I believe that in order to deal with today’s mental health issues, aggressive/depressive behaviour and a general lack of fulfilment we must ask why these issues are present and work at resolving the cause.
We are run by our emotions. They control our thoughts and they control our behaviour, and for many of us, this is all done subconsciously. This isn’t through any fault of our own, but we have reached a point in society where many of us have become apathetic or in a state of avoidance because we haven’t been taught how to express, process or even talk about our emotions in a healthy manner. Therefore we’re not able to connect with each other.
To deeply and emotionally connect with each other we need break through the apathy and avoidance. This means breaking through to our feeling and learning how to really feel them again. By doing this we naturally develop compassion, emotional resilience and authenticity, allowing us to connect better with ourselves and others.
To build emotional connections we need an integrated approach to our personal development. We need to process our suppressed emotions, with observational awareness in a physically and emotionally supportive environment.
The processing of suppressed emotions can be done using different therapies: Physical therapies, psychological therapies, creative/spiritual therapies or a combination of all of them to get the best results. There are lots to choose from, some will work for you, some won’t but the key is to find what does work and to work at processing them. However, if we process without building our awareness, then processing itself can be ineffective.
This is why it is imperative that processing must be approached while practicing consistent mindfulness – the art of focusing on awareness for at least 10 minutes daily. Mindfulness builds the observational tool which helps you become aware of your emotions which drives you internal mindset , thus all thoughts and behaviours.
For some people, who may have experienced deeply traumatic life events processing with mindfulness will still be very difficult. Naturally the ego will come up to protect the self from pain, causing the person to become more fearful of dealing with deep seated issues (such as child hood abandonment, abuse or threat to life). This is why the processing and observing must be supported by a physically and emotionally supportive environement.
Physically supportive environment – all 5 senses must be primed with comforting stimuli to encourage a feeling of safety. For example, with the use of colours (sight), aromas (smell), soothing noises (sound) etc.
Emotionally supportive environment – the person processing must have a supportive network of people who he/she can be emotionally expressive in the company of to avoid feeling shame, fear, guilt or other uncomfortable emotions which could stop them processing.