Everything you need to know about stress and strong emotions.
Under the cut - a cycle of 3 videos and text versions to them.
The main thing - the stress is not caused by external events. The reason is within us.
Inside each there is a process that is responsible for processing information, and at a certain stage of which an emotion arises. We can manage this process because it is based on our experience.
The real reason for strong emotions.
Let us analyze the processing of information by any living being, and in general the functioning of any functional system.
First we get the information. She can get from the outside world (something saw, heard), or from the internal (information from internal organs - something got sick).
Information passes through the block, which we conditionally call “Memory”. Based on this, predictions are born: “what can happen in the future, based on what I have learned.”
This is the main point.
All living organisms live in the “cloud” of the future tense. They perceive information, model the future and react to the future, and not to what is happening at the current time.
Emotions occur at the moment when the model of the future is being evaluated, the forecast.
EXAMPLE. The driver in front behaves strangely. Predict the future - maybe an accident. Feel: How will this model affect us? Motivation block comes into operation. We understand that it will badly affect, threaten our life and health. We do not want this forecast to come true.
Only here an emotion arises, and it is transformed into a solution: I leave the strip where the driver behaves suspiciously.
That momentary flash of anxiety or anxiety, which causes a change in behavior, arose not because the person reformed in front, but because we predicted what might happen on the basis of this.
We are not experiencing because of the events. We are worried because we predicted them. We are experiencing in order to realize the forecasts that will affect us positively, and not to embody the forecasts that will affect negatively.
The key to controlling strong emotions
Forecasts are born and evaluated based on memory.
Memory is deeply imperfect. What is in our mind is not an adequate reflection of what it really is. Remember Korzybski "Map - this is not the territory."
There are several stages in the formation of memories where information is distorted.
First, the interpretation. Secondly, the selectivity of attention and cognitive filters, whose work leads to the fact that not the entire amount of available information is absorbed, but only that part of it that contributes to the achievement of actual goals and supports the existing picture of the world. Thirdly, with each reproduction, the memories are transformed and, as it were, “overwritten” already slightly modified. Just mentioning these three reasons is enough to make sure that the contents of the memory are subjective and different from what was the source of the experience.
It is equally important that in the creation of experience society plays an enormous role, within which the same things are given different meanings.
For example, the question "how are you?" In our culture is acceptable to answer "bad." They will understand you, support you, maybe they will regret it. As far as I know, in America it is difficult to give such an answer. Things are bad - you are a loser (by the way, in the same place in England, it’s a shame to be poor) And nobody wants to be a loser. This position is not approved by society.
The same fact (loss of a deal) in a different society will cause a different reaction. Its value for a person will be different. Stress is not so much the fact that things are going bad, but the fact that I am a loser based on this.
The main thing in managing emotions is to understand that they arise in response to forecasts, and not to objective reality. The latter are developing a “hologram” of the future tense that surrounds a person. She - the consequence of non-optimal memory contents. Evaluation is based on our own memory, our sub-optimal experience.
The evaluation procedure also depends on our experience, which was formed in the conditions of society.
Therefore, the creation of forecasts and estimates contain many inaccuracies.
If you look at the history of mankind, it is easy to see how long the Stone Age lasted, and how long - New time. We are more adapted to life in that Stone Age. In the simple world, forecasts more or less adequately reflect reality. Now the world is much more complicated, and our forecasts no longer reflect reality as adequately.
Again. We worry, worry, get angry, are jealous not because of what happens outside, but because of what happened inside our consciousness as predictions and estimates of these forecasts. And this procedure contains huge inaccuracies.
Stress relief method
To change the reaction, do the following:
- Remember what you felt, or feel now, if this situation is fresh;
- Focus on emotions;
- Now imagine that an emotion is a ball, and you pierce it, and from there thoughts start to come out;
- Without criticizing yourself, write out thoughts.
EXAMPLE. You are late, and very worried. Keep the experience and start writing out. You can not on paper - write to your phone or computer, or at least speak to yourself.
The conclusion to the consciousness of what is a prognosis will lower the degree of tension a little. Feel the emotion and write down everything that comes to mind. Do not criticize yourself. Write while writing.
Then, each item must score points - as far as this corresponds to reality.
Remember, all these are predictions. The fact that you wrote them does not mean that it is a reality. When we do not share thoughts and reality, this is cognitive confusion. Remember, thoughts are thoughts, they are based on reality, but reality is very different.
For example, I worry because of the thought “being late may make other people angry and they will not agree to work with me in the end.” Let's look at the situation really. If I'm late, how badly will they get angry? If I apologize, will they get angry anymore? Will they continue to work with me if I am late and apologize? Are all people late? How do people usually behave when they are late? How often did they refuse to work with us because we were late? What were the real reasons when they refused to work with us?
The principle is to take an old idea, analyze from the point of view of facts, and formulate a new idea that more accurately reflects reality.
A new thought to our example: “Indeed, people are not very fond of when they are late for them, they may experience negative emotions with me for some time. But if I write to them now, I apologize, and then I will explain why I am late, most likely, they will accept my position, they will understand, because many are late, and then we will continue to work quietly. ”
Now, overestimate how old the idea corresponds to reality? Put points and new thoughts.
So we analyze every situation: can there be other, more realistic explanations of what happened? Search, analyze, and very importantly - formulate a new, more realistic point of view in writing.
So you can take control of the emotions that exist in your life.
Instead of conclusions
Any reaction, positive or negative, arises not because of events, but because predictions have arisen at the moment the information reaches our brain. We evaluated these predictions based on our experience, and reacted to them emotionally - negatively or positively.
Our experience is not perfect, and the evaluation procedure, too. Due to the fact that the world is very complicated, we get inaccurate predictions that are divorced from reality.
If you focus on emotions and start writing out all the thoughts that are associated with it, and then see how accurately they reflect reality and formulate a more accurate alternative, you are guaranteed to change the state.
This is cognitive behavioral therapy. It is very effective in dealing with anxiety and depressive states, so you can be sure that it works.
It changes life. Just do it.