This lockdown isolation has forced us to see what we have been ignoring with binge-watching, binge-eating, and crazy hangovers; i.e. our emotions.
We were never forced to lock ourselves in a room and be with our partner/parents for 24×7 for so many weeks at a stretch.
We didn’t anticipate that it could be so tough to spend a couple of weeks with someone we love.
But it all happened. And we realised a lot of things we all were doing wrong before this.
We all had to be flexible; we all had to adjust. And we all, at some point, lost our shit dealing with all this.
Now that we are here, we could look at how to make it better.
Here are the four mistakes millennials are making with their emotions:
Working on the Symptoms
Anxiety is not an issue. It’s a symptom.
Procrastination is not an issue. It’s a symptom.
Anger, frustration, irritation — they are not the issues. They are the symptoms.
The real issues are hidden deeply in your subconscious.
Your insecurities, your fears, your disturbing emotions — all of these are the results of your subconscious upbringing.
If you continue working on your symptoms, the real issues will never get cured, and you will keep falling in the same trap and pattern over and over again.
Step 1 is to be self-aware and recognise the real issues.
There are a lot of self-awareness activities you can try. Journaling and meditation are two widely opted medium to practice self-awareness.
And if you need help, you can work with me over this 🙂
Fighting With Them
When we understand what exactly is the purpose of “emotions”, we stop fighting with them.
Emotions are feedback responses from our brain. That’s it.
If you are in a situation where someone slapped you in front of a crowd, and your brain wants to tell you that you need to survive this by attacking the other person, it will provide you with the feedback of “anger” or “humiliation” emotions.
Your emotions are your friends. You need to right swipe them for a better mind-body connection.
There’s a distinction between characteristic v/s issues.
I got this when my mentor asked me last year — “Dipanshu, for how long will you keep looking at your characteristics like your issues?”
And that changed everything for me.
Let me pass it on to you:
For how long will you keep fighting your friends (emotions)?
Indulgence and Avoidance
Dr Jill Bolte Taylor in her book My Stroke of Insight writes –
“Something happens in the external world and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body it takes less than 90 seconds.
This means that for 90 seconds you can watch the process happening, you can feel it happening, and then you can watch it go away.
After that, if you continue to feel fear, anger, and so on, you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking that is re-stimulating the circuitry that is resulting in you having this physiological response over and over again.”
Do you see it? It’s our choice.
If we don’t want to feel anger, even if we are triggered, we can let it go in under 2 minutes.
Trying to Repairing Everything at Once
This isn’t a regular time.
Well, even if it’s a normal time; why would you want to do everything at once?
It’s okay if you eat a packet of Nachos with extra cheese.
It’s alright if you put on a couple of extra kilos.
All these are reversible.
Don’t stress about correcting everything at once. Repair one thing at a time.
I usually do an activity with my coaching clients: naming your life’s big rocks.
There is a story about a professor who was delivering a lecture to his class.
On his table rested an empty jug, some large rocks, pebbles and a jar of sand.
Upon filling the jug with the large rocks, he turned to the class and asked if the jug was full.
When the class answered “Yes”, he dropped the pebbles into the juggle, which settled into space amongst the larger rocks.
He once again inquired whether the jug was full, and when the students again responded with a yes, he filled the small spaces between the rocks and pebbles with sand.
This story serves as a metaphor for life.
The rocks are the most significant parts of life which are often forgotten due to the mundane daily tasks that take up our time- the pebbles and the sand.
Answer this: What are the biggest rocks of your life right now?
Here are 4 mistakes millennials are making with their emotions:
- Working on the symptoms. Recognise the real issues. Don’t repeat patterns treating only the symptoms.
- Fighting with them. Understand that emotions are not your enemies. They are just a biochemical response. Treat them as your friends.
- Avoidance and indulgence. It takes 90 seconds for any emotion to enter and exit your body. Don’t let any emotion stay inside your body that you don’t want to.
- Trying to repair everything at once. Take it slow. Don’t fight with your defence mechanism all at once.