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Choking sensation Increased heart rate Shortness of breath Tingling sensations Once you have identified exactly what it is you are feeling, you can begin to implement techniques for calming these emotions. See article Ten for more details on calming specific emotions. Accept Your Emotions It’s at work as you shift your feet and hands to hit a tennis ball and it’s there as you pause a second to inhale before taking that first sip of coffee in the morning. Think about it: Just putting one foot in front of the other requires expectation. In short, expectation is the way our brains process the world. Your brain is wired to build expectations throughout your life over hours, years, or decades, then tries its best to turn those expectations into reality. Simply put, your brain doesn’t want to be wrong–and in order for expectation to match reality, it’s willing to bend a few rules or even cheat outright. As we shall learn, your brain’s expectations are more powerful than we ever imagined. When those expectation clash with reality, more often than not, it’s your stubborn brain that wins. In 1996, the philosopher and artificial intelligence pioneer Daniel Dennett wrote, A mind is fundamentally an anticipator, an expectation-generator. Our brains spend most of their time processing what they have already experienced in order to figure out what’s about to happen. Imagine for a second that your brain failed to be an expectation-generator. Now you have identified the emotions you are feeling, the next step is to accept them. This is a crucial step when it comes to calming the storm of emotions raging inside your head. This can be an extremely difficult thing to do, particularly if you have been suffering from the effects of BPD for a number of years.

You will now have a great deal of resentment for the disorder, along with the emotions it causes you to feel. Accepting them may seem like an impossible task. But it is important to understand that accepting your emotions is not the same things as approving of them or accepting that there is no chance of change. It just means that you keep yourself from trying to push away and suppress these feelings or deny what it is happening. By allowing yourself to feel the true intensity of your feelings, rather than battling to keep them away, you actually take away a great deal of their power. Endeavor to just let your feelings be, without engaging in self-criticism or judgement. See if you can focus on the present moment, without giving rise to thoughts of the past or future. You would essentially become a baby–everything would be novel and unpredictable. Suddenly nothing would make sense. Toss a ball up and it just keeps going. A dragon with the face of Nicholas Cage approaches you on the street and asks for directions. Expectation is just a system of shortcuts our brains have developed to get through life without stopping every five seconds to figure things out. You observe the world as best as you can, and then your brain fills in the gaps. But sometimes circumstances don’t fit the model of the world that your brain has built. So rather than change its expectation, your brain will occasionally twist reality to bring your observations in line with your expectations. Therefore, if what you expect is negative, your mind will make things look (or feel) worse than they actually are. But if you expect the best–well, some pretty amazing things can happen in your body, as you’ll see in the coming articles. Try some of the following techniques: Imagine you are observing your emotions from the outside. After all, you are not defined by your emotions.

You are not your anger, or your grief or your frustration, or anxiety. Attempt to view your emotions as what they truly are – something separate from yourself. Observe the ways your emotions come and go. It can be helpful to think of them as waves- imagine them ebbing and flowing, increasing and decreasing in intensity. This also strengthens your ability to see your emotions as something separate from yourself. Pay attention to your physical body. How do these emotions manifest inside you? Somewhere in between this expectation and reality lies the mind’s power to heal itself. To access that power–that ability to use your brain to affect your body–you need a key that unlocks expectation. Many keys can tap into expectations and shape what we see around us every day. But the key that’s been used by doctors, shamans, healers, and hucksters throughout the centuries is the power of suggestion. These two complementary ideas–suggestion and expectation–are at the heart of unlocking your internal medicine cabinet. They are also at the heart of my search for answers to my own childhood miracles. The power of suggestion and expectation may be all around us–but tapping into it isn’t easy, and it’s not always clear when it happens. To do it, you have to completely shift your expectations to your advantage. In short, you need to make yourself suggestible. One way to do this is through storytelling. Do they cause you to feel tension or pain? Does this pain or discomfort move as the feelings increase and increase? Try and pinpoint exactly where you can feel the manifestation of the emotion.

And what does it feel like? Is a dull ache? A sharp pain? A tingling? Tell yourself it’s okay to be feeling these emotions. Accept them for what they are. Remember, accepting them does not mean you approve of them. Nothing engages us quite as well as a good yarn, which can be very useful for suggestion. For instance, did you know that humans are just collections of molecules, made up of atoms, which themselves are nothing but energy? There is good energy and bad energy, and sometimes bad energy infiltrates parts of your body and makes you feel ill. But all you have to do is purify that energy–flush it out with good energy–and your symptoms will evaporate. Is this true? Not remotely. Still, for many people it sounds true. And that story–that suggestion–is enough to engage their expectation for healing. Our uncanny ability to deceive ourselves holds startling implications for our health and well-being. Often what we call healings are tied to brain chemicals like opioids or dopamine. And it does not mean you are giving them permission to be here forever. Tell yourself that just because you are experiencing these emotions right now, it does not mean they are reality. Your emotions are a result of your thoughts.

And all thoughts can be changed. Engage in Mindfulness Practices Engaging in mindfulness practices can also be a great help in learning to manage the chaos of the emotional storm. Mindfulness is a form of meditation and that helps people manage their thoughts and feelings. It is used increasingly in the treatment of mental health disorders and is recommended by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) in the treatment of depression, among other illnesses. Thanks to the way it helps practitioners manage and become aware of their emotional states, mindfulness can also be extremely beneficial when it comes to treating borderline personality disorder. The mindfulness state can be reached through a number of methods. Some of these involve the placebo effect, which can coax remarkable reactions from areas of the brain involved with experiencing pain, nausea, Parkinson’s, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and other afflictions. It’s perhaps the purest form of the brain’s ability to alter reality, an undeniable neurochemical phenomenon. Another trick of the brain is placebo’s alter ego, the nocebo effect, whereby our brain is fooled into increasing our discomfort and perhaps even creating disease from thin air. A third category is hypnosis, an odd little switch in the brain that gets activated and opens up a back door into our expectations. And the phenomenon of false memories tricks us into believing things that simply aren’t so. In these articles I will explore the hidden power, history, and science of human suggestibility. Along the way, we’ll meet hypnotists, healers, magicians, and quacks. I’ll be poked, prodded, electrocuted, burned, and even cursed. By the end, I hope to have revealed to you the secrets behind one of humanity’s oldest stories–and the many ways they can affect your life. Modern science is beginning to demonstrate that faith healing, miracle pills, and much of alternative medicine have one thing in common: you. Here are a few mindfulness techniques to try if you are new to the practice: Standard mindfulness meditation: Focus on your breathing. Feel the breath move in and out of your body and become aware of its rhythm.

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