What does it mean to detach yourself emotionally? For me, it is distancing myself from thoughts and feelings that create a negative reaction in my body. It is reframing what I am thinking, to something that moves me away from the obsessive thoughts and emotions I am experiencing. It doesn’t matter what the situation I’m obsessing over is. It is all about distancing myself from the negative emotions so I can move on.
What started me on this topic was a post I shared the other day which was entitled,
“4 Ways to Cope When Bad Things Happen”
- Don’t take it personally
- Forget about asking why
- Remember it is temporary
- Detach yourself emotionally.
It seemed by the response that, detaching yourself emotionally, was the hardest for most people to do so I thought I would look at this in more detail.
Why you have so much difficulty detaching yourself emotionally is because of your expectations of the situation and the outcome. You have different expectations for different situations. It doesn’t matter what it is that you have an emotional attachment to, a partner, job, child, situation, you have an expectation or picture of what the outcome will look like. When things don’t unfold the way you expect and you can’t do anything about it, you become upset, and internalize it, relating it to past experience, which then triggers a chain reaction of thoughts and emotions. These thoughts and emotions are usually based on fear of loss, of uncertainty.
“The characteristics of emotional attachment are based in fear of loss of uncertainty.”
Here are 8 ways you can turn this around and they actually start by altering the order of the list so it reads Detach yourself emotionally by-
- Forget about asking why?
It has happened let it go! By constantly going over why it happened only reinforces the negative thoughts and feelings leading to a sense of powerlessness, anger, frustration, and grief. Remember it is your thoughts that fuel your emotions and they can’t be relied upon to represent the true. Your past history, beliefs have programmed your way of interpreting the situation. It is the story you have told yourself. You can rewrite your story.
“It has happened let it go.”
- Don’t take it personally.
It is your perception of the situation that fuels the emotional response and because it affects you emotionally you take it personally. You only have your own point of reference which will be different to someone else. It isn’t about you, it just seems that way from your point of view. Try stepping outside yourself and your emotions and reframe the situation so it isn’t just about you. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want. It may have nothing to do with you, it may be the state of the economy, or the person doesn’t love you the way you love them.
“Don’t take it personally It isn’t about you.”
- Remember it is only temporary.
“This too will pass.” It is only temporary time moves on, people move on, and life moves on. You too must be willing to move on. The initial pain of loss and the uncertainty that comes with this will pass and heal with the passage of time. Acceptance of the situation, of your feelings and emotions while not focusing on them will help to let go of the attachment but it will take time and practice.
“Remember it is only temporary “this too will pass.”
To detach emotionally requires acceptance of the situation, your thoughts, feelings, emotions, experience them but don’t focus on them. This doesn’t mean you try and push them out but to be more like an observer rather than a participant. Chat to them “oh so you have popped in again, thank-you for wanting to help but I am looking at other options now” or something to this effect. When I had my breakdown and was suffering from panic attacks I would say; “great! Another one! This gave me more opportunities to practice acceptance and floating.” It was this acceptance of what was happening without being attached to the outcome that ultimately got me through.
You are responsible for your own development. No one or nothing outside of you can take this away from you unless you allow it to happen. This goes for your emotions. You can’t give others the responsibility for you state of being. Once you accept this it makes it a lot easier to detach yourself from outside influences and remain strong in any situation.
Be willing to let go! It is the simple act of being willing to let go that will rewire the brain into different patterns of thinking. By letting go of the situations and circumstances in your life you are releasing the attachment to the past which is based on a false sense of security.
- Focus on a New Awareness
Focus on new experiences you would like to have. What you would like to achieve now you have this time. Allow yourself to dream to look at all your possibilities.
How do you see yourself in this new light? You need to take care of yourself and do things that make you feel good. Don’t let the limitations of your past burden you down. See yourself as a strong, independent, confident person.
Everything you experience has an emotional charge to it whether it is negative or positive will depend on your past experiences.
“If you don’t separate your emotions from the situation, you’ll never learn from it.
You’ll attract the same problem over and over again waiting to be solved.”