In my previous blog post, in response to feedback regarding the “illuminate 22 Day Challenge” I discussed the “APET Model” which lies behind the familiar experience of “emotional hijack” and explains why we cannot think straight when we are highly emotional – whether this is due to fear, anxiety, anger, disgust or even excitement and love. Today I extend the discussion to include practical techniques for coping with strong negative emotions such as anxiety and guilt.
It’s what we do rather than who we are!
We are not generally born feeling either excessive anxiety or guilt. We pick up these patterns as we learn to live in a complex world. We are the product of our experiences – our family life, our education and a whole range of life events. Although anxiety and guilt can be debilitating conditions, once we understand that they are “verbs” rather than “nouns” – i.e. that they are activities – things that we “DO” rather than “Who we really are”, then we can often learn to cope with them by adopting new habits.
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In the video above I mention the sketch by the American Comedian Bob Newhart in which he instructs his therapy clients to “just stop it!“. Click here to watch the sketch on YouTube:
I also mention the 7-11 Breathing technique. Click here to find out more about this powerful method for calming strong emotions, coping with stress and anxiety, relaxing deeply and getting to sleep quickly: