The key to Emotional Health and Self Leadership is to be in a state of intentional connection with our own emotions (Inner Child). This is also known as mindfulness. We also need Emotional Health Skills.
Instead of shaming, avoiding, or blaming others for our emotions, we need to take 100% Response-ABILITY for our emotions. Responsibility gives us the ABILITY to RESPOND rather than react.
This intention to connect with Inner Child (especially when triggered) is, in of itself, the power to engage our Wise Mind (higher thinking) so Outer Child won’t run amok in maladaptive behaviors, addictions and reactivity.
'Wise Mind' can send messages to the amygdala (Inner Child). However, it's a dial-up connection compared to the information superhighway that links the amygdala (Inner Child) with the part of your brain that carries out impulses (Outer Child).
LACK OF SELF-LEADERSHIP
Feels overwhelmed and pressured with too much work or homework
Feels anxious at a social gathering
Feels heartache due to feeling ignored and devalued by partner
Feels angry and disrespected because friend is 20 minutes late
Feels nagging emptiness, loneliness, or boredom
Feels unworthy of promotion, fears asking boss even after years of proven success
Feels slightly jealous that her husband will leave for ‘prettier’ friend
Procrastinates, or gums up progress with indecision or perfectionism
Leaves or over-drinks to 'medicate' anxiety
Retreats (FLIGHT), reacts (FIGHT), or goes into placating overdrive (FAWN)
Scowls angrily at friend’s “excuse” and reacts by giving silent treatment
Eats 4 cupcakes & drinks 4 beers before passing out on the sofa
Seethes for years. Finally sends angry email to boss complaining about not being recognized
Yells and demands constant reassurance that he will never leave her
Current emotions are powered by our history of emotional experiences, stemming from birth.
Most we’ve forgotten, yet they remain within our subconscious memory.
The amygdala is always looking for a threat and it picks up subliminal triggers.
Thus, if we're disconnected from our emotions (Inner Child), we will likely react automatically (Outer Child) before our higher thinking (WISE MIND) has a chance to consider a mature, self-caring, ideal course of action.
When we detect a threat (real or perceived); a fearful thought from our inner dialogue; or a subconscious belief, our amygdala triggers an urgent warning to activate an immediate response (Fight-or-Flight).
The amygdala's job is to act first, think later. Within 100 milliseconds, Outer Child can react to a trigger. “I felt jealous so I yelled at my husband in the middle of a restaurant - I couldn’t stop myself.”
Without mindfully connecting to Inner Child, Outer Child may irrationally react. Triggers are unique to us all, yet we share common triggers, such as perceived rejection, failure, feeling powerless, etc.