When we can understand how our central nervous system is patterned, we can then begin the work to rewire our emotional responses. The responses we have to certain stimuli are a combination of physical and emotional aspects working hand in hand, resulting from different triggers and patterns. The great news is that we have the ability to rewire our response EVEN TO THINGS OUTSIDE OUR CONTROL and CHOOSE how we show up in the world. This episode is the finale of the series of discussions on emotions.
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Rewiring Emotional Responses For A Happier Life
In this episode, we are talking about rewiring emotional responses. This is the crescendo and finale to our series on emotions, which was part of a series on the Hebrew concept of the soul, which is mind, will and emotions. Rise to Reign framework is seven principles applied to seven categories. Body and soul is one category that exists in three parts, which is the mind, the will and the emotions. It is the complex of the soul.
We did mind and will, and now we’re wrapping up emotions. That wraps up the category of soul. I’m doing a little bit of a mini-series inside this. First, I started off on a three-part series on emotional intelligence. That is episodes 19, 20 and 21. In episode 22, I talked about emotional addiction. In episode 23, I talked about trauma, and then we talked about core wounding. Now we’re talking about rewiring emotional responses.
That’s like all of the “what” leading up to this. This is the, “What do we do about it?” Once we understand how trauma is laid down and how our central nervous system is patterned, we can then do something about it. When we understand emotional equilibrium and addiction, we understand our default settings. We can choose something different and begin the process of rewiring our emotional responses.
I say rewiring because we’re talking about a process. When we experience a triggering event, a button is pushed and that wire goes to a certain trauma or a wound and elicits a certain reaction. That reaction is the pattern. We want to rewire. We want to decouple that button and attach it to a different response. That’s the rewiring analogy so that we aren’t unconscious of our patterns. We get to choose how we show up. It allows us to have an incredible amount of sovereignty and agency over all of our experiences and relationships in life, and what we are able to create and manifest in the world.
We want to feel our feelings, but we don't want to be hijacked by the story. Click To Tweet
In order to re-pattern or rewire our emotional responses by re-patterning the central nervous system, we have to first send the signal of safety to our nervous system physiologically and emotionally. Most of us, without even realizing it, have lived in survival mode, fight or flight activation of the sympathetic nervous system. We’re not even aware that we’re under a constant state of stress from trauma and childhood patterning.
Step one is to send the signal of safety to our body physiologically. We do that by eating healthy food, getting plenty of rest, taking our supplements, hydration, oils, breath work, exercise and all the ways that we take care of our body. Ground earthing or walking barefoot on grass or sand on the beach helps ground the body. We want to send that signal of safety to the nervous system.
The second thing is emotional. We do this with boundaries on draining and abusive people, monitoring and adjusting our self-talk, what are we allowing into our space as far as media that we consume, social media, etc. It’s important to create an environment of safety as you’re doing this work because you want to be able to have a baseline feeling of safety. Next, we work on triggers as they show up to slowly and methodically empty the toxic tank.
The toxic tank is the euphemism that I use for all of the negatively perceived adverse experiences and trauma that you’ve locked into this toxic tank. It’s under there, just seething, fermenting, leaking poison out into your life and causing all kinds of problems. The process of healing is uncovering, emptying and cleaning out that toxic tank.
For emotional re-patterning, you have to heal it to feel it. It goes out the way that it came in. Emotions that were buried alive never die. There is a framework that I use called TRIIPP. That’s an acronym for Trigger, Response, Interrupt, Interrogate, Presence and Power. It works like this. Something happens and that’s your trigger. You get cut off in traffic, you get that look from your husband, your mom calls and you hear your mom’s voice or you open a bill. All of those events can be a trigger and they activate a response. That’s the pattern.
You open that bill and you automatically go into anxiety. Your mom calls and you automatically go into defensiveness. You see a cupcake and you go into craving and temptation. Any manner of things can trigger a conditioned response. We want to come conscious of this pattern. The response is your physical and emotional response. There’s the trigger and then there’s a response.
That happens outside of our control or conscious awareness. Where we do have the opportunity is to come conscious right at that point of the response and ask some questions. This is the I in TRIIPP, Interrupt. You want a pattern interrupt. When you go into a pattern, you want to be able to interrupt it. You can do this in a number of ways. I like to do it in a funny way because if you’re angry and scared, if you go to humor, it makes your brain divert resources to be like, “What’s going on?” I like to hop on one foot or make the world’s most annoying sound. My children know this. It’s the most awful screech you’ve ever heard.
When my children are going into a pattern, I say, “Do you want to hear the world’s most annoying sound?” They’re like, “Oh, mom,” and I’ll screech and it interrupts their pattern. Some people wear a hair tie or a rubber band around their wrist and you can snap it. Pain does a great job of pulling you out of a pattern. You don’t want to go overboard on that, but you get the idea. You want to do something to bring yourself conscious. That could be something that you say to yourself or a tune that you whistle. It’s a pattern interrupt.
Anger is really the mask for fear. It triggers an old trauma. Click To Tweet
The next is you ask questions. The other I in TRIIPP is Interrogate. You want to be able to question your belief around this. What else could be true? Is this true? Is it always true? What else could be true? From there, you want to come into presence and power. When you start asking the questions, you recruit your logical mind and you can get out of your emotional brain. We want to feel our feelings, but we don’t want to be hijacked by the story.
When we’re in emotions, a lot of times, our brain is running a story on loop. By recruiting our logic with the interrogation process, we are able to interrupt that pattern, and come into presence and power. From there, we can choose, “Do I want to break this plate that I’m getting ready to throw across the kitchen?” My guess is you probably don’t like all the things that we regret and feel stupid for when we’re responding in a pattern.
I’ll tell you a funny story. My kids give me a hard time about it. One of the things that trigger me big time is when my kids fight. It has to do with the chaotic family that I grew up in that was always in conflict. When my kids fight, I get angry. The anger is the mask for fear. It triggers an old trauma. One time, not too long ago, my kids were fighting over some food. There was only a little bit left. If you guys have kids, you know this is who gets the last chicken nugget or whatever it was.
I told them 3 or 4 times in a calm voice, “Don’t fight about food. There’s plenty of food. Figure it out and work it out between yourselves.” They are teenagers so they should be able to do that. They kept bickering. I was on a deadline trying to get some work done. I came tearing out of my office. I grabbed the food, marched into the backyard, and threw it over the fence to the chickens so nobody got it.
My children thought that was so funny. They said that I speed-waddled. I was walking with purpose. I thought I was being very authoritarian and taking charge and I was going to put it into this bickering. They thought it was hilarious because they call it speed waddling. It’s now a big joke around my house, “Don’t make mom speed waddle.”
I felt very foolish when I calmed down for taking my children’s food and speed waddling across the yard and throwing it to the chickens. I can laugh about it now but I assure you, I was not in a funny mood when I did it. It was not intended with humor. The way that TRIIPP works in that process is the trigger happens and I’m feeling that response bubbling up.
That’s where you can pattern interrupt before the speed waddle so that you don’t make a fool out of yourself and give your teenage children ammunition to tease you with. That’s a joke but this can be very serious. Abusive situations always happen in a triggered situation. Triggering can cause and perpetuate addictions. It’s not all fun and games but I wanted to give you a funny example of what this can look like. When you interrupt and interrogate, you recruit your logical mind, and then you can choose to show up without speed waddling, because nobody needs that in their life.
There’s another tool I want to give you. I’m going to share it with you here because it’s appropriate. It’s the forgiveness framework. This is the way that we feel and interact with our feelings. The first step of the forgiveness framework is acknowledgement. What do you feel? I feel angry. What else? I feel scared. Anger is almost always a mask for fear. You can ask, “What else?” until you keep pulling those threads and get to, “What am I really feeling?”
Healing is a predicate for your life's purpose showing up. Click To Tweet
Another thing here is to do a body scan. Start at the top of your head, scan down to your feet, and see where it is in your body. Is there a tight area? Where is it? What does it feel like? Bring your awareness to that area and ask, “What is this?” You then offer it up for healing. This is a prayer that I’m talking to God and the Holy Spirit, “I’m willing not to feel this so I’m offering this up. I’m willing to give this up. I might not know how to give it up. I might not be ready to give it up but I’m willing.”
Step number two is the willingness in the forgiveness framework. Step number three is release. This is, “Show me this from heaven’s perspective. Show me this from a healed perspective. Show me a different way. What else could be true?” You then sit there and let a pattern, a story or a narrative turn around to something that is empowering and serves you.
As we do our daily emotional hygiene, we will notice wires that when activated reveal an old wound. Remember if it’s hysterical, it’s historical. What I mean by emotional hygiene is to come conscious with our emotions and stop being run ragged by them. Start to inquire, “What are you thinking about? How are you feeling?” All of the episodes on emotions leading up to this gives you so many tools for emotional intelligence and awareness.
I’m not going to belabor the point, but emotional hygiene is a daily commitment to emotional intelligence and awareness. As we work with and process our emotional energies out of the nervous system, we achieve these incredible breakthroughs. Sometimes they are big and wonderful and we have these cathartic emotional releases and we’re free of it. That often happens towards the end of a pattern. A lot of times, some smaller events and processing happen, and then we get to the mother load, and we’re able to release it out. That is an incredible thing that happens.
Not only do we get to re-pattern those emotions, but we also get to choose how we show up. As we heal in this way, our purpose begins to fulfill itself, to show and reveal itself. Healing is the predicate for your life’s purpose showing up. There’s nobody that I know or know of that is operating with purpose and on a mission in life that hasn’t dealt with their stuff. They’ve gone through this path and began to escalate their emotional reality. As you heal, that’s when purpose reveals itself.
Remember the Holy Spirit is our teacher, guide, advocate and comforter. You’re not alone in doing this work. You always have the person of the Holy Spirit to help you. You only need to ask a simple request, turn your attention towards the Holy Spirit and ask Him for help. The Holy Spirit is always there to guide, lead, teach and comfort you. That is it for this episode. Thank you so much for being here. I will see you in the next episode.
- episode 19 – past episode
- episode 20 – past episode
- episode 21 – past episode
- episode 22 – past episode
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