Our emotions make life interesting. They help us survive by navigating the pleasures and perils of the outside world, but they can also seem to get in the way from time to time. Each one plays a part in what makes you you, whether they seem to be working with you or against you.
Disney’s Inside Out depicts this relationship with our emotions quite literally, as if we each have little people in our heads. As a hypnotist I can say that in many cases this not all that far from the truth.
In the film, the main characters are Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear. Five of what are considered to be the seven core emotions. The other two are contempt and surprise, but I can understand why they chose not to include them.
When people seek help from a hypnotist like me, it is generally because at least one of these characters in their head is out of control, overruling the others or perhaps, on the flip side, just not speaking up enough and being drowned out by the others. Our heads should be a democracy rather than a dictatorship but our emotions tend to be very tunnel-visioned. You’ve probably noticed that once you are in an angry state, everything makes you angry. That is because Anger is in charge at that moment and the whole world is seen through Anger’s eyes as if the mind is trying to find continual justification for feeling this angry. The same can be said for the other emotions – when you’re afraid for example everything can intensify that experience. This is all normal every now and again and for short amounts of time, but if someone is experiencing this too much at times or all of the time then they may end of my doorstep.
If you experience your anger getting out of control is often due to the fact that you are imposing certain rules on the people around you or the world in general and then getting upset when no one is obeying them so everything becomes a battle which means anger is needed to fuel you in the fight. This can often be handled by convincing anger that these rules are just preferences rather than truths or to accept certain facts or lower certain expectations.
None of us would object to Joy getting out of control! Problems may crop though if Joy is not outspoken enough. Maybe it just needs prodding awake so that the others do not speak over it all the time. Or it may need assistance seeing through the observations of the others so the mind can focus on the good stuff as well as some of the challenges.
Fear can often scream warnings when there is no actual danger around causing all sorts of anxieties or phobias. In this instance I may just ask fear to whisper warnings or concerns so that the mind can concentrate on what is happening instead of putting all its energies into responding to worst case scenarios as if they are truths.
Sadness is natural when some sort of loss or change occurs in your life but if it remains the strongest emotion for too long the only way to calm it down is to assist the mind to accept the loss or change and the fact that things are now different.
Disgust is not an emotion that I see very often, but it definitely plays a part in some phobias although phobias masquerade mostly as fear.
One of the techniques that I use is to speak to the emotion itself or the part of the mind that feels that emotion. I do this by getting subconscious signals for YES and NO. I then have a conversation and help that part or emotion to think or feel differently about whatever is bothering it. Sometimes I get that part or emotion to speak to me using the client’s voice and talk about the client as if they are a third person.
So, this hypnotist’s takes his hat off to Disney’s Inside Out – they have got the inside of our brains quite accurately depicted on the silver screen so just be aware of that dialogue in your day to day life and if you find any one of them getting consistently mouthier than the others, you know where to find me.