Are you hooked on your emotions?
Weekly Radish 31
The three stages to getting caught up in emotional overwhelm
In this week’s video I explain how our emotions hook us and why we can feel so powerless when they hook us. I reference the work of Susan David PhD, author of ‘Emotional Agility’ in this video. A great book with valuable tips and insight into becoming more agile in handling our emotions. View on Amazon. For me, it's a book that is readable and not academically dense as so man can be. (Note: since publishing this blog originally, Susan and her work has become very popular across the world and she has her own TED talk too - check it out here)
Add you thoughts to the comments below. I'm interested to know whether you are more likely to get swept away with your emotions, or are you more likely to bottle them up. Either way it can be destructive. Emotions are not meant to be ignored. That's why they are so powerful at a physical and psychological level. They serve a purpose in keeping us safe. But, in today's world, we need to manage them more effectively. And it can be done. There are strategies and techniques that, with practice can lead you to feel more able to handle those strong and overwhelming emotions. In the next weekly radish I'll share some tips and you may want to check out my other videos on eh subject - search for 'emotional coping'
Keep an eye out for the next blog. Transcript for video below.
Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health.
Feeling lost, trapped or crushed by life? Here's a short video with three tips to help you get back a sense of hope and direction.
- Getting hooked by your emotions.
Welcome to the Weekly Radish.
Building on last week's radish
where we explored emotional coping
and I want to just touch
on how we get hooked
by our emotions.
How they hook us in negatively.
And I'm gonna use as reference
work by Susan David Ph.D
who is the author of the
fantastic book called
And if you're interested in the subject
this is one of the few accessible books
readable books around emotional coping.
It's got a positive slant
it's very down to earth
and it's relatable.
Let's get into how we
get emotionally hooked
and Susan talks about three stages to this
and the build up so if you can imagine
that it's not just
we get caught up
immediately by our emotions
it starts small.
It starts with internal chatter.
Now if you can recognise that
we all have an inner voice
an inner dialogue, an inner narrative
whatever you want to call it.
When stress and emotions start to build
that inner voice starts
to transform into chatter.
So to give you an example:
some of you know I've got an 18-month old
little daughter Rosie who is lovely.
But my God if we had a
job on trying to teach her
how to brush her teeth
and even get her toothbrush
in her mouth for starters
and it can be frustrating
as any parent knows
when you're on a deadline
when you gotta get her out the door
because you gotta get to work
or get her to the childminder
for a certain time.
That brushing the teeth
when she doesn't want to have them brushed
starts to allow the stress to mount.
And that internal voice who seem
you need to get your teeth done
we need to just get through
this starts to go to;
common we're in a hurry,
common we need to ...
And it's not, not just what you see
it's going on here
oh my God, we're on a deadline,
I've gotta get to work
the childminder is gonna be sitting there
gotta clock she gotta drop
somebody off at school.
And you always have this problem;
why is it I'm useless?
So you start to get this
narrative turning to chatter
which is lots of things
that nip away at you.
That increases the stress
and the emotional charge
which brings in the second stage
that Susan David talks about
which is Technicolour Thought Blending.
By that term she's talking about is
how we start to pulling evidence
and comments from all different areas.
other values and opinions about ourselves
that may not be relevant in the situation
but suddenly it gets
drawn in like a magnet.
It's all drawn in there.
And suddenly I'm starting
to think to me self;
God, I don't remember
having the same problem
with me other kids.
Oh God, I must be a useless dumb ...
I'm rubbish at this
I'm never gonna get this right
oh, my God, I've got so
many things to do ...
And I start to bring in
all the evidence to justify
how bad the situation is
and how rubbish I am.
So my emotional level rises.
And that brings in the
final bit - the stage three
which is the Emotional Punch!
And that is when we
really get stuck in there
with some real self-criticisms
some real beating ourselves up.
And that's when the judgements come in
with a good emotional
punch so I start to say;
oh God, I'm useless at this
I'm ne ... I'm just a
hopeless dad and I'll never get this right
I'm just a waste of space.
And if you've ever been in a situation
where you found yourself
getting caught aware
and end up getting hooked and starting
really beat yourself up
you might see those stages.
The internal chatter starts to move
in a technicolour thought blending
and then moves into
that emotional punch
and that's when we have less
rational control of over our responses.
So for this week
we gonna look at a few tips next week
for this week I want you to reflect on how
you handle your emotions
how and when in previous situations
have you found yourself getting
hooked by your emotions.
And going forward
just notice how you respond
emotionally in circumstances
I'm not suggesting you
start labelling each a ...
oh this is the internal
chatter happening now
and this is the technicolour
thought blending or not.
You're not gonna do that when
you're in the midst of it
but it's useful to have
bit of an awareness
of how it happens.
It's not just you being
useless and rubbish
it is a natural process that happens
when emotions get the grip of us.
So we're gonna look at some tips
on more positive coping next week.
If you find that you do struggle
to cope more positively with your emotions
then you might find the resource
at the end of this video
and at this link useful and valuable.
Keep watching this Weekly Radishes
particularly next week
where I'll share a few tips.