Emotions and TV – The Dog Whisperer and Anxiety

I love watching Cesar Milan rehabilitate dogs and train people. His keen sense of animal behaviour and body language is very impressive. In one episode, he makes the astute observation that the anxiety of the female owner is being transferred to her dog, a lovely little terrier who is terrorizing the art gallery patrons.

How many other well meaning dog owners are struggling with anxious, barking pets due to the fact that they, the owners, have not dealt with their own anxiety? What is the origin of anxiety? How do I know if I suffer anxiety? How can I get beyond same if I do indeed possess it? Let’s take a look.

We may have anxiety if we grew up in a home where our needs were not met on an ongoing basis. Children have enormous needs so the possibility for this scenario is quite high. The person’s perception is the reality, not whether our parents/guardians tried or not. Three other causes of anxiety include 1) getting the message that we are the cause of our parents feelings, 2) expecting others to be responsible for our feelings or 3) if we believed, as children, that there was something wrong with us, we may beat ourselves up which leads to feeling anxious.

Some behaviours exhibited by people who suffer anxiety include feelings of low grade anxiety, panic attacks, nail biting, thumb sucking, excessive need for sex, phobias, addictions and obsessions. Maybe the question is how many of us do not have anxiety?

Recognizing that panic attacks are our emotional system correcting itself by releasing unidentified crisis feelings, is helpful.

In order to move beyond, we can write down the fear we are feeling, this causes it to lose some of its power. Also, if we are about to engage in an obsessive, addictive or compulsive behaviour, we can stop and feel what we are feeling, which may cause us to not engage in this potentially threatening action.

We need to develop the ability to connect our current feelings with what happened to us in the past. This allows us to see the drivers for our current behaviours, especially those that are unhealthy. (Even working which is a noble undertaking, can be a driven behaviour!) This takes great courage as those past events may have been potentially life threatening in nature. The first cause of anxiety was not having our needs met on an ongoing basis. Had this involved food or shelter we may well have not survived.

I hope this sheds some light on the issue of anxiety and that you and your pet may benefit from it.

My two novels, The Delivery Boy and The Stylist make excellent summer reads which add new layers of understanding to these concepts. They are truly reading with a purpose.

Hope you are having a great summer. Kind Regards.

Emotions and the News – Cory Monteith

First, I would like to extend my condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Monteith, This must be terribly difficult for you. Such an unexpected loss is difficult to understand and deal with. Feel free to cry as this allows you to process what you are feeling. Expressed feelings tend to dissipate over time.

One of my attempts in writing this blog is to get people to gain a real understanding of how they function emotionally. Why is this important? Because so many people live with, and die from, emotional issues.

The news has reported the passing of Mr. Monteith as an accidental overdose, which I am sure is true. But why was he using substances in the first place? Why was he not at peace with himself?

I would contend that it was due to some trauma from his youth or growing up years. The events or events which triggered his emotional issues and consequent substance abuse may have been large, small real or imagined. You can see that there is lots of scope for having emotional problems? So what do we do in order to at least reduce the chances of falling into the pit of such problems? Get an emotional education!!

This helps in several ways. 1. You can look at your own life and deal more effectively with your own issues. Emotional issues affect success in a number of different areas of life. 2. It really helps with relationships where the other person has emotionally based problems which affect the friendship. You may be able to speak more effectively into what they are experiencing.

So how do I start you may ask? I have several ebooks, The Delivery Boy and The Stylist, which look at such issues. They are designed to ease you into thinking about emotional things. There is also the Emotional Guide which I have developed from Janice Berger’s excellent book Emotional Fitness. Her book is a very good resource which I would recommend for every young person, and most certainly for every couple considering marriage.

I hope the tragic passing of Mr. Monteith acts as a catalyst to encourage you to explore emotional issues. So that you may have the opportunity to meaningfully speak into the life of a friend or family member. And in so doing, mend a relationship or stop such a tragedy from occurring in someones life or family.

Kind Regards, Tim

Emotions and TV – Casino Confidential

What is gambling ? Gambling is a means of moving oneself toward a more “normal” emotional life. It is not a tax on those requiring wisdom.

I was watching Casino Confidential the other day and was saddened to see a fellow trying to get his credit limit increased.

I wondered if he was aware of why he wants to gamble . Is it not evident that the cards are stacked against you, so to speak? Are people aware of the emotional underpinnings for their desire to gamble ?

The reality is that gambling can be a driven behaviour, whether its in a casino or online gambling. Every driven behaviour has its roots in childhood. Particularly in some unresolved issue. In this case it is the inability to feel because we were suppressing feeling when we were too young to know better. Young life is full of difficult situations in which the best option is to stuff our feelings. This becomes a habit and we become numb to our feelings. We become unable to process them.

