Nov 10, 2015

I Come to Your Emotional Rescue…


The Rolling Stones 1978 song, Emotional Rescue, is about a man wanting to help a woman who is emotionally confused. Have you ever felt like you needed to be rescued from your own emotions? I hear people discussing the topics of thoughts and emotions quite frequently and, just this morning, a person asked me, “Which comes first, thoughts or emotions?” The answer is, “It depends.”

First, let’s take a look at how we are even aware that we have emotions. Rebecca Saxe of MIT has done a tremendous amount of research on Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind includes thinking about other people’s thoughts, knowing that we have beliefs, and being aware of having our own thoughts. The small area where this function resides is just above your right ear and just behind it. This area is called the Temporo-Parietal juncture.

Theory of Mind is a major part of what neuroscience calls “consciousness”, being aware that we are aware. As you watch the video below, you’ll discover that our emotions are tied more and more to this area of our brain from the time we are about 5-years-old and on. Have you ever known someone to have emotions tied to what they think someone else is thinking? About their own thoughts that ruminate in their mind? About beliefs, religious, political, or otherwise?

Another area of the human mind that uses emotion is the link between the Anterior Cingulate Cortex and the Amygdala. This is the Risk/Reward area of the brain. It is involved in rational cognitive functions, such as reward anticipation, decision-making, empathy, impulse control, and emotion. It also appears to play a role in a wide variety of autonomic functions, such as regulating blood pressure and heart rate. Some motivational theories, like Vroom’s, is based on the individual feeling whether the emotional connection to a reward is sufficient to cause them to act.

The final part of relationships of emotion in the brain I’ll consider in this post is that between the Prefrontal Cortex and the Amygdala. Neuroscientist and Noble Laureate Eric Kandel explains that there is a one-way street connecting these two parts of the brain and it runs from the Amygdala to the Prefrontal Cortex. Why is this significant? Kandel says we humans can’t control our emotions through strategy because the Amygdala acts upon the Prefrontal Cortex and not the other way around.

Lastly, there is the recently discovered emotional connection between the mind and body. Dr. V.S. Ramachandran explains that neuroscience once taught that humans intellectualized other people before they felt or sensed them. With the advent of the fMRI it is now known that we feel or sense another person before we intellectualize them. By the way, we do this in a fraction of second, almost instantly. Addistionally, NeuroPhysicist Jill Bolte Taylor’s experience in her book A Stroke of Insight explains that emotions only last in the body for up to 90 seconds and can only be kept alive after that by creating a mind-loop, a neuropathway, for them to exist within.

With this, and so much more, going on is there really an Emotional Rescue, a way to manage all of the beliefs, thoughts, and emotions we carry with us? I believe the answer is a resounding “Yes!” This isn’t theory. Its is through practical experience I’ve gained working with my clients. Here’s how my Emotional Rescue works:

1) A person must know who they are in the Core Identity to establish a baseline, an anchor, for who they are and their core values. I have a process to help people discover this. I want to state that what I do in not a psychological assessment or evaluation. My belief is that those are designed to tell a person who they have become because of the experiences in life, not who they really are. For example, I have several clients who have told me they have been labeled “Introverts” by behavioral assessments. They have been living their lives acting as introverts. When I have helped them through my process, they are no longer introverts.

2) Our unconscious mind is at least 1,000,000 times more powerful than our conscious mind. The items I described above are active at the unconscious level. It is logical, then, that they can only be affected at the unconscious level, right? Otherwise, it is a “David versus Goliath” scenario with no Higher Power intervening. This is where I use clinical hypnosis to access this much more powerful part of the human mind. The process I use is an amalgamation of a few hypnosis processes that I’ve learned from some of the world’s leading hypnotists. I doubt you will find it anywhere else. With my process, I’m able to create a two-way street between the Prefrontal Cortex and the Amygdala. Sorry Mr. Kandel, but I disagree with your statement that the emotion always controls the strategy.

3) The final part is my 90-Second Mind Manager process. This utilizes the previous two components to create the ability manage the emotions by:
A person knowing who they are and being grounded in their decisions and emotions on that
Using a methodology which keeps emotions from aggregating and amplifying
Having the ability to see the world through an unemotional lens to create separation from emotion
Have the ability to choose to act in ways that promote positive outcomes

Is it possible to take control of your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions? To have an Emotional Rescue? My experience tells me “absolutely!”

Dr. Edward Lewellen is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager