Emotions play a large role in our lives and often govern our actions and reactions. As a general rule, humans prefer to feel good and do things that help them feel that way. When we become frustrated because we are not feeling good, we turn to activities that distract our minds from those less than optimal feelings.
For example, I feel sad that my dog died and look to find something that will make me feel better. Well, I feel good when I go shopping, so I go shopping and spend some money. For the time that I was in the store, I still felt sad, but continued to try to mask that sadness by shopping and spending. When I bring everything I bought home and dump the bag on my bed, I burst into tears, because my dog is not there to comfort me. Shopping was a distraction, but did not get to the heart of the emotional sadness I felt over the loss of my dog.
Emotions are a focus of study in scientific and metaphysical realms. If we can identify the molecules that make us feel certain ways, we can create chemical compounds that will give us the feelings that we want. We can mask the sad feelings we have over losing our dog. We can avoid the pain of a break-up. We can remove the feelings of anger, fear, depression and other emotions that do not feel good. Is this what we want to do? Do we want to bury our lows (and risk also burying our highs) with chemical treatments? Or, does tampering with our emotions prevent us from experiencing the full spectrum of human experiences?
Many years ago, Candace Pert, in her book Molecules of Emotion (Touchstone, 1997), revealed that the molecules that govern our emotions are found not only in our brains, but throughout our bodies. We actually do “feel” emotions throughout our entire body. More recently, Cal Banyan, in The Secret Language of Feelings (Banyan Hypnosis Center, 2002), explored how we can cycle through emotions and distractions until we drive ourselves into depression. When we have gone through the cycle of sadness, distraction, realization that the sadness remains, further attempts at distraction, returning to sadness, etc. We eventually reach the point where we feel helpless to rid ourselves of the sadness and we end up depressed.
I’ve been studying the effect of emotions on our ability to accomplish things for many years. Since I work with teens who generally feel emotions in the extremes, I know how debilitating it can be to sink into the helplessness that becomes depression. I see teens that resort to terrible things to distract them from their runaway emotions: cutting, eating disorders, reckless behavior, etc. I don’t believe that the answer is to create a generation of people hooked on mood-altering chemicals. Instead, we need to help the teen address the root of the problems, how to deal with the emotions in the first place, how to recognize them and deal with them in healthy ways, and how to choose activities that increase the emotions that feel good.
The tool that I have chosen to help people deal with emotional imbalances is hypnosis. No longer the realm of entertainment and suspect practitioners, hypnosis is now recognized to be a reputable way of helping people work through issues that stem from emotional roots. As a hypnotherapist, trained with 5-PathÂ® Hypnotherapy and 7-PathÂ® Self-Hypnosis, I can help people with emotion-based issues.
I can help clients review the initial situations that brought about the emotional downward spiral from a safe place, look at things in different ways and find healthy ways of dealing with feeling bad. I can help the teen who has severe math phobia stemming form an incident he doesn’t even remember in a waking state, but can re-experience through hypnosis. Together we can examine alternative ways of handling the situation. Viewed from different perspectives, the teen can recognize how he let the emotions create a mountain. We can break apart the mountain and deal with the molehills until the teen feels confident about himself and ready to tackle studying math again.
Hypnosis is not a magic bullet and it does not bury the true emotions. But, it helps a person resolve the unresolved issues that have resulted in phobias, weight problems, addictions, fears, and other problems that have their roots in her emotions.