How Exchanging Emotions Makes Us Feel Safe
One of the most common mental afflictions is generalized anxiety. People with anxiety disorders feel constant worry and a lack of control. That translates, for most people, to not feeling safe in their environment. Whether it be relationships, finances, career or health, the need to feel safe encompasses every aspect of life.
In exchanging emotions with others, we can and do feel safe. Psychologist Paul Eckman identified the six basic emotions as happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise (see www.paulekman.com/universal-emotions/). Emotions are expressed through language, facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and physiological expressions. When you share your feelings with others, and they then exchange those emotions with support and understanding, it brings you back to a place of safety. In that way, even sadness has a place in bringing us back to a safe space from an anxious one.
In our current social climate, anxieties reached an all-time high. Now, more than ever, it is important for all of us to learn how to exchange emotions with others in a way that allows them to feel safe. My advice to you is to always come from a place of service—not with selfish intent. When people are experiencing anxiety, you can bring them back to safety by making modifications to everyday tasks and taking small steps towards larger goals. It can be as simple as giving a positive compliment or rewording statements.
Here’s an example: My daughter asked me what I want for Christmas. I told her that I would like happy, well-behaved children.
She hung her head and said, “Oh, I don’t know if I can give you that.” I saw her energy dip and the doubt come up inside of her.
I responded with, “You already are happy and well-behaved.”
She couldn’t understand why I wished for something that she was already doing, and I told her that I wish for it to always continue. The energy shift that occurred by my stating that she was already doing what I was wishing for allowed my daughter to step back into safety. Those feelings of safety arrived when she exchanged the “low” emotion of doubt into a “higher” one of acceptance. Her conscious choice to do this was enabled through greater understanding of the situation.
In situations where greater understanding is not forthcoming, it takes more energy to make a conscious choice to shift yourself upwards, but it can be done. A simple technique to shift on your own is to use “I am” affirmations. For example, instead of reacting with fear or doubt, say to yourself, “I am safe to express myself. I am accepted. I am valued.” This might be all it takes for you to shift your mindset back into safety. Hypnotherapy is an incredible way to change the script inside your unconscious mind. I found it works wonders in affirming positivity.
Besides hypnotherapy, one of my newfound favorite activities is grounding. It is incredibly effective at exchanging and discharging any negative energy that is a physiological expression of emotion.
In the end, it comes down to positive reinforcement that is given to you by others and within yourself through emotional connection. Do whatever it takes to break the negative emotional connection that your subconscious makes to a certain smell, sound, or experience and replace it with a positive one. It is those positive emotional connections that bring people to a place of safety.
My holiday wish for everyone, is to be surrounded by people who support you and help you to feel safe every day.
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