Nigel* was a participant in a recent online workshop I ran for a successful real estate company’s team. I’d been talking about stress, mental conditioning and how and why we can become addicted to emotions – particularly survival emotions like anger, frustration, fear, jealousy, competition, envy, guilt and so on*.
On the zoom screen I saw his eyes suddenly open wide in a lightbulb moment of recognition. It was a huge, visible “a ha” moment. Spectacular.
ANGER – THOSE &$^#*@ POLITICIANS!
It was all about anger. He’d suddenly realized, as he explained in excitement, that he’d been addicted to anger. During lockdown in Melbourne he, his wife and child would drive to pick up takeaway coffees each morning, as an effort at cabin fever prevention! On the way Nigel would switch on 3AW and become furious at what he considered the idiocy of certain national and international politicians. He’d become steam-out-of-the-nostrils ropable in his indignant rage.
His wife would try to prevent him from listening to the radio, knowing what it would lead to, and if she succeeded in stopping him, Nigel said he’d then become angry at her!
He’d been signaling his genes with anger to the point where, if his cells weren’t getting their anger fix, they’d orchestrate it!
That’s clarity for you.
HOW ARE YOU GETTING YOUR FIX?
What people or situations do you use to get your emotional fix, huh?
One of the extraordinary things about our body-mind is that, when it’s used to getting a certain emotional fix and it gets the inkling that you’re going to deny it, it will chemically produce thoughts which will then signal the neuro-chemicals which will produce the emotion it craves!
Next time you’re feeling angry or guilty or whatever, just watch your thoughts. Your body may well cause your mind to conjure up images of the boss, the mother-in-law, the ex, a situation from 5 (or 50!) years ago, for example, because it knows that the thought of those people or situations will cause the emotion in you. So, it’s not just our thoughts which reinforce a neurological and chemical pattern – the body can cause the thoughts which will produce that emotion, as well.
I DARE YOU TO STOP IT
We tend to look outside for the cause of our feelings. I dare you to stop it. I dare you to look inside yourself first and challenge the emotion at its source, before you place blame externally. (Of course, I’m not talking about situations in which you’re in physical danger.) Stop using the outside world – people, situations, events - to get your fix. Take back your power.
There are no upsides to continued stress.
How do you want to feel?
As the sages of the ages have expressed in a myriad of ways: the only way out is in.
Get in touch to fast-track your change.
*Studies have shown that stress can be as addictive as highly addictive drugs and, frankly, as deadly. It’s even more of a risk factor for heart disease and cancer than smoking and a diet high in cholesterol, according to a 20-year study conducted by the University of London.