Follow Your Heart: Emotions as Your Guidance System

Compass on white background with selective focus. In my life and in my practice, I have observed that many people are afraid of their emotions, especially feelings that make them uncomfortable or upset. Often, this fear can push people away from the benefits that emotions provide. They can be desperate not to feel what they are feeling.

Through hard work and study, I have learned how to effectively deal with my own emotions, especially anger. I understand emotions to be an opportunity for change, positive growth, and lasting well-being. In this regard, I have relied on the Emotional Guidance System (EGS). I have also introduced others to this method. I have personally witnessed how empowering EGS is in helping people achieve peace in their lives.

In my journey, I realized the feelings and sensations in my body are actually a guidance mechanism, sent forth from a deeper, wiser part of myself. This knowledge helped me to welcome all my emotions, recognizing they were there to help (not hurt) me. By actively listening to the messages (emotions) being sent to me by my body, I had the opportunity to tap into a powerful guiding force, one that is always there to direct me. As I put this into daily practice, I was able to remove internal blocks holding me back from actualizing my core self, what I also call the “aspired self.”

I believe everyone can benefit in a similar way. Our emotional system is protective and based on past experiences. Once we understand this fact, we can relate to the events in the present moment with less judgment and more constructive focus.

Your EGS is similar to a compass that helps you navigate and reach your desired destination.The EGS is a security system that is running in the background, always listening and communicating its message by sending physical signals. The sensations in your body let you know whether your thoughts are constructive and aligned with your purpose and aspired self. This information pushes you to respond to the world around you. It steers you to avoid reactions based on false narratives, negative habits, and unhelpful beliefs while directing you toward health and mindful living.

In other words, the purpose of the EGS is to reprogram the thoughts and limiting beliefs in your mind. It is designed to change your attitude and flip the coin. Rather than focusing on the past, it makes you focus on the present. Rather than focusing on fear and anger, it focuses you on your needs, wants, and aspired self.

It is essential to know that stressful bodily responses are an integral part of uncomfortable emotions. It is also important to understand that stress comes from your mind—when your thoughts are negative and not in alignment with your aspired self. Your body combats this stress by activating hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine) that help you regain emotional balance and recalibrate your thoughts. Once you align your thoughts with your aspired self, your body moves from contraction to expansion. The emotional energy flows (rather than being stuck), and your stress diminishes. The opening of the body creates mental clarity that further supports the ability to access your inner wisdom.

In essence, the EGS is an alarm system, warning you that it is time to look closer at what you are thinking and doing. It alerts you when you are disconnected from your core self. The EGS reconnects you with your values and deep needs. It reminds you of your core self and recalibrates your path toward achieving positive goals. Understanding the benefit of the EGS, its purpose as well as its over-sensitivity, allows you to use its function in a constructive way rather than denying or ignoring it.

The EGS can bring with it a new awareness of your mind and body. Like physical exercise that requires repetition, commitment, and patience, you need to meet yourself where you are and gradually practice the EGS to get better results. When used constructively, your emotional system serves as a powerful tool to reprogram your mind away from false and limiting beliefs. Your EGS is similar to a compass that helps you navigate and reach your desired destination. It shows you what is important in your life and directs you toward your purpose.

A trained therapist can help you understand what your emotions are telling you. You can find a therapist here.

© Copyright 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Moshe Ratson, MBA, MS, LMFT, therapist in New York City, New York

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Ty

    Ty

    August 18th, 2018 at 2:04 PM

    There is a lot of wisdom buried in this post. Wisdom I learned from six decades of recovery.
    The “you” in you is really three things. Mind, emotions and body. Religions and philosophies over the millenia have simply given different names to this fundamental truth.
    While each of these three can affect the other, only your body is right here and right now to tell you how it is with you. It’s a trustworthy messenger. It can’t lie. Rather than welcome this messenger we are taught to fight it as if it were a threat or ignore it as if it were not important. Both are terrible ways to treat a true friend. It may feel painful but it won’t kill you. No more than the way a needed vaccination may be painful for the moment.
    I’ve come to see good therapists not so much as sherpas to guide you to the truth as demolition experts who remove to debris to free you to discover your own truth.

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