Antidotes to Negative Emotions fixed

Antidotes to Negative Emotions fixed

Hey, it’s Jackson back with more practical tools that you can use to show up as your best for whoever or whatever is in front of you. In this video, we’re going to talk about antidotes. What does that mean? Well, say hypothetically, you know, I’m walking through the jungle on this kind of safari jungle tour. You know, I’m walking along right beside this kind of dark, murky river and I think I hear something move in the leaves. So, I stop and you know, I take one step forward and boom, just like that, a snake jumps out and bites me right on the arm. What’s going to happen?

And the pessimistic ones watching this, you say, “Well, Jackson, you’re gonna die.” So, I appreciate that vote of confidence, but where we’re going with this is we’re going to take it to the local clinic or the local hospital, and they’re going to give me what, an antidote, an anti-venom. So, it’s this idea that when you have this toxin or this chemical or something, right, a poison, you can take an antidote to kind of neutralize it or remove it or push it out. And I was listening to a talk by an academic researcher and a neuroscientist, excuse me, Matthieu Ricard, where he explained that negative emotions really kind of apply to this same principle. See, negative emotions in a lot of ways, you can think of them like a mental poison or a mental toxin. And this is a pretty big topic to cover, so I won’t go too far into it, but it is actually a physical toxin as well. It’s been shown that negative emotions and stressors actually impact mitochondrial function on the cellular level and lead to a host of physical issues – obesity, heart disease, autoimmune disease. I mean, that’s a big topic. So, let’s focus here on more the antidotes piece.

So, if you have these negative emotional states and experiences that are poisons, you can apply antidotes. And the two antidotes you can apply, I think of them as physical or mental. So, how does this work? Well, when we have a negative emotion, we’re not feeling great or we’re not feeling like we’re in a kind of peak performance, your body is going to change. Your physiology is going to change, right? How does an anxious person look? Well, maybe they’re kind of making themselves small, they’re maybe looking down, looking around, something like that, right? Or how does a really angry person look? Well, they’re really tense, right? Their chest is out.

So, applying a physical antidote is embodying or modeling physically the opposite of whatever that negative emotion is. So, if I’m feeling really angry, I can feel that tension in here and say, “Well, what’s the opposite of anger? Maybe like calm, relaxed peacefulness.” So, I’m going to model, okay, yeah, there you go, nice. Or maybe without, what is the opposite of feeling kind of anxious or overwhelmed? Maybe it’s feeling confident and certain. How does a confident and certain person move or look? Big, right? Bigger movements, right? Maybe they’re, it’s like when you just win the Olympic gold medal. You don’t stand up there kind of like, “All right.” You’re up there like, “Yes, I did it.” So, that’s physical antidotes, right? You’re just going to apply the opposite of whatever that emotion is.

And then mental antidotes work the same way. You know, you cannot at one time, you may have mixed feelings towards someone or something, but it’s really hard to do at the same exact moment in time feel kind of this intense joy and happiness and peace or whatever, but at the same time, feel like angry and upset. Not how it works usually. So, applying a mental antidote would be changing what you focus on or actively generating the opposite emotion, right? And there are many ways you can do that and I’ll give you a couple. And one is just thinking about if I were to say to you, ask you a question, “Yeah, when was the last time or when was the time where you felt like just really goofy and happy and joyful and just excited, right?” Just in me asking you that question, when you have to think of a time, you also have to process what it feels like to feel that way. So, maybe if it was even only 15%, you probably maybe feel a little bit different. Or if I was to say, “Well, you know, what are a few things you have to be really, really grateful for in your life right now? Maybe one thing, right in front of you today, the roof over your head, the clothes on your back, and maybe someone or something in your life?” You start to say, “Oh, maybe I do feel a little bit more.”

So, by changing what you focus on or even just generating what it feels like to feel a certain way, that’s another way to bring in that mental antidote. So, let’s summarize and then I’ll give you a little activity. What we’ve learned is that negative emotions or negative experiences operate a lot like poisons, right? They kind of take us in and they don’t feel very good, they don’t do a whole lot for us. But you can apply them antidote physically. You can embody or model the opposite of that emotion. And mentally, you can generate or focus on something that makes you feel the opposite of that emotion. So, an assignment for you to do is break into groups, and you’re going to spend first individually just two minutes thinking of a few kind of mental antidotes.

So, if you think about what do you commonly experience in terms of negative emotion, because we’re all different, some of us get really upset and angry, some of us don’t get so much that but maybe get anxious or nervous, some people get a little bit down and depressed, whatever, we’re all human, we all experience those different things. For each of those, what would a mental antidote be? And then I want you to think of a time where you felt that antidote. So, if you say, “Well, sometimes I get really angry and the opposite of that is feeling really relaxed and just easy,” when have you felt that before? And spend about a minute just journaling about that, all right? You can do that a few rounds for each of your antidotes, maybe you try to get two to three antidotes. So, we’re going to take about three minutes and for each of those, just journal about a time when you felt that way.

Then, as a group, you’re going to just share, “Hey, when did I feel that way? What was the story?” Everyone goes around. And then the second round of this is really a similar process. Think of what are a few physical antidotes that you would make use of the most in your case, and then write down a few bullet points of what would that look like. So again, if I tend toget kind of anxious and maybe overwhelmed feeling like I have all these different things to get done, the opposite of that would probably be feeling kind of confident and certain and relaxed, right? So how would that look physically, right? Maybe my breath would slow down a little bit, maybe my posture I’d be a little more upright, but a little more like loose as opposed to kind of tense in here. So, list a few of those and maybe even show them, right? How would that look when I’m sitting down on my email? All tense or reverse, I’m sitting down there just like, “Hey, I’m going to just go through this.”

So, there you have it. You are going to think of a few mental antidotes as kind of like tools you want to have in your toolkit. And then journal on a few experiences around those or things that you can focus on and think about in order to apply those antidotes. And then, same thing with physical. What are some physical antidotes you would like to have, and how would those look? How could you bring those into your life? So, there you have it. Mental and physical antidotes for negative emotions and I’ll see you in the next video.