You have heard the term, ‘listen to your body’, right? It means holding awareness to the signals and the feelings that your unconscious mind is giving you. This implies that your unconscious mind wants you to know something, and if you don’t listen, it only means that your unconscious mind needs to speak more loudly, until you do. In some cases, it may be yelling at you, such as with severe anxiety or phobias. You might view these responses as a kind of emotional rebellion.
Emotional Rebellion – Who’s in Charge?
“Listen to me or I’ll…” yes, you get it. The unconscious mind is clearly taking the reigns through emotional rebellion. But in fact it is trying to help you, and considers you bloody minded or simply ignorant for not paying attention. It is, in fact, determined to help you, whether you like it or not. It is emotional rebellion in its most altruistic sense.That anxiety? It is protecting you of course. That psychosomatic pain? It is slowing you down so that you can take more of life in. In order to regain control, you need to listen, understand the motive and find a healthier way of feeling protected or slowing down, for example.
Only then when your needs are met, can your unconscious mind let go of those reigns and you, the you that you think you are, can resume control. But it is always going to be a negotiation to some extent. There are two parts of you, at the most basic level, and they need to communicate so that you can experience a more congruent life.
Abbi’s Control Issues
Why might someone need to be the one in control, say in a relationship? There are many reasons, but Abbi’s reason was centred on her childhood, where she felt completely powerless. She was taken from her family home and dumped into care, in the middle of the night, with no welcome, no familiarity and no understanding of where she was going, or why. She was separated from her brothers – they were sent elsewhere. As a small child, she began the tiring road of insomnia, which would last many decades. This insomnia was one of several signs of emotional rebellion for Abbi.
In her 60’s, Abbi was still struggling and came in to see me. We narrowed her problem down to feeling a complete lack of control. Aside from the insomnia, she was also experiencing panic attacks every time she took the passenger seat of a car. She needed to be in control. She needed to be the one driving. Her unconscious mind was screaming rebellion. “Most of my life”, she said, “someone else has made all of the important decisions for me, and I cannot take it anymore”.
Her passenger seat anxiety was not only a sign of needing to be in control, it was also contextually specific, harking back to her physical removal from the family home, after dark, to an anonymous, alien environment. No wonder she felt such fear as she took the passenger seat.
Appeasing the Rebellious Unconscious
We did four sessions to assist Abbi from a frightened insomniac who could not sit comfortably in a car, unless she was driving, to someone who slept through, and learnt to enjoy the scenery. We did a fair bit of work around childhood trauma, as well as mind training exercises to assist Abbi to be able to create a better future. Each week there was progress, with her sleep improving immediately. The control issues took a bit more effort, and I gave Abbi a pattern breaker exercise to do to help the process along.
If you need to understand, resolve and appease your emotional rebellious, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.