

 

Why wrestle with past thought when life is passing us by.

 


Trade thought and emotion for the only place happiness thrives, now.

 

 

Observe from a distance, see the big picture.
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Phases of PTSD (my opinion)


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My childhood abuse lay dormant until my 50’s. I knew something was different about the way I felt, however I did not understand the causes of my PTSD.


After PTSD ignites, we enter a phase of discovery and research. Hell, it took me six months to understand the basics of trauma and how abusive my childhood had been.

 

Then we need to figure out a way to heal.


Optimally we have two times to handle the specifics of our trauma. The first is this discovery phase of exploring the cause of PTSD. The second is with a therapist or healer.

 

Trauma needs to be integrated when it surfaces. If your therapist brings up your trauma during a session, triggering you, it is their obligation to integrate this trauma into present moment.

 


Early on my healing journey, I visited an intuitive healer. She would resurrect the details of my childhood and then fail to integrate those triggers. My PTSD grew with this malpractice.

 

After we explore the cause and impact of trauma, handling trauma thoughts is detrimental to our health unless it is integrated.

 

Dissociation saved us during the trauma. When the trauma is over and we understand the cause, dissociation causes suffering.

 

We will never end our suffering, if we entertain trigger thoughts, dissociating into our emotional, irrational ptsd fear.

 

You can go on a PTSD discussion board and witness suffering and little healing. Participants trade specific details of their trauma with others, then judge how they relate to them.

 

This behavior brings a momentary feeling or comfort, followed by suffering, then strengthening of PTSD symptoms.

 

This is the opposite of healing. We heal by not thinking about our trauma.
We heal by refusing to dissociate into the past or future.

 


We heal by focusing, letting go and staying present when triggers explode.
PTSD is an irrational disorder. Common sense is useless in understanding how trauma manifests in our life.

 


My trigger fears were embarrassing for me. I knew there was nothing to fear when people stared at me.


My trauma, my right amygdala did not get my conscious belief. Suffering was out of control when I consciously battled my judgments.


I tried to think my way out of PTSD. Constantly I would analyze the specifics of my dads abuse, consciously  trying to find the door to normalcy.


All that thinking, dissociating landed me in my garage for six months, unable to leave, agoraphobic.


I had avoided my triggers until life narrowed to one room.

 

Healing came with accepting, then not thinking, letting go and staying present.

 

Strength comes with surrender to our fears. Counterintuitive indeed but it is the path to healing and happiness.

 


We have to take action to heal.
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Does motivation last?

Photo by Ivo Rainha on Unsplash

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Zig Ziglar
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My two cents: Healing and happiness are an internal way of being, a daily way of living in the moment.


Yes, we need to be vigilant every moment, the mind desires a time everyday to go slow, focused and empty of the noise (constant thought).

 

Life is a journey not a destination, not a search for power, possessions or approval.


Remember happiness only happens now, not next year or decade.

 

If you can not be happy right now, then when?

 

If happiness is in the future, what is right now considered?

 


What has to change for that happiness in the future to become reality?
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How do we motivate ourselves?

Photo by Kenrick Mills on Unsplash

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First, a positive attitude is essential. How many depressed people seem motivated? That first step is a formidable one for a seriously depressed person.


Second, an emotional purpose reigns supreme. Write down your purpose and the daily activity to fulfill your purpose. Get it out of your head, on paper with the ability to look at it realistically.


We can distort anything that remains in our minds only. Meditation allows us to let go of the judgments and stay present. In this moment, unencumbered by thought motivation seems easier.


We yearn to be free again, the ability to relax, to enjoy the simple things in life. Is that emotionally charged enough for you to take daily action?

 

Next, it is much easier to take on smaller, specific tasks, to start our journey. We eat the elephant one bite at a time, we develop great focus starting with ten minutes a day.

 

We need to realize daily exertion of energy and desire over long periods of time accomplishes much more for us.

 

Accountability is also important. Write down your day to day goals. We can commit to all out effort. I may not succeed but I will show up and practice with passion. It is half the battle.

 

Give yourself praise for your effort. Leave accomplishment alone for a while. Observe, not judge your performance.


Reward yourself, self soothe with kind words and actions.

 

Smile, your perception shapes your attitude. Believe in yourself and it will come true.

 

It is a process, a journey not a destination.

 

Remember happiness is right now, not tomorrow or ten years from now.


Act like it and enjoy the journey, the details, life.

 

Please share your motivational secrets.
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Updated: Visualize your “Ego” as a ventriloquist Dummy

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Think of how our mind is constructed. One of the most complex organs ever found, capable of tremendous achievement or extreme suffering.

 

One of the parts we invent has no origin or real existence. Yes, it is the “Ego”. Search every part of your mind and an ego can not be found.

 

Yes, we invent this “Ego” for identity, I, me, mine! Identity is its purpose. Nothing more.

 

Think of your “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy. We give that damn puppet power and life, not command of our being.

 

That dummy runs a good part of our life unfortunately.

 

The Dummy is the one who feels resentment, judges constantly, and feels unworthy. The “Ego” is never equal to another “Ego”. He/She judges itself superior or inferior to all “Ego’s” it encounters.

 

Here in lies the rub, we never feel complete when the “Ego” is in control.

 

That means happiness is impossible.

 

One day I was having a conversation with a friend and he said something upsetting. My response to him was, my “Ego” is pissed at you.

 

Finally I had isolated my “Ego’s” needs and emotion in a real encounter. I could see “I” disagreed with my “Ego”. I had a choice for the first time.

 

Just because my “Ego” was pissed meant nothing unless I agreed.

 

Our “Ego” covets total control. This leads to suffering and loss.

 

Is your dummy controlling your life?

 

The “Ego” is dormant during meditation, also the time when our happy emotions, contained in the left prefrontal cortex light up.
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Wasting precious time

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Well, which is it, half full or empty?

 

This  judgment wastes precious time, time spent without a chance for wellbeing.

 

Better to have the mind empty than filled with useless judgments.


Actually it is 4 ounces in an 8 ounce glass, if you want to be accurate. Neither half full or empty.   Add an ounce and do we say 60/40?  Who cares?

 

Waste it on life’s half full or empty judgments and lose.

 

We have to be able to let these easy judgments go or the emotionally charged ones will run our life.

 

Try letting go of as many judgments as possible today.

 

Make more room for being in the space where happy lives.
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Overwhelmed?

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Upon awakening this morning, I felt overwhelmed, anxious, and vulnerable.


Following these feelings and emotions backward, worry, doubt and fear were present.


These judgments projected danger for me. Complex PTSD highlights dangers that it creates.

My mind seemed confused, wanting to avoid or eliminate my predicament.

 

You could label this catastrophizing, predicting gloom and doom. It stems from my abuse, my critical upbringing. Never safe, never calm.


What can we do?

 

A couple deep breaths, intently focusing on this moment, cleared this cognitive mess.

 

I am fine taking this breath, collecting data from all my senses intently.

 

Awareness returns to this moment.

 

Reminding myself, life is not lived predicting anything in the future. 

 

Remember, happiness visits only one time zone, now.

 

You can not be happy in the past or future.

 

My healing has not eliminated these overwhelming thoughts,  but I do have tools to handle these fears.
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