This condition is not natural and we feel a need to feel, which is normal. The gambling provides the highs, and the lows. But it is a counterfit to the real thing, and has its drawbacks.

Would it not be better to understand the concept of connecting our current situation/driven behaviour to our past? Then learn to feel through and in so doing teach ourselves to feel?

Easily said and hard to do. We may have stuffed our feelings as kids to protect ourselves, even our very lives!! So getting into our feelings is very deep and may be existential. However, our emotional system will let us do just this.

To begin processing your feelings, try writing a letter to the person or people who hurt you when you were young. Make it very real as you will not send it to them. You may even want to destroy it. This will help you begin the process of feeling through your earlier hurts.

My two ebooks, The Delivery Boy and The Stylist are great ways to further your understanding of this critical skill. Which may save you loads of money if gambling is your drug of choice. And maybe some embarrassment. They make great summer reads.

You have the courage to do it!!

Emotions and the News – Crying in Calgary

The floods in Calgary and southern Alberta are and have been been very difficult. A lot of disruption and financial loss. How do people deal with this loss?

calgary flood 2013

Understanding regret, grief and loss – normal parts of life – is very helpful. These 3 responses are healthy and necessary when we experience difficulty and pain in life. They are keys to healing. We can cry, which is a healing process. We may engage in avoidance techniques such as frantic busyness or suicide. Better to face our emotions and feel through them.

Events like this can be exacerbated emotionally by unhealed hurts from our youth. Children with unhealed hurt grow up to become adults with unhealed hurt. As children we use certain defenses to avoid our emotions. If we use the same defenses as adults, we live with illusion.

If we do not allow ourselves to feel grief and loss, we may experience depression. Crying can be encouraged in all people. It should not be bound with shame, even for men. Sometimes there is a gender bias in this area.

Statements which Calgarians and southern Albertans may hear include “The best thing to do is keep busy”; “Don’t dwell on it” or “Get on with your life”. These types of statements separate us from our feelings and are not helpful.

Please be aware that this flooding tragedy may trigger grief which is connected to earlier losses which have not been grieved completely. When you see over reactions, this may be the case.

Responses may include crying, withdrawing inside ourselves or lashing out because we feel ashamed of being hurt.

There are several methods we can use to help deal with our feelings. Crying is good. We can also write a letter to a person who has hurt us. This letter will not be mailed. It allows us to pour out all our feelings. Journaling our emotions is also very helpful. Allowing ourselves to feel reduces the intensity of feelings and the likelihood that we will react negatively to them.

There is no need to fear the intensity of our emotions. We will never get lost in those. Our emotional system – which is very user friendly – will not allow it.

Hope this is helpful!! Thanks to all those who have shown the true nature of Canada by helping your neighbours.

Emotions and the News – 15 year old girl beaten to death

Emotions and the News – 15 year old Girl Beaten to Death by Parents

Apparently, this young girl was beaten to death by both parents using a BBQ utensil and another blunt object. She weighed only 115 pounds and was being punished for a disagreement they had.

Please note that the following ideas are not the result of investigative reporting and are only used to provide insight in a general way, to illustrate how emotions affect our lives. The objective is to gain understanding and in doing so, avoid negative outcomes.

Many emotions can come into play in any given situation. In this case we will look at anger and power.

Anger is an emotion that exists for a reason. We need to respect it. Understanding the causes of our anger allow us to work through those issues and become less likely to act out of this. Acting out of anger generally has negative relational outcomes. The causes of our adult anger could be: 1. not being able to appropriately discharge our anger when we were children; 2. a way of covering irrational guilt, which we take on when we try to take control of events over which we have no control. An example would be a failed parental relationship – important in light of the high rate of divorce today.

Anger has a number of effects on us. We may be aggressive with our children while mostly passive with others. Or we may store anger in our body as muscle tension. This can lead to fatigue and feelings of depression.

In order to avoid the negative expression of anger, it is important to understand that the positive expression is good. One helpful method of understanding if we are angry is to write “I resent…” at the top of a page or document and write as many endings as possible.

Power issues have many causes. A few include: 1. not having experienced appropriate power, control and responsibility as children, 2. physical, emotional and sexual abuse cause powerlessness, 3. use of punishment to control. And there are many others.

When we have power issues, we may use situational power to control others. In the case being considered, the parents appear to have overstepped a boundary in terms of their control over what their daughter did or did not do. And/or they acted out of their own held anger.

We need to understand that we all have choices in terms of our conduct and we need to take responsibility for that. The source of our powerlessness is unmet need in childhood. We are all capable of first understanding this, then feeling through our anger to its source. This helps dissipate the feeling and reduces the chance of acting out of this.

