You’ve all heard of GPS (global positioning system), that voice in your car leading you around. These days, most folks have a variety of navigation devices they can choose from.
In fact, so common is sat-nav that while we may depend on it, we also have the luxury of ignoring it. For example, when we take a little side trip but the device keeps saying, “Please proceed to the highlighted route.” Occasionally it’s, “Recalculating route.”
Well did you know we also have an Internal Guidance System? Everyone does. Instead of words or even thoughts, it uses emotions to guide us.
So first things first, if you are suffering then you can be assured your internal navigation is ON & functioning properly. Not that suffering is the only indicator but it’s one of the loudest, for sure!
I refer to it as the Internal Guidance System because it behaves just like the Central Nervous System. When you touch a hot stove, before you’ve even had a conscious thought about it, your hand has already reacted & pulled away fast! That’s because the sense of heat/pain was signaled directly to the spinal cord & bypassed the brain for quick action. No thought required.
So it is the same with emotional responses. They don’t have to make sense intellectually. In fact, they often don’t. That’s fine, they’re a completely different & highly attuned operating system.
Call it a “gut reaction,” or a “funny feeling.” It heightens your senses & puts you on alert. Again, not a bad thing. The more we trust those emotions, the more in-tune we are with ourselves. The problem is, ignoring our gut instinct has been glorified by so many people saying something’s a coincidence or thinking they’re just making it up in their head. But you can’t deny the gut. Repressing it only disconnects you from your true self or numbs the positive benefits it’s trying to signal to you.
Sometimes your emotions feel like you’re being punched, beaten, HIT. That’s not surprising since the *Sympathetic Nervous System ignites first response impulses traveling up to 250 mph along your synapse. Talk about a train wreck INSIDE YOU.
All that stress can lead to Osteoporosis, now dubbed a stress-related disorder, as well as Type 2 Diabetes, brain damage, hypertension, sleep deprivation, & even darker scenarios.
The good news is your conscious mind has the ABILITY to change automatic emotional reactions. That’s the beauty of neuroplasticity!
Some of my clients say, “Well, how can I turn it off??”
That’s a rational question when you’re taking the physical hit of your emotions over & over & over. Just remember that the only people in our society with NO STRESS RESPONSE are referred to by modern medicine as Psychopaths, unfeeling & incapable of guilt or remorse. Often born-in, but can also be trained-in.
So don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Your Internal Guidance System is necessary for knowing the difference between danger & safety, aching & soothing, harming & helping. Blessed mechanism that works so brilliantly.
Appreciate your Internal Guidance System & don’t be surprised if there’s not a lot you can do to talk yourself off the ledge in the throes of it. It’s in the moments between that we can learn ways to cope, manage, & handle our own stress & inner dialog. It’s definitely worth every effort.. but no beating yourself up along the way.
Your Internal Guidance System is functioning perfectly.
*Precedes reported emotions by 400-550 milliseconds before conscious awareness.