Dealing with Emotions
First, when encountering a situation (could be a person, external stimulus, event or issue), people see it with certain assumptions (these are preconceived concepts based on the belief system). Through this filter, one reacts based on his/her biology and the way he/she measures reality.
Reaction is always associated with emotion. There are two types of emotion: primary and secondary. Primary is the emotion that one can show (socially speaking)—the conscious/social emotion. Secondary emotion is unconscious, more wild and spontaneous. When a person doesn’t allow the secondary emotions to be expressed or when he/she represses them, an emotional conflict is unconsciously fed. Old wounds in the ego are nurtured by these unexpressed emotions.
The different emotions we may react with include:
- Fear (anticipation of threat/danger) which produces anxiety, uncertainly and insecurity. Fear enhances our protection tendencies.
- Disgust/repulsion (when we reject/walk away from the object that makes us feel disgust) which can protect us from danger or problematic situations.
- Anger (rage, displeasure, annoyance, fury, hate, irritably) prompts us to aggression and destruction.
- Sadness produces loneliness, pity, sorrow and pessimism. It can function as a path for personal reinstatement.
We have many tools to understand and better manage our emotions. When I work with clients, we often start with understanding those assumptions through which we view situations. Using the family tree therapy and identifying the personas we take on, we can more easily see how our perceptions are coloring the situations we face. We can also begin to understand the secondary emotions we are repressing and how they are affecting our interactions and emotional life.
As an exercise, think of a situation you faced recently and identify the assumptions you brought to the situation and the resulting emotions (primary and secondary). Was there an emotional conflict? Do you find this is a pattern for you?
Bibiana is a holistic psychologist who combines different therapies to help her patients build a healthy, fulfilled life. If you wish to explore your family tree to be aware of your heritage, understand the roots of your belief system and various issues, make an appointment with Bibiana to overcome limiting patterns and better fulfill your life’s purpose.