The approach being suggested here is not anger management or promoting we control anger. Rather the idea is linking present anger (emotion) with past events and feeling what we should have felt at that time. That time being when we were children and could not process our emotions.

Please consider reading one of my e-books which give more helpful insights. Reading with a purpose!

Emotions and the News – Mr Snowden and the NSA

Emotions and the News – The NSA and Edward Snowden

Recent news has Mr. Snowden on the run from US authorities. The latter clearly dislike any negative news about their activities. Having been a federal contractor for several years, Mr Snowden must be aware of this reality.

So why would he embark on such an adventure, precipitated by his need to reveal what many likely suspected anyway? His stated reason is to reveal to people the reality/depth of the invasion of their privacy.

But with the real possibility of a very negative outcome, could there be another underlying reason? Many behaviours that lead to outcomes we do not want have unconscious drivers. These drivers come from our childhood. They are undealt with issues from those early years.

Clearly we know nothing of Mr Snowden’s upbringing, so the following is simply designed to increase awareness of the concept. With the aim of helping people avoid negative outcomes themselves.

The conditions from which Mr Snowden’s actions may have sprung, include worthlessness, numbness-deadness-flatness or guilt.

Feelings of worthlessness can result in feats of daring. The objective here may be to gain attention. Feelings of worthlessness can eminate from many sources, our parents not paying attention to us being one. As children, we interpret this unconsciously as meaning we are not worth being attended to. In this way we gain feelings of worthlessness which we may act out of, even as adults.

Numbness-deadness-flatness leaves us seeking repetitive, external stimuli to move us toward feeling. This condition can be caused by emotionally flat parents (plus 3 other causes). Were Mr Snowden’s parents emotionally flat intellectuals? He is clearly a very bright gentleman to have attained such prestigious governmental positions. If Mr Snowden suffered numbness-deadness-flatness, the idea of being pursued may have appealed to him.

Lastly, feelings of guilt can cause us to have the unconscious belief that we are responsible for other peoples feelings and happiness. Note the word unconscious. This condition can be gained if as children we had no choice but to blame ourselves when we do not measure up to high parental standards, for example. Also, critical and judgmental parents. Were these factors in Mr Snowden’s life?

I hope this provides a glimpse into the workings of how childhood experience can influence our current lives and choices.

Do you ever find yourself in a situation or taking a direction in life and you think, What am I doing? Or Why is this just not working out?

If you do, you may find some insights in the emotional guide which is available through the links in my site. The objective here is to help you connect your current puzzling behaviour to the “stuff” that happened to you during your developmental years.

Welcome to any new subscribers!! You know who you are!!

Emotions and the News – Withdrawal

Emotions and the News – Political Withdrawal

There are three main responses we get in relational interactions. Reacting involves an overt response, such as an angry outburst. Withdrawing involves physically turning/moving away. It could be no or very little response. Responding is the preferable option. It may involve asking a clarifying question when we are unsure what to think.

Some of our top level politicians seem to be involved in withdrawing. This is not a healthy methodology for running the country. There are many complex issues which require the asking of difficult questions. Asking these questions creates clarity and an improved relationship/outcome and voter satisfaction.

Withdrawing is a way of dealing with difficult situations. We learned this method as children when we could not deal with many situations. By withdrawing inside ourselves, we protected ourselves from hurt or painful emotions.

Adults need to connect their tendency to withdraw (or react) to their hurtful experiences as children. After they do this they can learn to feel through those early negative experiences. This involves allowing themselves to feel what they could have felt at that time if they had been able to process their emotions – which they were not able to do.

The work of feeling through requires great courage. It forces us to face emotions which are fundamentally destructive to us. Our emotional system will not allow us to process emotions too quickly, there by being overcome by them. This is our natural healing power with which we can co-operate and encourage. Our world would look very different if more people would study this process and implement it.

For more resources on emotional wellness, please consider reading one of my novels. They are available through lulu publishing which you can access via my website.

Check out this link. I am not promoting the methodology they suggest but the article has great ideas!! – http://www.mkprojects.com/fa_emotions.html

Disclaimer – this blog is intended as a learning tool to improve the functioning of international societies. It is intended for educational purposes only. Any serious emotional issues should be treated by a physician. Neither the authour or publisher of this blog are giving medical advice, prescribing remedies or assuming any responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves.

Emotions and the News:Senators and Spending

Overspending is a very common human activity. Emotional Intelligence indicates that this proclavity could be caused by the fact that every person, in their developmental years, does not get all their needs met – there are just too many. This reality spills over into our adult lives as we try to deal in the present with an unmet need from the past, which is impossible.

fashion_overspending[1]

The person who realizes they are overspending, grasps this concept, connects their current spending with feelings of unmet need from their childhood, be they real or imagined, then feels through their emotions, will be better able to overcome overspending. And avoid the tragedy of some of our Senators and other friends and family members who do not understand this concept.
Please consult Janice Berger’s book, Emotional Fitness, for more helpful insights.

