Small Tips from a Therapist for Managing Negative Emotions
As a hypnotherapist, I receive several enquiries from people from various walks of life, facing different hurdles at different junctions in their life. Even though managing emotions are within the domain of hypnotherapists, there are times where I realize that many people are actually able to help themselves - they just needed someone to point out a direction for them.
In this post, I would just want to share some of my observations, and a few small little tips, for friends, family and other readers of this post, to living a happier life. Most of us might have been through such situations before, therefore I hope that these tips would help those who are currently going through emotionally troubling times too.
Clients that visit hypnotherapists are often people who carries along emotional hurt and suffering. These could stem from work stress, relationship problems, family matters - but regardless, they just don't feel good emotionally.
One of the common requests that are brought up goes like this:
"<insert bad situation here> has just occurred, I feel distraught and depressed. I just don't want to do anything anymore. Can you make me not feel any sadness?"
As an empath, sometimes I feel that same desperation for some hope and salvation that they want. However, as a therapist, I cannot over empathize and end up in the same emotional mess they are in. Instead, I would provide some of these free advice through some simple, but thought-provoking questions. If they can internalize this and get better, that's the best case scenario. If not, they are always welcome back for a session.
If you are ever expressing such thoughts and feelings, here are the 3 summarized questions, and hopefully it can help you too.
(1) What is wrong with this feeling?
If something good happens, you feel happy. If something bad happens, you feel sad. This is how emotions work isn't it? The fact that you feel sad, it just means that you are still functioning well. Especially when a bad incident had just occurred, it's a natural emotional reaction isn't it? If not, what sort of emotional reaction are you looking for? Do you want to feel excited when a loved one passes away? Do you want to laugh when going through a breakup? Or... if you just want to escape from any emotions, you might be better off taking prescribed drugs from a psychiatrist. Drugs can help to suppress emotional fluctuations, but as a therapist, I would want to work with clients on incorporating these emotions into a part of them instead - which leads me to the second question.
(2) What is this emotion trying to tell you?
Emotionally charged memories are often easier to recall then non-emotionally charged ones. Eg, try recalling your dinner last Wednesday vs the last argument with a loved one. Often, the latter would be more easily recalled and much more vivid too. But with each emotionally charged memory, it usually teaches us a "lesson" as to how to avoid/get into certain bad/good situations. So in this situation, what is this emotion telling you? Some people may need guidance with this question to PREVENT them from spiraling downhill with responses from clouded judgements like.... "its telling me that im a useless fool!". If so, the next question will be a better assisting one instead.
(3) Where to next?
For example, for an unemployed person, its always good to have an interest in what kind of career he/she would want to have, rather than "I don't want to be unemployed". Hence, in a bad situation - instead of thinking of not wanting to be in this situation, think about "Where to next?". This will help to readjust the mindset such that your life does not revolve around this negative situation. When you are at your lowest, there is only one direction - Up.
From here, some people are already empowered enough to decide their next course of action, with their emotions as a driving force. For others, they may need additional guidance, sometimes to find out root causes for recurring negative situations as the "lessons" are not learnt, or some that might be due to other reasons. For those that still require help, I will then continue to work with them.
These tips are generally the ones that I commonly provide to people that consulted with me (of course in much more detail and fitting to their situation). And by summarizing these tips in this post, I hope that it could help more people out there who need emotional assistance but are keeping quiet about it (maybe you're shy, or egoistic, or afraid of being judged). However, if you need any assistance with your current situation, feel free to contact me too!
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