We’ve all felt it.
Some negative emotion that is so intense…
That we feel like we need to get away from it…and quick.
So we rush to our escape hatch…
And pull the lever…
And feel relief.
Your escape hatch might be food, alcohol, Netflix, Instagram, sleep, procrastination, sex…
No matter what it is, it helps provide a buffer against that emotion.
This is a deeply ingrained, protective response by the most primitive part of our brain.
Any time it senses danger, real (in the case of you being stalked by a mountain lion), or imagined (in the case of you feeling humiliated)…
It goes into protective mode-signaling you to do whatever will get you out of that danger.
In the case of the mountain lion…that signal would be to run.
In the case of the humiliation…that signal might be to take a bag of Kit-Kat’s to bed and eat them all in the dark under the covers.
We think this has helped us to escape the danger.
But what it has done instead is just masked the emotion, and helped further solidify the neural pathway that tells us that when we feel
humiliated and we hide and eat Kit-Kat’s, we feel better…
For a minute.
This is the way most of us survive.
But this is not the way we evolve.
In order to grow and progress, we need to be able to learn how to allow and process negative emotion.
Some of those things that seem to be our greatest threats, can, in reality, be our greatest teachers.
But we have to be willing to stay.
To not use the escape hatch.
It’s how you become the next version of you.
And it all begins with a thought!