Emotions and the News – Cleveland

  • In this story we have people wielding absolute power and control over 3 women (numbness, deadness and flatness), as well as sexual abuse which may tied to the under lying issue of anxiety or unmet need.

    This series is designed to create a societal language surrounding emotional issues which affect our lives. It is not the result of in depth investigative reporting and is intended to act as a means of improving our ability to understand ourselves and those around us, with a view to improving our ability to relate in healthy ways.

    The 10 primary emotional building blocks include unmet need, worthlessness, shame, guilt, anxiety fear and panic, anger, powerlessness, hurt regret and grief, loneliness and finally, numbness deadness and flatness.

    Numbness, deadness and flatness has its origins when parents act out their own needs on their children; parents who denigrate what their children have done – a parent may ask a two year old of their painting, “What is that supposed to be?”; emotionally flat parents; or teachers, coaches and parents who yell at children for talking in class, making a bad move or doing something wrong.

    Becoming numb emotionally is a defense against feelings which are too painful too feel. We will shut down emotionally, numbing the outside to protect the inside, and flee to our heads becoming intellectualisers and rationalisers.

    The types of behaviours we may see resulting from deadness and flatness include passive behaviours followed by outbursts of aggression; seeking repetitive external stimuli to move us toward feeling, such as drugs, intense infatuations, gambling and wielding omnipotent control over other people or pets.

    To move beyond this issue, we need to take responsibility for what has happened to us and how we feel. Also, it is important to acknowledge that this is one of the most difficult defenses to feel and experience and it requires great courage to face what has happened to us. It is very helpful to allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling and risking talking about how we feel; having a list of feelings to help us name our feelings is important.

    I hope this is helpful.

     

What is depression?

What is depression?

Depression has many causes, including body chemistry, day length (SAD) and emotional. We will look here at the emotional causes. Please consult a doctor immediately if your depression is severe or you have suicidal thoughts.

Depression has the root word depress, and it is the suppression of our feelings that leads to depression in many cases. How many times have we heard parents say Stop crying, If you want to cry I will give you something to cry about or Shshshshshshsh when a child is crying? – clear messages that while children work through their feelings, that this is not acceptable. Feeling through our emotions to completion is necessary for emotional stability. We should not carry residual, held emotion from a situation.

Depression can also be caused when the defense of worthlessness is insufficient to cover the pain from the past and we shut down to the extent that we become depressed.

In order to move beyond feeling depressed, we need to acknowledge where the depression comes from, and allow ourselves to feel and heal. This requires great courage as the feelings are often very hurtful. The good news is that as we process our feelings – the activity of feeling the pain from past events – our emotions will not be released more quickly than we can deal with them and we will not lose part of who we are. What we gain is a greater sense of personal well being.

Some causes of worthlessness include humiliating circumstances, children cannot afford to see their parents as uncaring or inadequate when they fail to meet their needs so instead they see themselves as inadequate and feel worthless, not being heard when we express our needs as children, threats of punishment (physical or emotional), our sense of self worth is undermined by parental rigidity, used to protect ourselves from overwhelming feelings of vulnerability, feeling things are their fault gives children a sense of control where they really have no control, not being wanted – parents who complain about having too many children, inherited or modeled by parents, feelings of worthlessness are perpetuated in adulthood because we have internalized negative messages from parents and others. Many people have experienced one or more of these events. Also, many are unfamiliar with the idea of feeling through to completion the emotions from a given experience. An example would be taking the time to grieve a loss.

Following is a list of emotions to help you identify the feeling that needs processing. The list includes the negative emotions, followed by the positive – resentful, disappointed, frustrated, hurt, let down, put down, guilty, numb, sad, regretful, guilty, abandoned, intimidated, anxious, betrayed, worthless, confused, trapped, dead, ashamed, powerless, crushed, defeated, despairing, helpless, hopeless, ignored, frantic, flat, needy, scared, shocked, lonely, rejected, tense, terrified, threatened, angry, depressed, frozen, panicky, joyful, peaceful, engaged. You may want to print these on a card to assist in identifying emotions as they arise – recognizing what we are feeling is an important step in the journey to better emotional wellness. This helps make our emotions more accessible.

Processing feelings involves feeling them at a very deep, internal level and is very different from venting.

Contrast this approach with that presented in this video by illumistream, bearing in mind that medication may be required for a time.

I hope this is helpful and leads you to better emotional health. Congratulations on having the courage to do this work!

Contact a good counseling service such as Janice Berger and Associates, Newmarket, Ontario for personal assistance with this.

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