Most families have experienced this: You are getting ready to sit down to eat dinner when the sniping and mean words begin. Maybe it’s a kid refusing to come to the table, complaining about the food, or picking a fight with a sibling. You know you should remain calm. But before you know it, you find yourself sucked into an argument, venting your own anger in words you soon regret.
Do you ever wonder why emotional outbursts can sweep through a family like wildfire? Or why one family member often seems adept at pushing your emotional buttons?
Usually when fights and arguments erupt, there’s a lot more going on than the words or behaviors that seemed to trigger the disagreement. More often than not, what’s lurking beneath the surface is unresolved negative emotions from previous traumatic or hurtful experiences – what I call trapped emotions.
People frequently sense that they are somehow burdened by their past emotions, but they don’t seem to know how to get over them. Trapped emotions can damage family relationships and lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of physical, emotional, and psychological problems.
Something that commonly occurs in difficult relationships is feeling triggered: you become overly upset, emotional, or defensive in certain situations. When this happens, usually there are underlying feelings from the past that are contributing to the emotions you are choosing.
It might sound strange to think that you are choosing to feel anger, disappointment, frustration, or sadness. After all, feeling triggered can seem like we are being swept up in emotions that are beyond our control. However that’s not actually the case.
In any situation, we really do choose the emotions we feel. Yet our emotional baggage from past traumas (and perhaps inherited from earlier generations) will cause us to be more likely to choose to feel those negative emotions.
There are steps you can take that will help you better handle daily stress and disagreements and be more accepting and forgiving within your family. Here are a few important ones:
- Discover What’s Behind Your Triggers. When you find yourself feeling upset, overly emotional, or defensive by something a family member says or does, you are most likely feeling the effect of old trapped emotions as well as the ones that come up in the moment. You can learn to get rid of this emotional baggage by getting a free copy of “The Emotion Code” ebook and audiobook at www.EmotionCodeGift.com.
- Is Your Spouse, Kid, or Parent an “Energy Vampire”? If you have a family member who leaves you feeling drained and upset, the best way to protect yourself is to create boundaries. You can decide what you will and will not tolerate in advance. You can respond by saying something like: “This doesn’t work for me.” Whatever boundaries you create, you need to stick with it and respect yourself, even if the other person doesn’t.
- Feel Beat Up or Drained? Disengage. It takes two people to have an argument. Be prepared for when you need to eject yourself from a negative or harmful situation. You can always just turn around and leave. One of the things you can say in this situation is “I love you, but I need to honor myself by leaving.”
- Make Strategies for Better Family Interactions. Consider your past interactions with difficult people and how they normally act. Do they have frequent outbursts? Do they complain a lot? Are they unpredictable? Then come up with a plan. Decide in advance how you are going to act and react to that person.
- Practice to Increase Acceptance and Love. Look for the good in people. If you are counting and looking for those positive things, you are more likely to find them. And you are less likely to blow up and blow out of proportion the negative things about the person who rubs you the wrong way.
Finding and releasing trapped emotions can help you overcome obstacles from your past and bring new life to your marriage, family, and other personal relationships. One of the greatest benefits you may find is how it opens doors for lasting forgiveness.
We all make mistakes. Everyone in your family has made mistakes and you are not exempt from that. The bottom line here is that if you don’t eventually forgive that person for what they have done, you are going to live a diminished life. And you are not going to really have peace in your life unless you forgive.
That can be a hard thing, especially if someone has really hurt you. If you are having trouble letting go of anger or hurt or bitterness, you can ask your subconscious mind something like this:
“What can I release in order to forgive my (spouse, child, father, mother, sibling, etc.) and move on?”
I have seen many cases where people could not forgive until they took steps to release the emotional baggage they were carrying around about the person or event that hurt them. Once they released those trapped emotions, they were able to forgive that family member. When that happens, it opens up new possibilities for better relationships going forward. It’s a very powerful thing.
About Dr. Nelson: A holistic Chiropractic Physician and Medical Intuitive, Dr. Bradley Nelson is one of the world’s foremost experts in the emerging fields of Bioenergetic Medicine and Energy Psychology. He has certified thousands of practitioners worldwide in helping people overcome unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other negative emotions and their associated physical symptoms. His bestselling book, "The Emotion Code," provides step-by-step instructions for working with the body's healing power. Download a free copy of the ebook and the audiobook by visiting www.EmotionCodeGift.com.
Author and international lecturer in bio-energetic medicine and energy psychology, Dr. Brad has successfully used The Emotion Code with thousands of patients around the globe to relieve symptoms and often effect cures in conditions ranging from depression to cancer. His best-selling book, The [...]