So I have been thinking about my strength to dissociate from emotions. I call it a strength but I caution you, taken too far this ability can literally disconnect you from life.
There are so many ways I can deploy this superpower. Some of them I have always been aware of, others I have only noticed this last year whilst paying attention to my approach to emotions. Some of the ways I can step back include…
I have noticed recently I have one very consistent physical Que when I am trying to detach. I shake my head. It’s normally a short sharp single side to side. Therapy has taught me to curiously explore things. What I have noticed with this action is that at times it can almost feel like switching the record, jumping the track. It can be really effective sometimes at changing gear. It is like a physical hard nope, we are not going there and my mind will move on.
This is one I have always been aware of. I can force myself out of a space, a moment in time and drag into my thinking to a much bigger perspective. It is a nifty way of making big feelings seam small and difficult things seam bearable.
Similar to positive affirmations. This all just about repeating over and over a certain rhetoric until it has the desired affect. Sometimes it is simply repeating the word “Stop”, or perhaps “Back away”.
Breathing in the hardest of situations to detach is a huge one. If you can control your breath I find so much else falls in line. Perhaps it is the act of focusing on your breath. Perhaps it is the impact a calm controlled flow of oxygen has.
Sometimes I will literally almost shout “Stop”. I won’t just think it I will say it aloud. Or I will tell myself what ever it is I need to do. Just get up, step forward. Dam it sounds so basic but focusing on what you need to do and hearing it really helps me at times act in a direction that is not consistent with where my emotions want to take me.
This all got me thinking as the goal is now to connect with emotions can I develop a similar arsenal of tools to connect with my emotions. So some attempts I am trying on for size.
Quiet my mind…
I am trying to practice quietening my mind. I know very Zen. But I recognise that sometimes thought is the counter balance to feeling and I wonder if I can set a silent stage it might create the space for some feeling to step forward.
Picture those I love
Looking at pictures of the girls always stirs emotion for me. Be it pride, joy or perhaps even fear (that steady companion that I fear I wont do well enough by them). Looking at pictures of people I love always draws out some feeling.
We do this a lot in yoga, it feels almost like a search. Drawing a line around my body and then exploring every nook and cranny for a sense of the edges. If perspective and drawing myself backwards is a good way to detach. Perhaps diving inward is its counter.
Not sure I can think of anymore but I am working on it. How do you connect with your emotions?
For other reflections from the series of therapy look here…