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  • SKY KYO

who the fuck ignores a fire alarm?!? ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿšจ



So I was recently considering emotions and their function in my life. Some very negative ones came up out of *nowhere* and I was like wuuuuuuut and I *hated* it. Srsly. So it got me thinking.๐Ÿค”


We've internalized a shit ton of lies about emotions.

Western culture, ah, a cocktail of codependency, romanticism, capitalism, patriarchy, and puritanical bullshit. My fave. ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ˜‘


We get a mix of wonderfully toxic messages about emotions including:

  • emotions are weak

  • emotions are too feminine

  • emotions are unprofessional

  • emotions cloud your judgement

  • emotions are inappropriate

  • emotions are inconvenient

  • emotions are not to be shown in public

  • emotions are childish

  • emotions are hurtful to others

These judgements are usually applied to negative emotions: Anger. Sadness. Grief. Loss. Anxiety. Frustration. Fear. And these are the messages our culture sends us every day. Even now, when we're so "woke", negative emotions are usually shoved into a "mental health" corner by our culture, to be given occasional head pats when the politics require virtue signaling. Unless of course, you're caught up in the self-help/p-dev cult of Toxic Positivity, in which case, negative emotions are to be ignored, flat out.


Because of the gaslighting, undermining, de-valuing and outright shaming, most of us have developed negative thoughts about negative emotions, and negative ways of dealing with them, including:

  • Being afraid of them/ignoring them

  • Taking them out on others

  • Being ashamed of them/hiding them

  • Punishing ourselves with them (Ie, "I deserve to feel bad, because...")

  • Using drugs or other distractions to cope with them

For many of us, negative emotions have become monsters. They torment us, they torture us, they make us feel helpless and out of control. Why? Because WE HAVE NEVER LEARNED WHAT THEY REALLY ARE AND HOW TO RELATE TO THEM. Well, that ends now.


Ok, first, to clarify: EMOTION TYPE 1: YOUR BODY CHOOSES FOR YOU Some emotions are derived directly from hormone release. This happens in extreme cases (ie, panic induced by the fight or flight response), artificial cases (ie, โ€œroid rageโ€), and times when hormones may become imbalanced (ie, a pregnant person crying over seemingly minor issues). Others can happen from a *lack* of hormone release (ie, Depression). These are valid emotional experiences, but not what Iโ€™m talking about. I'm talking about day-to-day emotional responses. EMOTION TYPE 2: UUUH WHAT ARE THEY ANYWAY? According to Wikipedia, scientists can't even agree on what emotions are, just that we have them. (Srsly science, you have one job. ๐Ÿ™„) I'm not going to pretend to be a scientist here, or know more than they do, but if we can all agree that we have them, that works. HOW THEY FUNCTION: AN ALARM SYSTEM Every system in your body is focused on one thing: your survival. When that is threatened, shit goes down. So let's say you trip and fall and get a huge cut on your leg. Your nervous system will sound the alarm to your body that something is wrong. That will be translated as pain. Physical injury, physical pain. That's your body doing it's job. Pain is the alarm system.

Your brain is also wired for survival. And your emotions are like the nervous system of your brain. When you think something that isn't good for your body's survival, you get painful emotions. Emotional pain, just like physical pain, is an alarm system.


Let's say you didn't trip--you were pushed! You think "Who pushed me?!" With the idea of a *threat* (your physical and social safety at risk), your emotions respond with anger in case you need the adrenaline to defend yourself.


If you turn around and see a child with a ball, looking very sorry that they accidentally bumped into you while playing, your anger may disappear, because the perceived threat and intention of harm is no longer there.


Every negative emotion functions in the same way--to give us a warning about our basic wellbeing, whether it's our physical safety, our social status (important to survival back in tribal days)

our sexual success, or the location of our next meal.


If you're thinking that sounds waaaay too simple, that's because our brains have gotten waaaay complex. We think a *ton* of thoughts all the time. We constantly take in content and data. We use our imaginations to evaluate the past, to predict the future, and to consider abstract ideas. Our social world is more complicated than ever, and our sense of safety is nuanced and at times, very confusing (cough Covid cough). On top of that, because most of us aren't taught how to manage our emotions --or that emotional self-care needs to be a daily practice-- we have multiple alarms going off getting louder and louder all the time and it's just a complete shitshow of non-stop sirens.


There's a lot of thoughts, a lot of feels, a lot of noise. But if you can just take a look at one at a time, you will find, 1) A negative thought that somehow threatens your wellbeing.

2) Your agreement to that thought (you believe it's true).

3) Your emotional alarm response.


Knowing that our negative emotions are an alarm can help us feel less victimized by them. They are here to help, not punish you. Does it hurt a lot? That's because it's *very* important!


Understanding where negative emotions come from can also help us hack our thought life. So many "experts" in mindset training are so focused on thoughts, they discount emotions entirely. But if you can trace a negative emotion back to it's source, you can easily see what negative thoughts and beliefs need your attention--and then, you can change them.


Negative emotions are not some swirly nonsensical thing, they aren't meant to be this epic, melodramatic, poetic or emo experience (not to diminish the artistic interpretation of emotions, which has great value). And they certainly aren't shameful or weakโ€”they have an important, highly rational and practical functionโ€”Who knew?!? ๐Ÿคฏ

There are so many sinister things about the way contemporary Western culture robs of us of our humanity and our power. Insisting that negative emotions are "bad" and need to be ignored or pushed down is literally teaching us to turn off the fire alarm and pretend there's no fire.


Negative emotions...well, they still suck. But I hope you can now see the value in paying attention to them, in respecting them, and in learning how they can be a really helpful tool in locating thoughts and beliefs that might be blocking you from your happiness and success! ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš’๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš’๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš’


This is what works for me. #imaketherules

It might not be what's best for you. #makeyourownrules #thinkforyourself

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