In a previous presentation we discussed action reaction characteristic of emotions and in another, how we store emotions. In this we discuss how we process stored emotions so that they can then be "released".
Definition of processing emotion
Processing involves some kind of formal or informal activity that we participate in to uncover stored emotional energy so that it can be released.
We discussed previously how some people, perhaps living in a situation of constant fear and distress, and with no respite, learn to repress and store their emotions. Many years later they may go to a therapist and start working through their pent up trauma. During therapy the person processes their emotions. Therapists have many tools at their disposal to use for this processing.
Often, however, people uncover past emotional experiences by informal means. They may go back to a geographical location which sparks memories and they may meet people they once knew and in that manner process through their historical grievances.
Processing emotion involves finding some activity that correctly stimulates past emotional energy in a safe and manageable manner. There are no simple rules for processing of emotions, since every person is different, and there is a large industry, in Western countries at least, to cater for the need, involving psychologists, occupational therapists, counsellors and others. What suits one person may not suit another.
Channelling can occur in conjunction with processing. It involves directing the energy released into something constructive, which leads to greater benefits than were available before the processing took place. For instance, consider the phrase, "Don't get mad, get even". The assumption from that motto is that you channel the anger you feel (Don't get mad) into greater achievement (get even) so that you can prevail. Often the best way that a tormented person can get back at their tormenter is to be a successful person and shine at something.
However, in the context of Emotional Fitness, channelling can mean something quite specific. Here, we join up with the discussions we have had about Body Grip and Facial Motility. We can use the emotional energy from stored emotion to channel into altering our fundamental body grip and facial structures. We can use this energy focused into Stretch and Hold exercises, to enhance our potential or natural talent and change our behaviour.
I go into this in more detail in other presentations on anger and sadness.
That the people who succeed in life tend to be the people who learn to channel their emotions successfully.
Benefits of this definition
Processing of emotion, through some talking therapy, perhaps with a counsellor is often a worthwhile process, however, equally often, as is reported in the industry, clients come back week after week and report the same emotions. In other words they don't go anywhere. They end up processing the same emotions over and over, week after week. Often change only occurs with passage of time when people get back to their lives. There have been studies where clients experiencing depression who received counselling therapy had the same outcome over time as a control group who had no such therapy. In other words, for depression at least, getting on with your life is all that is needed to fix the symptoms.
If we combine processing with some form of channelling, however, then it is possible that we might be able to accelerate some of the effects of the aforementioned 'getting on with your life' and reach a good outcome sooner and in a more deliberate manner.
Processing and channelling describe a process by which someone overcomes a traumatic emotional event and turns it into an opportunity to improve their functionality.
The main event
Channelling of emotion is not currently part of widespread therapeutic practice. If any such channelling occurs in relation to therapy, it usually occurs informally through getting on with life rather than formally through any applied technique. Current therapeutic methods tend to focus on what people think, or what people do with their minds and are traversed by having the client talk about their experiences.
Channelling can be applied formally by directing the energy derived from processing emotion into improving body grip and facial motility using Stretch and Hold exercises as described in the previous presentations on those topics. In later presentations we discuss channelling of specific emotions.
The main accepted way to formally process emotions in Western culture is psychotherapy, which usually involves speaking with a counsellor or a clinical psychologist.
There are a number of less formal methods as well, including meditation, self-reflection, talking with friends, going on a holiday, starting a new job, starting a new life. There is no end to the kinds of experiences that people have which may help them to process stored emotions and open up new doors for moving forward emotionally.
We introduce you here to the term Human Development Technology which refers to the process of altering your development potential by using Stretch and Hold exercises to improve body grip, facial motility and any other basic physiological configurations that might be relevant. Human Development Technology (HDT) attempts to make some of those changes which happen to your body when you 'get on with your life', and become more functional, so that it can be done quicker and more deliberately. In another presentation I will cover this definition in more detail. In the meantime it is sufficient to know that HDT embodies everything so far covered in this emotional fitness series.
For the past two decades I have been channelling emotional energy into my voice, to improve tone, resonance, and to be able to sing professionally, speak clearly and assert myself to those around me. Whereas before my voice before was weak and often off pitch, now it is not so.
Western society provides ample techniques for helping people to process their emotions, but very little for helping people to subsequently channel the energy released. The use of directing emotional energy into altering and improving body grip and facial motility
Challenge to audience
There are a number of ways by which people can process and channel their emotions. Currently our health system is focused on processing and there is an absence of channelling. Better outcomes could be achieved by understanding how emotional energy can be channelled into greater functionality and Human Development Potential may be part of that. It is possible that in the future we will be able to go to the doctor and get a prescription to do bodywork in association with psychotherapy as treatment for an emotional disorder.