What is an emotional buffer and what does this mean for you?
Buffering is a way of softening the experience of life. Softening and/or “numbing” our emotional experience of life.
Why would you want to emotionally buffer you ask?
To prevent yourself from feeling any type of negative emotion.
So what are these buffers and why/how do we use them?
Is it that sometimes chocolate and a glass of wine is the only thing that can make you feel better after a stressful day?
Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through the Instagram feed? Gossiping? Over-exercising to compensate for that whole bowl of ice cream you devoured last night after feeling bored, restless and/or stressed?
These are just a few examples of buffers and how we use them to numb out, disconnect and cope with discomfort in our lives.
Buffers can also be more subtle, overworking because of stress at home. Avoiding and busying yourself so you don’t have to face your own reality. The perpetual state of “busy” so you never actually have to take actions on your dreams.
They can be likened to avoidance tactics. Oftentimes they create false portals to get a shot of dopamine in your brain from a glass of wine or sugary cupcake. Anaesthetising the discomfort of being bored, angry, sad or ____ insert emotion.
You see, there is a misconception in society that we aren’t supposed to feel any type of negative emotion… like something has gone wrong if we aren’t feeling pleasure every moment of our lives.
We are constantly bombarded with ways to feel pleasure - social media, fast food advertisements telling us happiness is inside a bottle of coke…
These buffers provide a false sense of relief and often have a negative impact on our lives such as weight gain, wasted time, procrastination, unfulfilled dreams etc.
We are trying to avoid feeling discomfort so we don’t have to change, grow or experience the negative emotion that would otherwise be so uncomfortable we would simply have to change! We are resistant to any type of discomfort as we don’t know how to feel and manage these realities of our authentic human experience.
The high price you pay by not being able to feel your feelings through buffering is the inability to learn to process and manage these emotions. If you can learn to be with discomfort, you can start to create different outcomes in your life. Becoming emotionally mature and non-reactive.
These buffers will never give you the long-term wellbeing and satisfaction that growing and learning to allow and manage your emotions will.
So let's look at these buffers a little closer...
Behind these buffers/distractions is your real experience of life. Your authentic experience of what is going on for you.
I hear people these days saying they want to be authentic, live an authentic life. Well authentic means 100% real. This encompasses the broad spectrum of human emotions. If you are buffering, distracting and avoiding certain feelings and realities in your life this is in no way authentic. Neither is complaining, gossiping or wallowing. Authenticity is being and allowing, connecting with your raw emotions, learning to process them and cultivating a life and mindset that nurtures and spreads forth long-term well-being and equilibrium.
These buffers are taking you away from your ability to connect with your emotional guidance system.
For example, if you drink to avoid your stressful relationship/day, you are disconnecting from the authentic truth that there may be an issue that needs addressing! You won’t get the leverage to make any change until it reaches rock bottom and you are too far in to repair the situation.
Your emotions are your guidance system. Your feedback. Not to wallow, indulge or react to but to explore, allow and discover the causes so you can design your life and release that which no longer serves you.
When you take all the buffers, distractions and false dopamine hit pleasures away… what are you left with? You. The true, authentic you.
What are these emotions guiding you to do? What if you allowed them. Think of them as vibrations literally passing through your body. Rather than keeping them trapped away like a tightly clenched fist or quietly medicated, let them be there. Be with rather than resisting or avoiding. What we resist persists. What we allow passes through.
From this space, we can become the allower and the observer. That space created when we stop holding on so tightly and reacting so quickly is an incredibly liberating and powerful position.
Learn to observe, be and witness these emotions. Try at first just not reacting for a few minutes when you feel an emotion, desire or urge bubble up. Watch it. Allow it to be with you. Follow the steps below to learn to feel and process these uncomfortable emotions so you can move through your life with power and authenticity.
Because how will you grow if you aren’t willing to be uncomfortable? If you aren’t willing to step into every possible emotion and move through it.
If no emotion could step in your way you would be able to take on, do and achieve anything in life with grace and accomplishment!
Try it with alcohol and food. Allow yourself to physically feel the discomfort. What does it feel and look like in your body if you could describe it? Let it be there. Breathe into it, inviting it in. Then become the observer. The silent witness. From this space new insights and opportunities to grow, expand and create new thoughts, feelings and behaviours will become apparent. Take this in stages and stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to truly process emotions and become an incredibly powerful creator in your life.
P.s. this is great for weight loss and anger management as well as literally every other issue you are facing. If the worst that is possible is feeling an emotion, which is just a vibration in your body - what’s there to be scared of? Bring it on! What if you learn’t to allow and be non reactive to every single emotion you faced? How powerful you would be. How powerful you already are. Start to harness this power now.
Identify ways in which you may be buffering in your life?
“Pain in this life is not avoidable. But the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable”. - R. D. Laing.
Write down any and all of the ways you may be buffering, distracting and avoiding your emotional guidance system.
Examples of buffers:
Become the allower
“Your work is to relax and allow. Relax and allow”. Abraham Hicks.
Allow yourself to be with any and all emotions in your life. Breathe into them. Invite them in and start to observe them. Notice how they feel in your body as vibrations passing through. If you can feel the vibration of any emotion there is nothing that can ever be too scary or overwhelming for you to overcome in your life. What absolute freedom and capability this offers.
The process of being the allower:
What is your emotional guidance system telling you?
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So you may as well listen to what it has to say to say”. Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist.
Become aware of these feelings that you are allowing, minus all the buffers and distractions. What is it telling you about yourself and your life? Do you need to clean up your thoughts, behaviours and beliefs? Or do you need to clean up some realities in areas of your life? Awareness is power. Clarity and authenticity will lead to evolution in your life.
Live your own authentic life and embrace the truth of who you are. From this space you can really enjoy and create a miraculous life.
Mikyla Douglas xx
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