Have you ever reached the top of a rollercoaster and said to yourself, “I want to get off”? Many of us are living a life of quiet desperation; we come across the tough times, the painful times and the challenges in life and often feel like we want to get off the ride. Yet it is the choices and decisions that we make which signs us up for the experience of life.
No matter how we resist and want to go back, in reality there is only moving forward. The good news is that your experience of moving forward depends on only one choice - whether you are in an emotionally empowered state or not. An empowered emotional state is foreign to you when you live your life from fear-based programming. However, living your life from reward-based programming makes it feel foreign to you when you are not being in an empowered emotional state.
Our Natural State of Being
An empowered emotional state is our natural state of being, it is from here that we need to live our lives. The power of our ability to communicate empathetically is directly proportional to the level of the empowered emotional state we are in.
Empathy has generally been defined by emotional researchers as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, together with the ability to imagine what others might be thinking or feeling. Getting perspective on something refers to cognitive empathy which is our ability to identify and understand the emotions of other people.
Therefore, the word empathetic could be defined as showing an ability to understand and share our own feelings with others.
Simply put, the best way to have good relationships with others is to have a great relationship with ourselves.
Communication is our ability to feel connected with others when engaging with life. We do this primarily through what has been referred to as the Social Engagement System (SES - from Polyvagal Theory / Dr Stephen Porges).
The SES is a complex neurological and two way interaction system being both receptive and expressive. It is defined by the nerves and structures which regulate our facial expression, listening, speaking and ingestion. Although the SES is based mainly in the eyes, ears, larynx, and mouth, it incorporates the entire face and the torso above the diaphragm.
Being Socially Engaged
Our social engagement system (SES) is integrated with the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which calms our heart and regulates our protective defenses. The SES is involved when we express cues of safety, cues of danger, or to imitate death and appear to be inanimate when we’re unable to fight or run.
Therefore when engaging with others the SES enables us to project our psychological state, which could be interpreted as being welcoming, unwelcoming or disinterested.
It has been said that our communication can be roughly broken down to 55% physiology, 38% tonality and 7% words. This of course may vary in context with our activities, yet indicates the importance of non-verbal cues in our communication.
What is really interesting about our methods of communication comes from the reasoning behind it. We communicate either to help protect ourselves from perceived dangers and threats, or to befriend and communicate with others so we can create safe and productive environments.
Safe environments allow us to enjoy the company of others; developing friendships and relationships, procreating and raising our families. It is through working with others we are also able to create and develop new ideas, inventions, contraptions and technologies to improve our life experience.
Our behaviours reflect either of our two main subconscious programs and drivers:
A Radical Revolution
It makes sense to realize that our psychological states, feelings and behaviours are reflective of how we are subconsciously programmed. When we see the world from the filter of fear as compared to reward, our life experience will be vastly different.
The greatest point of difference however, will be from the utilization or non-utilization of our innate ability to communicate to those around us and whether we push people away or attract them into our lives.
By attracting the right people into our lives, comes the opportunities to succeed in our creative endeavours, and also achieve the fulfillment that comes from sharing those accomplishments with others.
The development of empathetic communication helps us discover ourselves through self-reflection and introspection so we are able to become more interested and engaged in the lives of others.
Living our lives through the power of empathy is a new and radical revolution in human relationships; not based on new laws, institutions or policies, but on our ability to connect with others and work together from an empowered emotional state.
Emotional Intelligence in Action
Empathetic communication is emotional intelligence in action; through utilizing our social engagement system. Empathetic communication is the ability to understand, use, and manage our own emotions in positive ways; to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Prolonged exposure to stress and fear, especially early in life tends to atrophy or impair the development and utilization of our social engagement system (SES). Our SES is not able to be used effectively when we are over-reactive and stressed from being emotionally triggered.
The social engagement system when in protective/defensive mode (ie. emotionally triggered):
If we’re not feeling safe, we may see neutral facial expressions as being angry and assume the worst because that’s what our nervous system tells us to do.
Being the Person You Don’t Want to Be
When faced with a perceived threat, you can feel your heartbeat quicken, you may start breathing faster, and your entire body becomes tense and ready to take action. Actions taken from an emotionally triggered state are usually destructive in both your external and internal environments.
When we are emotionally triggered we tend to react in 3 ways:
Violence of any kind used to abuse and exploit others tends to happen when people lose their sense of power and feel the need to defend themselves or subjugate another person.
However, with the possible exception of the psychopathic/sociopathic personality, perhaps the most ruthless, devious, underhanded, and subtle method of aggressive behaviour is through covert means.
Perpetrators of covert aggression have a full arsenal of interpersonal behaviours and tactics enabling them to effectively manipulate and control whoever they are in relationships with. Those on the receiving end may also fail to realize how they have been taken advantage of until long after the damage has been done.
The need for defensiveness and aggression highlights our inability to employ the social engagement system when a social challenge arises. Empathetic communication depends on the social engagement system.
Engaging In Life Full On
When we stop criticising ourselves and others; and start accepting who we are, life opens up… We can either limit our freedom and our happiness or be full of potent radiant energy, vitality and joy; elevating our lives and the people around us… the choice is ours.
Engaging in life full on is to have optimal health in all areas of our lives, the awareness of the available energy at our disposal and the ability to utilize it in the most efficient and effective way possible.
The social engagement system when in open/receptive mode (ie. empowered emotional state):
When we are in an emotionally empowered state we have the potential to act in 3 ways:
Living our life from an emotionally empowered state has incredible benefits. We have far less stress hormones coursing through our veins, therefore enjoying higher immunity with less illness. We have more energy, look and feel younger and attract high energy emotions like gratitude, joy and appreciation.
Looking at the world from an optimistic rather than pessimistic viewpoint, our brains are more aware, creative and focused on what we want and how we want to feel. We are more resilient and tolerant and realise that simply by showing a person kindness, acceptance and appreciation we will reveal their true nature.
You Can Scream or Enjoy the Ride
Your ability to let go and enjoy the ride does not come from being a master in psychology or emotional intelligence but by simply doing one thing to turn your subconscious programming right-way up. Living the Mind Renaissance lifestyle reminds you that being in an emotionally empowered state is your natural state of being.
Your thinking is what tends to sabotage your happiness, by placing meanings on life events and situations that lead you away from what you truly want and how you truly want to feel.
It’s time to take charge of your emotions, awaken your creative intelligence and become the scriptwriter of your new life story. When you are aligned with your core nature, it becomes your onboard GPS to find the path that leads to fulfilling your innate potential.
With incredible breakthroughs in technology, we are now able to see deeper into the workings of the human brain, yet happiness still seems to evade us.
Being in charge of your feelings will change the way you look at and engage with the world around you. An emotionally empowered state is your natural state of being and transforms the way you interact, socialise and enjoy your time spent with others. It is from here that our empathetic communication becomes optimised, our brain is no longer foggy and our vision of our future becomes clear.
It is through empathetic communication that our relationships are enhanced and therefore create new opportunities to achieve our dreams.
Our next article will explain more about why our creative intelligence is key to experiencing what we truly want and how we truly want to feel.
In association with the MATES Cafe community project, Mind Renaissance™ helps to align your mind and emotions to empower your relationships and your life. Learn more about it here.
Please share this post, share your comments and remember that we are stronger together.
Jacqui Olliver & Kerry Babbage