Mind Alchemy Day 16 – Emotional Homeostasis

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Mind Alchemy
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Before we start

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Watch an interview I made with Suzie Cheel on Mind Alchemy

Mind Alchemy Day 16

Fucking hell! This is a fucking brilliant day.

How did you feel when you read the sentence above, what were your first emotions? Some of you might be shocked, some might be extremely angry, some might have found it funny and some of you might feel a little confused.

The point of me putting that sentence in there is to show you exactly how our emotions can be triggered by events outside our control.   That one, eight word, sentence triggered an emotional reaction inside of you – why?

We go through our whole lives ready to emotionally react to the conditioned triggers inside us, and these triggers have been there for years.   What we are looking for here to create an 'emotional homeostasis', which is an emotional balance.   I'd like to thank one of my online mentors, Jonathan Wells, for the phrase "˜Emotional Homeostasis', I think it sums up beautifully where we need to be with regards to controlling our emotions.

Can you think of something just now that triggers an emotion inside of you? It could be thinking about someone you love and that triggers the emotional response of love.   It could be someone at work you really dislike and that might trigger the emotion of anger.   Just observe your emotions for a little bit as you think of some emotional triggers that are lying inside you just now.

Stairway to Emotional Mastery

Step 1 "“ Recognize

The first step is to recognise your emotion, this might seem ambiguous but basically what I'm talking about here if you feel angry at something , say you're in the car and someone cuts in front of you and you start to shout some choice expletives, recognise that you feel anger or at least that the act of someone cutting in front of you has caused you to feel an emotion of some kind.

Step   2 "“ Name your emotion

The second step is to name your emotion. That's what we are speaking about in the previous example, if someone has cut in front of you, name that particular emotion as anger, label it if you can, as soon as it arises and you can begin to analyse it.

Step 3 "“ Accept responsibility

The third step is to accept responsibility for that emotion. That might be one of the hardest steps you attempt, because you may deflect i.e. "˜well the guy "˜cut in front of me, it's his fault' but it's you who has chosen to feel that particular emotion; anger.

You are allowing others to control you, they are taking your power away from you and actually controlling you. What you are really saying when you are blaming the other person is that they have got the power to make you feel a certain way. So take responsibility for all your emotions and be accountable for your emotions. When you do this your emotions will begin to change because you are taking responsibility for them.

Step 4 "“ Find another meaning

The fourth step is to find another possible meaning.

I'll give you an example here, if you have children you will realise what I'm talking about here.

When you tell your child to do something, maybe three or four times and they still don't do it you might get angry and perhaps start shouting at them and start to feel really angry.   In the past I'd get up and start shouting to get them to listen to me, feeling frustrated etc but when I asked myself why I'm really feeling angry, and questioned if indeed it was anger or another emotion. When I looked at it deep down I'm feeling disrespected, that was the emotion not the anger that's coming to the front. The feeling of being disrespected is manifested as anger.

You might find another emotion that's really coming up when you feel the emotion of anger it may be another emotion deep down, once you identify it you can look at it and then you can rename it and work on it if appropriate.

Step 5 "“ Accepting your emotions

Step five is accepting your emotions. Whatever you feel in life it's never wrong, if you feel a particular emotion, it may be wrong to take action on the particular emotion but your feelings are purposeful.

The emotion is a message from your mind to your body, or spirit, telling you to pay attention to something.   So from that emotions are never wrong but the action you take maybe wrong. If you are feeling angry about something that's a message just to say listen I have to look at this, and you can then explore why you are feeling angry. You have to look at the way you are going about things because anger is the response to previous past experiences which can then be examined and changed if need be.

Step 6 "“ Does the emotion teach you

The sixth step is asking yourself does the emotion teach you something. Now again an example may be if you were walking down an empty street and you feel a bit nervous or uneasy and you start to feel fearful. You have to ask is the emotion teaching you to feel fearful or is it teaching you to be more aware of your surroundings or is the emotion teaching you to say "˜I'm ok we're in a well light area there are a lot of people round about, there are shops, CCTV cameras, there's a police car over there' its teaching you to be more aware of that particular moment in time. So look at what your emotions can be teaching you, it might be another message but to teach you something about yourself and about the world round about you.

Step 7 "“ Change your emotion

The seventh and last step is to change your emotion, if you have an emotion that is working against you, say for example you are going into exams and you are becoming really anxious and nervous and this is preventing you from concentrating on the exam and this is perpetuating your anxiety, even though you have studied for that last 4 or 5 weeks. To change your emotion you are going to get into a different state of mind.  The idea is that you have to remember an event from the past i.e. taking an exam in the past which you have been able to achieve a pass. So you remember how you felt when you came out of that exam, the feelings may have been; relief, confidence etc. So the plan is to get into a different state by thinking about a positive, similar experience.

So for example when speaking about exams you return to when you passed an exam in the past. How did you feel, and get into that state of mind, you are changing your emotion from one of anxiety to one of calmness before you go into the examination area.

So changing your state can actually change your emotion. So you are walking into the event armed with the past experience which has resulted in you being more rational and calmer about what you are about to go through. Ultimately you have elicited the state of calmness.

Today's exercise

Download todays exercise here

Using the 7 steps of emotional mastery think of something that triggers an unwanted emotional response in you and then go through each step to look at that emotion in depth.


Tomorrow we will looking at the myth that is happiness.  Until tomorrow my fellow Mind Alchemists"¦"¦..

Action follows a thought"¦

This course is about taking action, and to become pro active in changing your life.   Take time to do this exercise and really think about it throughout the day.   You don't need to wait until tomorrow to take steps to improve your "˜Wheel of Life', but with the support and encouragement from all the members we can help each other and support each other, but ultimately "˜you have to bring something to the table!'

Your thoughts

As always it's good to talk about your experiences and share it with the rest of the members of the course, so let us know how this exercise went for you and if you gained any insights or had any revelations about yourself or your life.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.