What are our emotions trying to achieve for us?
People can often invalidate themselves for feeling how they’re feeling: I should be stronger. I shouldn’t let that get to me. I don’t have any reason to be depressed. Why am I still so mad about this?
Well you probably have good reason to be. Something very important to you got challenged, hurt or a core need unmet.
Emotions aren’t just inconvenient feelings that come up that we should judge and blame ourselves for and shove down. They guide us.
When you become curious about your emotions and what they’re trying to achieve for you – they become useful information. They help us to take the temperature with ourselves and what’s going on in our lives, what steps to take next.
I explore the function of emotions in hypnotherapy.
Some findings have shocked me, made me go, “Hmmm….”
Parts of us that are hard on ourselves and that make us fearful of what will happen if we don’t change actually help us to change.
An example of this: A client losing weight was very angry and hard on himself if he wasn’t perfect with eating. I thought surely this part isn’t productive or good for him – we need to work with this part, find out what it’s trying to achieve and give him a better approach.
However, when we explored that part of him in hypnosis, this part was actually him at his goal weight. It believed in my client that he could indeed arrive at his goal weight. It served as his drill sergeant making him better like it knew he could do it; it knew he could be better. Subconscious said keep this part in place – so we did.
The fear of consequences if you don’t turn your life around after a diagnosis actually led one of my nutrition clients to make such changes in his life that he actually cured himself of chronic kidney disease. I have never in my career heard of anyone reversing CKD. His nephrologist literally said Why are you here? at his follow up appointment. All his diet changes added up to a big miracle that we are both still shook by.
You can use your emotions to your advantage by asking, “What does this get me?” This is a very powerful question that I’ll talk more about in later posts.
Remember, be curious about what your anger is trying to do for you, be curious about the function of your depression—your overwhelment. Let your emotions work for you and with you.