EMOTIONAL FLEXIBILITY & FREEDOM – is closer than you think…
Emotional freedom is being able to get out of limiting or challenging emotional states quickly…(before you feel stuck…)
Not for a second do I believe that Allah swt created our ability to feel emotional pain such as disappointment, hurt, loneliness and many others to cause us suffering and pain. I believe he created them as opportunities for positive growth, change and learning – about life, ourselves and others – but of course, depending on – how we choose to deal with it / respond.
Below are some great ways to help when challenging emotional states arise – so you don’t wallow nor stay stuck in it – otherwise dealing in your best capacity to resolve the situation/context/problem that triggered it becomes difficult.
For me, emotional freedom doesn’t mean never feeling limiting/challenging states. It means being able to feel them cleanly, handle them well (and quickly/before any intensity arises), understand honestly what’s going on, without any mental distortions, deletions and generalisations that heavy emotions can bring on, so I can be free to choose my best response.
When you find yourself in an unresourceful emotional state, the worst thing you can do is deny or ignore them, or think there is something wrong with you.
Personally, one of my favourite responses that ensures I don’t get stuck in the limiting state – is to get curious about the possible lessons for me, acknowledging the opportunity (from Allah swt) to grow to inshallah a new level of awareness, learning or wisdom, accepting that I feel how I feel. The state of being ‘aware’ as the observer of your state itself begins to change it.
Next – most important step is realize you have a choice. You can stay in this state or change it…
If you are in a very negative state, you need to break your state before attempting to go into a resourceful state. To break your state is like shifting into a neutral state – like changing gears in a car:
Below are great ways to interrupt your pattern/state – they are abrupt on purpose and quite effective.
***When you use these, you should be ready to lead yourself to a better state, otherwise likely to slide back into the stuck state again.
These are necessary when going directly to a positive state is too great a step. E.g. If you were angry at the kids for not listening, break the state first before attempting to discuss/communicate solutions with them.
PS – You can recognize yourself in a stuck state when you have:
- A fixed physiology
- Sitting or going to the same place in a room.
- Not moving much.
- Saying the same things or repeat movements
- Going around in circles in a discussion or argument.
Some of my Favourite Methods of Stopping Negative/Limiting Emotional States Taking over…
When practicing these, keep at it – until your state changes into neutral & you feel calm/balanced again (can vary from about a minute to a few minutes)
- CALL ON ALLAH swt –
First and foremost, remember Allah swt in the moment. Make dua for Allah swt’s assistance, invoke one of Allah’s swt’s names to counter the state, e.g. If upset, Ya Salam (The Source of Peace), if confused, Ya Hadi (The Guide) or Ya Ahad (The One), if hurt/sad, Ya Wadud (The All Loving) etc…(This always works for me as a powerful energetic shift)
- DISTRACT YOURSELF:
Visually – look at something interesting, watch your favourite funny utube video etc. Auditorily – speak in a different voice tone that would shift your energy and focus, speak to someone you know would change your focus in an instant, recite a zikr that effects you positively, recite/play your favourite surah etc
- BE AWARE OF YOUR STATE
Watch yourself as if watching a movie, Observe by being interested / curious. Your detached / disassociated observation will itself start to change your state.
- CHANGE YOUR PHYSIOLOGY AND YOU CHANGE THE EMOTION.
Changing your physiology is one of the quickest ways to change your thinking. It usually feels incongruent initially, but if you keep with it, positive thinking starts to follow.
Change your posture, move or walk to change your position. Vigorous movements changes your state. Exercise is even better – it releases beta-endorphins – natural chemicals & powerful mood enhancers. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it (it releases endorphins).
- CHANGE YOUR BREATHING.
Breath deeply and take long inhalations and exhalations (about 7 counts each) – it has a calming effect because it alters the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. (Laughter is a great way to change your breathing & state. (it also releases beta-endorphins.)
- CHANGE YOUR VISION
Most unresourceful states narrow your vision into one area, usually downwards to the floor. To counter this, look up (at the sky is even better) and let your vision expand. Hold until your state changes into neutral
- PAY ATTENTION TO SOMEONE ELSE
Involve yourself with their concern, help them or do something positive for them.
- USE YOUR POSITIVE RESOURCE ANCHORS
What are some strong visual, auditory or feeling associations from recent experiences that you have. Eg. pray, replay your spiritual experience at hajj, simulate as if live – your best moments on your last holiday etc
- RELAX YOUR MUSCLES
Especially around your jaw, face and neck. Every emotion has a unique muscle tension and breathing pattern. It is hard to feel unresourceful when you focus your attention on relaxing the specific muscles that have tensed up.
Emotional freedom is closer & easier than you think…The key idea is to catch the emotion while it’s little, so you can shift into making whatever positive changes you need to deal with the situation
Life Coach, NLP & Learning & Development Specialist