Controlling Our Emotions - Letting Go Of Resistance

Controlling our Emotions ... Overcoming Resistance

When someone or something upsets us we can experience many different emotions such as anger, frustration, guilt, annoyance, anxiety, hurt, pain accompanied with uncontrollable thoughts.
That discomfort is actually not caused by the event or circumstance.
Rather, it is directly caused by our resistance to that person, situation or thing being or acting the way it does, causing  ‘friction’ within the body ‘- which is our emotional reaction.
This resistance is directly affected by our unconscious mind, which acts as our internal operating system responsible for our emotions along with other functions.
Formulated and modified over a lifetime of experiences, it runs in background mode relaying emotional responses to our conscious mind, affecting how we feel about every moment or interaction, thus influencing our consequent actions.
It is said that we are ”addicted to thinking” (Tolle). When upset the mind runs in hyperdrive as we madly process the past and the future, rather than just enjoying the now - just Being.

By becoming aware of our own resistance and how it is causing us emotional and possibly physical distress, the only truly effective solution is to end that resistance.
Rather than letting emotions trigger negative responses when something upsets us, by raising our awareness about our own thinking and feelings and subsequent behaviours, we can then think through alternate responses.
That is not to say that you cannot have preferred outcomes, and to actually work towards those outcomes, such as getting that person to not act inappropriately in the future. However, it is essential that you are not attached to those outcomes, or your happiness is dependent on them. If they happen that is good. If they don’t, life still continues.

To free ourselves from this pain is extremely liberating, but requires work. By keeping a small notebook handy, you must step aside and observe yourself, recording the experience under the following headings:

  1. The cause
  2. The discomfort, pain or emotion experienced
  3. Big picture effect (how will it really impact your LIFE longer term?)
  4. How you would normally react
  5. Consequences of acting this way
  6. How you could react differently
  7. Consequences of acting differently

Afterwards you may wish to discuss what you have written with your partner, and if the situation was handled badly, look at ways it could have been handled differently. Remember, do not be judgemental, as improving our communication skills is a lifetime ‘work in progress’.