Why do we experience troubling, disrupting and often self-limiting emotions?
For example, anxiety – probably most people experience it to some degree, and it can have a strong impact on many of us at times.
Reactions like fear, stage fright, social anxiety, procrastination and other kinds of anxiety can get in the way of our being as creative as we want to be.
Emotions are essentially reactions to events.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
[Image from Blue Sky Journey.]
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Belief change author and coach Morty Lefkoe explains, “An emotion is the experiential, chemical, and neuro-physiological response a conscious being has to a stimulus.
“If specific emotions were created by specific stimuli, then a particular stimulus would produce the same emotion in every person. In fact, different people have varied emotional responses to the same stimulus.”
He goes on to describe how “negative emotions are the result of interpreting events as a threat to our mental/emotional well-being” and that more awareness of the dynamics of emotion can help us deal with them more constructively.
Read more in his article Why we have negative emotions… and what to do about them.
His TEDx video: How to Stop Suffering
He is creator of the Lefkoe Belief Process and The Lefkoe Method for changing self-limiting attitudes and beliefs, such as “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m not important” or “Mistakes and failures are bad.”
(A profile by the Institute of Noetic Sciences notes that Morty Lefkoe “made a series of discoveries that allowed him to help people make permanent changes in their emotions and behavior.”)
See The Lefkoe Institute for multiple articles and resources, and to try the program for free.
“Our emotions are put in this compartment with a massive stigma around it that it is just not cool to feel. We have to make it cool to feel again.” – Lady Gaga
The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence with the Born This Way Foundation – created by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta – hosted the Emotion Revolution Summit “to build awareness of the critical role emotions play in young people’s learning, decision-making, academic achievement, and overall wellness.”
Gaga says “kids just want to feel human, but they feel like robots. They don’t understand why they’re so sad. There are scientific reasons, which the foundation researches, why you feel sad when you look at your phone all day.
“I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day.
“I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That’s not human.”
Read more and see video of Lady Gaga at the Summit – plus links to resources to deal with anxiety – in post:
Performers With Stage Fright and Anxiety
A Stanford University Medical Center research study indicates that people with anxiety disorders “have abnormalities in the way their brain unconsciously controls emotions.”
Along with the many benefits of the personality trait, we may also be especially susceptible to anxiety as a highly sensitive person – see related articles below.
Psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel thinks we need to be able to use our emotional sensitivity to help realize our creative talents.
“You want your full measure of emotion, as emotion is the life blood of art… But that doesn’t mean you should be a slave to your emotions.”
Book: Mastering Creative Anxiety: 24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians & Actors, by Eric Maisel, PhD.