The Emotional Cycle
The emotional cycle governs every human being every single day, even during your sleep when your are dreaming. Every action and reaction you take is based on an emotional decision yet it is the one topic not taught in schools.
Emotions are just something we have, and something we have to put up with according to many people. That's certainly how it feels in some schools and work cultures, although there are many that are taking a more proactive approach today, to ensure a more positive environment for everyone.
As a child, you learn and inherit emotional mindsets from your parents, family, friends and surrounding culture. As a teenager, moving into adulthood can be emotionally overwhelming where you are expected to take control of your own emotions without the wisdom and experiences that life brings. I have written a separate blog post about why they struggle with teenage depression. As an adult we are expected to be in control of our emotions and yet there are many occasions for too many people where emotions are still very difficult to feel in control of.
Learning to overcome all this emotional overwhelm can be overwhelming in it's self, when depending on the cause, you turn to friends, family, colleagues or managers, doctors and professionals, and still find yourself stressed, anxious, burnt out, tearful, grieving, and still seeking answers as to why you are feeling emotionally out of sync. This ultimately leads to depression.
My son struggled severely with depression and on many occasions - suicidal depression too. We had been through that journey of searching for answers. We found some along the way but still hadn't lifted his depression twelve years down the line. Then I found the secret.
Emotional Awareness was the secret to my son overcoming depression and it has worked on myself too. The first thing to realise is that being aware of emotions doesn't stop you having them. Being emotional is being human. What emotional awareness does do it help you identify the state of your current emotional cycle, find the changes that happened, and the root cause of that emotional change.
The emotional cycle is what I learned to see and teach my son, using the diagram above. Representing the four core emotions - Happy, Sad, Angry, and Depressed - then teaching him about why his emotions changed. We talked often about what had changed in his life and what he could do to make changes. That's where my book Brain Unchained was born.
It was through the need to help my own son, that I realised there is a universal pattern to emotions that happens regardless of age, race, religion, or your mental health status. I realised that even people with mental health issues, still have the same emotional cycle.
I realised this due to my son's Asperger's Syndrome, realising that I had found a way to teach him about the emotional cycle. This helped his emotional wellbeing and he recovered from depression, while his Asperger's is a lifelong social and mental health challenge, regardless of his emotional state. Yes the two do have an effect on each other, but realising that to cure his depression, he didn't have to cure his Asperger's, gave him emotional freedom at last.
That's why the power of learning about the emotional cycle as pictured above, is a powerful way of raising emotional awareness.