"I'm on an emotional journey"
Dr. Susan LaCombe
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Transcript of 'Emotionally Strong' Video - Follow Along
Around ten years ago, something pretty taumatic happened to me, and it changed how I see the world and myself in it. Back then, I was pretty checked out, and there's probably no way that I can really describe it in a sound bite, but basically, I just didn't function properly.
I knew something was wrong, and maybe you can relate to this. I was constantly struggling. I was feeling unsettled, unhappy, misdirected in my life, and I was always looking outside of myself for the answers.
I felt like inside me, I was smarter than how I was actually living my life. I didn't feel I didn't look very wise.
So I would do things, as I say to, look outside of myself.
So I got my own business. I got my own practice, and I got a full time practice, and that was very successful. Did it help? No.
I got my own home to feel settled. Did it help?
The next thing I needed was I needed to renovate. Does that help? No.
You see, when you're always looking outside yourself, when something isn't right on the inside, it doesn't matter what happens on the outside.
First I need to work on the inside. Because if you go down that rabbit hole too deep, you'll find that you're in the wrong rabbit hole, which is what I did.
You'll go off in a direction you'll spend money, time and effort going off in a direction that isn't you.
If you start off feeling better on the inside, then your life . . . you can stay on your path. You're more directed. You feel better about you.
But there's more than that. Let me tell you.
So what changed? Well, I came across an idea, and it's simply this. Something was making my emotions harder to deal with than it needed to be. And if you've got anxiety or you're easily excitable, maybe you don't like to pause, or maybe you feel like you need to be alone a lot, then I think this is going to be helpful.
You see, there's two widespread misconceptions about working with your emotions. And the first one is that people think they can talk themselves into changing their emotions.
But the bigger problem is that there's an area of the brain that's being completely ignored, and that's the lizard brain.
And this is leading to people feeling overwhelmed by their emotions, like they're not able to stay with their emotions enough to get to the bottom and get past them. They're not getting their issues resolved.
And in therapy, working with the lizard brain isn't even happening for the most part. And that means a lot of people are dropping out because they're not feeling any better and they're not getting the help that they deserve or worse, they're staying in therapy.
Maybe therapy is getting prolonged and they're not getting the changes they need.
Let me give you an example.
Let's say you're a people, pleaser. Like you have a hard time saying no to people. So on any given day, you usually have it in check. You usually say yes when you really would rather say no.
So one day a friend comes along and she asks you for a small flavor and you lose it. And you say things that you wished you hadn't.
So what's going on here? What's happening? Well, you've been triggered.
And each time that you say yes, when you really want to say no, it's been backing up. And so it backs up.
The charge is too high and the lizard brain cannot contain it and you explode. The problem is, every time you go to say no, you're triggered, the discomfort in your body shows up, and so you end up saying yes.
Let me explain by showing you what's happening in the brain.
There's three main layers in the brain.
The outermost area is the thinking brain. And next we have the emotional brain. And deep within the brain is the lizard brain.
Now, the thinking brain, otherwise known as the cortex, is the part of the brain that analyzes and solves problems.
So let's say you feel anxious as you get closer to your birthday.
Well, you sit back and you realize every birthday party you've ever had was a disaster. Does it help to know that's why you're anxious? Yes.
Do you still feel anxious? Yes.
You see, the thinking brain is limited in terms of changing emotions. You can't just figure something out and feel better. You can't think your way out of your emotions.
The next is the emotional brain.
Now, the lousy feelings you have on your birthday . . yeah, they're coming from the emotional brain. I liken it to the emotional brain to a bucket.
Next is the lizard brain.
This is the part of the brain that's in charge of your heart rate, your breath, feeling hungry or sleepy. Most importantly, for us, it's why you feel that pressure build up inside.
When I say I blew my top or I can't sit still, that's the lizard brain working overtime. It's the reason for the uncomfortable sensations in your body when you get triggered.
It's why your shoulders are up to your ears. There's a knot in your tummy or your chest is heavy.
So when the lizard brain is working overtime and it gets triggered, it charges up your emotions. So let's say it's your birthday and your friends take you out and try and cheer you up, which sounds like a great idea. Right?
Well, the problem is your lizard brain is working overtime and it's firing up your emotions. It's making them more intense and less manageable.
You can't escape the apprehension inside from birthdays past, the good feelings going out with friends just aren't enough to overcome the lousy feelings inside.
And you end up having a rotten time.
So the lizard brain an emotional brain. Well, ultimately, the emotional brain takes its orders from the lizard brain.
Now, just as a side note, the problem in working with them is that they don't understand language. That's why you can't tell yourself. "Settle down, Susan".
And you can't say to yourself, "Don't love him. Love that nice man over there." Right.
So just so you know, they do have a language of their own, and I'll tell you more about that in another movie. So when you learn to rein in your lizard brain, you're going to have a lot more control over your emotions.
So by reining in the lizard brain, your emotions are going to be easier to handle. You're going to have more time between when you get triggered.
Like if somebody says something or does something that you don't like, you're going to be able to have time before you respond, you're going to be able to think of something. Not to mention when you quiet the lizard brain, your emotions aren't so overwhelming. That way you can kind of feel your way to the bottom.
And then it won't be so difficult from there to figure out what you need in order to resolve them.
And another thing is that you may find that there are some issues that will just fall away because they were actually attached to the lizard brain being amped up.
So the bottom line here . . . the main message that that I'm trying to convey to you is that if you want to work through your emotional issues, you have to include working with the lizard brain.
Okay, so if you'd like to learn more, click through to the next video where you'll learn what crisis and freeze mode looks like.
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