Regression: time travel to days of infinite satisfaction. But living as an adult with the emotions of a child can cause mood and anxiety problems. If you’re there, is it time to grow yourself back up?
When we clear our bodies of stored emotions, our thinking clears up as well.
We began this two-part series on regression a handful of days ago with Regression: Its impact on mood and anxiety.
In that piece, we learned that psych legends, such as Sigmund Freud, believed regression is a short or long-term reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of development.
So in the face of an intolerable immediate reality, one escapes to a time when satisfaction and gratification were never-ending. Yep, that can cause all sorts of mood and anxiety aggravation.
Now, I want to make sure you understand we’re talking about managing emotional regression. You may come across hypnotic, age, or past-life regression and therapy. This ain’t it.
Growing yourself back up
In a personal search for some regression help a number of years ago, I found an extremely helpful book: Growing Yourself Back Up: Understanding Emotional Regression, written by teacher, trainer, consultant, and life coach John Lee.
We’re going to turn to the book to manage regression. However, Lee offers tremendous insight into what regression looks like.
Let’s take a quick peek at his Red Flags of Regression…
Raging and hysterics, distorted or unreal time, physical symptoms, talking and talking without saying anything, not talking enough, feeling that you don’t have a choice, thinking you know best, minding other people’s business, asking childish questions.
He goes on to discuss Understanding Trance Regression and Conscious Regression. And he provides great information on physical, psychological, and other causes.
But we’re here to learn how to get ourselves out of a regressed state. Let’s see what Lee has to say about that.
The five cornerstones of growing ourselves back up
After setting the table, Lee rolls up his sleeves and begins the process of helping the reader “grow back up.” Here’s his lead-in…
We are all capable of growing ourselves back up when we need to do so. The following five things will help you to stop emotionally regressing, or at least help to bring you back to your adult state sooner: attention, empathy, time, touch, and release. They can be applied alone or, better yet, in combination.
Let’s take a look at highlights of Lee’s take on each, keeping in mind it’s equally important to give, as well as receive…
- Attention: We need to give ourselves and others a special kind of attention that comes from gentle eyes, a soothing touch, or a simple nod of the head. It isn’t about fixing anger or drying tears. It’s about patience, and letting the sufferer know they’re being heard.
- Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand what someone’s going through because we’ve gone through similar experiences. Heinz Kohut, the developer of self psychology, believed empathy is the great healer. According to Kohut, when another sensitive human being seeks to understand us, and offer empathy, it’s “the most important emotional experience for human psychological survival and growth.”
- Time: When we need to grow ourselves back up, sometimes all we need is time: time to breathe-in air that isn’t thick with tension and fear, and time to be alone and hear the wind and rain, or the common noises at the window. Lee quotes poet Wallace Stevens: “Sometimes the truth depends on a walk around the lake.”
- Touch: Scientist and researcher Candice Perth says in her book, Molecules of Emotion, “In the case of treating mood disorders and other mental unwellness, the mainstream misses a lot by excluding touch.” Lee reminds us, appropriate touch can grow a person back up. Touch that is used inappropriately, or at the wrong time, can deepen the regression.
- Release: Out of his five grow us back up cornerstones, Lee believes release is numero uno. He observes that in general, Americans, for example, are all for emotionally letting loose at parties, sporting events, etc. However, they typically consider outward expression of emotions in everyday life uncivilized, especially emotions perceived as negative. Fact: if we can’t release, we can’t take in all we need to live a full life. When our bodies are full of unexpressed emotion, our thinking is dull. When we clear our bodies of stored emotions, our thinking clears up as well.
The Detour Method
One more gem from Lee. He designed what he calls the Detour Method to help us avoid dumping “stuff” from the past onto innocent people in the present.
He believes not using the Detour Method is a leading cause of divorce, misunderstandings, premature termination of friendships and working relationships – even parent-child relationships.
If your body has not had its say, if your emotions have been held in for too long, then don’t dump on the wrong person just because they happen to be close to you. Go to a third party – an objective person who will hear you out and not be pulled into your regression. Find someone who will allow you to say, do, or feel what you needed to say, do, or feel many years ago. With the help of this third party, you can regain your adult state. Only then should you go and tell your loved one what you need.
So much more in the book.
It’s a shame space constraints prevent me from sharing more from John Lee. Growing Yourself Back Up is a marvelous book, and I encourage you to grab a copy – absorbing and working it.
So regression, a fascinating phenomenon, don’t you think? And so relevant when it comes to the down to the bone causes of our mood and anxiety misery.
I find that extremely hopeful, because it means if we’re able to detect, accept, and manage our regression, the opportunity for lasting relief is incredible.
Can you buy that? I hope so.
Take the time to check out all things John Lee.
And be sure to give part one of the series a read: Regression: Its impact on mood and anxiety.
Oops, almost forgot to mention those Chipur mood and anxiety info and inspiration articles.