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Monday, May 27, 2013

Negative Emotions? STOP!

Do you find yourself getting caught up in unpleasant emotions or feelings more than you'd like? Are you ready to move past them, or better yet through them in order to heal? OK then, STOP! I know what you're thinking, easier said than done. STOP is a favorite technique I learned in the teachings of Deepak Chopra. First, I'll explain how to STOP, and then I'll give you a little bit of a background on how it works.

S- Literally means stop, or in other words, take a moment to pause and
T- Take 3 deep breaths.
O- Observe what chemical reactions are going on in your body. Then,
P- Proceed in a positive direction.

It's important to stay in a place of non-judgement with yourself during this process. There can be no negative self-talk about the feelings you are experiencing. Accept them. You're human. When dealing with my depression and bouts of self harm, I learned that we are constantly creating our experiences. Our current emotions are not what we will attract in the future, they are an expression of what we are attracting right now. When we perceive negative emotion, it is a symptom of resistance in the flow of our life force and creating what we want. In other words, we are buying into thoughts that are not true to our core being.

How does this relate to us biologically?

The brain is comprised of tiny nerve cells called neurons. These neurons have itty-bitty branches that reach
Neural network
out and connect to other neurons to form a neural network. A thought or memory is held in each place where these neurons connect. Nerve cells that fire together wire together. If you practice something over and over, those nerve cells have a long-term relationship. If you get angry, suffer, or give into perceptions of victimization, you are rewiring and reintegrating that neural net on a daily basis. Ideas, thoughts, and feelings are all constructed and interconnected in this neural net, and all have possible relationships with one another. Any information we consume from our environment is colored by our collective experiences and level of awareness.

Nerve cells that do not fire together, no longer wire together. They lose their long-term relationship each time we interrupt the thought process that produces a chemical response in the body. When we start interrupting and “Observing” the effects it takes, we are no longer the emotional person that is responding to our environment in an automatic or irrational way. Those nerve cells that are connected start breaking their long-term association, and re-associating according to how we “Proceed”. So stay positive, and create new long-term associations that make you happy!

An example I can give is with the concept of love, which is stored within this vast neural network in the brain. We build the concept of love from many different ideas. By adulthood, most of us have had our glitches along the way and are operating in an emotionally detached place, as if today were yesterday. We are not operating as an integrated whole, and have transgressed to an earlier time when we are operating from an emotionally reactive place or in a state of disconnection. When I was at my lowest,
memories in neural network
I connected love to disappointment. When I thought about love, I practiced the memories of pain, sorrow, anger and even rage over my relationship that was falling apart. My rage was linked to hurt, which was linked to my ex, which then connected back to the emotion of love. Add to this the information I had stored from other adventures in life, and I had refined and built a reality based on how I saw the world outside of myself. The cycle kept repeating itself.


Why do we get stuck in these ceaseless cycles? Our bodies are protein producing machines. In the hypothalamus, we make small-chain proteins called peptides, and assemble them into neuropeptides or neurohormones that match emotional states that we experience on a daily basis. There are chemicals for anger, sadness, victimization, lust, joy, and love. There is a chemical that matches every emotional state, and when we experience an emotional state in our body, the hypothalamus will unhesitatingly assemble its peptide and then release it through the pituitary gland and into the bloodstream. The moment it makes it into the bloodstream, it makes its way to any number of different parts in the body.

Receptors on a cell
Along the outside of each cell are receptor sites that are receivers for incoming information. This alchemy causes biochemical events which can change the actual nucleus of the cell. Then cells reproduce based on this cellular memory. This begs us to ask,  “Are some emotions good or bad?” Emotions are designed to chemically strengthen the things we have put into our long-term memory. That is why we have them, they illuminate the brilliance of our existence. It is our addiction to our emotions that is the real problem. One of the most important things we need to remember when we are addicted to emotions that are destructive in nature is that it is not just psychological, it’s biochemical as well. 

Think about this: heroin uses the same receptor equipage on the cells that our emotional chemicals use. If we can be addicted to heroin, we most certainly be addicted to emotion.

So who is in the driver’s seat when we respond to our emotions? We are. We are not our thoughts that spark our theatrics. I can show you this in a very simple way. Think of an apple, now think of a triangle, and finally think of the happiest day you've ever had. You are no more that apple or triangle than you the negative things you believe about yourself or your life when you fall prey to turmoil. (As I type this, I look up at the TV and see children bobbing for apples. I love synchronicity!)

I believe the mind/body correlation is incredibly important. So the next time you find yourself in negative excitement, pause for a couple moments to take a couple deep breaths, and observe what is chemically happening in your body. For example, Are you feeling anger? Jealousy? Disappointment? Where is it located in your body? How are you experiencing it? Is it a ball in the pit of your stomach? What is it doing to your heart? After accepting that you are experiencing the emotion in a state of non-judgement, proceed positively! What's positive? It is anything constructive that will build you up. What did I do? When I thought of love and the feelings of depression would set in, I would stop and think of my Grama Betty singing You Are My Sunshine to me. That always brings a smile to my heart. I know that if I can do this, you can too. Go ahead and STOP already!

In Love <3  


  1. It's funny that i'm reading this while plotting my jerk neighbour's demise for constantly revving his boat engine.....

    1. Lyrics from Alanis Morissette popped in my head of course, "Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?" :)