Releasing Emotions

As humans we have the ability to reflect and be self aware.  This is considered an evolutionary step up but it has its downside.

Someone tried to break in to my friend’s house.  He scared off the intruder, but was nervous and twitchy for weeks afterward.   He found it difficult to sleep.

His cat, on the other hand, frequently scares intruders out of the yard; screaming and spitting with every hair bristling.  Within minutes of driving off an intruder, the cat is napping, his eyes rolled back in his head; comatose.

Most of us non felines find it difficult to stay in the moment because of thoughts and feelings which have nothing to do with current experience.  This can help us plan and prepare or make us nervous and upset.  We can be perfectly safe and unperturbed but wrapped up in last week’s intruder or yesterday’s insult or the argument we might have tomorrow.

When negative feelings crop up, we phone a friend or turn on the TV and tuck these thoughts away in the back of the mind.  But feelings are not meant to be ignored, so when something new happens, it activates all that stuff in the back of the mind and touches off a cascade of related reactions to similar things that happened or might happen.

We could all take a lesson from preschoolers and golden retrievers, whose sadness can be released at the sight of a treat.  Feeling the most negative horrific emotion is not as painful as avoiding it.

And once you feel it an emotion, a strange thing happens:  it goes away; pretty quickly;
and it tends not to come back.   You actually can react to problems more constructively and enjoy the good times more fully when  your are feeling your emotions.  You really can let things roll off your back.  Most of us need to learn how.

Join me and Francine Marie Shepperd on Blogtalk Radio on November 10, as we talk about releasing emotions.  You can follow this link:  and you can call in with questions and comments.

You are also invited to join me for an online workshop on Emotions and Boundaries, to learn how to get positive results from negative emotions.  The workshop will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).  You can sign up at

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