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More Success At Work Through Processing Your Emotional Past

panakaya naturophaty Emotional Wellbeing

More Success At Work Through Processing Your Emotional Past

Trying to “manage” emotions is difficult for most of us. Why? Because emotions want to be felt and processed, not ignored. At work our emotions get triggered when our buttons are pushed. If we try to control or manage them, they easily turn into a toxic “something” that  develops a life by its own.  Emotions want to be looked at. They want to be felt – even though they are unpleasant! Here some background information about what is going on and why some people or situations might trigger you.

Trying to “manage” emotions is difficult for most of us. Why? Because emotions want to be felt and processed, not ignored. At work our emotions get triggered when our buttons are pushed. If we try to control or manage them, they easily turn into a toxic “something” that  develops a life by its own.  Emotions want to be looked at. They want to be felt – even though they are unpleasant! Here some background information about what is going on and why some people or situations might trigger you.

The Decision Making Process

You are probably convinced you have it pretty much figured out when you make a decision after you gave it some thought. You might be surprised to hear that a decision to do a certain task has already been made by your subconcious. Instead, we use the conscious brain for solving a specific task. Sounds complex? This is how it works:

The decision making process can be compared to the process of learning a new language: When we start out, we use the conscious brain and we “think” when speaking that new language. Once we have become fluent, however, we use the subconscious as we speak without thinking or making a conscious effort.

The Creation Of Your Reaction 

Your actions are shaped and influenced by the emotions that you felt in a specific situation. When an emotion gets triggered in your brain it creates a thought or feeling. If you get a strange feeling about a person in a meeting it could be because that person triggered an emotion that was created somewhere in the past or it could be a warning that something is not quite right here. Most of us are used to thinking with the logical mind and keep intution or gut feeling aside. Bear in mind your emotions are not your enemy. They are here to protect you! From a holistic health view it is important to integrate these emotions and not distance yourself from them, even if they are unpleasant.

Our emotions are influenced and triggered by our individual experiences. It is not just what happened to us, but also how we perceived an event or period of time. Two people might experience the exact same thing and yet have a completely different experience. How we react to an event depends f.ex. on our resilience, and whether we grew up in a loving and nurturing environment that allowed us to develop a deep trust in the world and love for ourselves, whether we have a strong support network, genetics may play a role as well. So do the amount of sleep you get and your diet – think junk food containing sugar, fat, and empty carbs vs. herbs, chickpeas, and bananas.  

Physical vs. Emotional Wounds

Physical wounds often receive more attention and care than injuries to our soul and heart. Being invisible makes hurt feelings so much more difficult to be acknowledged and taken care of – think of a broken heart that hurts physically. Most of us have probably experienced this. If you didn’t resolve it, it will linger around, and likely impact your next relationship.

When we experience emotional trauma, our sense of self can be disturbed. How long a situation lasted and the support you received during that time, how deep the emotional trauma went will all have an impact on whether you are able to shake off that event or whether it will stay around and manifest in your physical body. If it doesn’t receive attention it may later cause “dis-ease”. 

Just because a feeling (f.ex. hurt) cannot be felt anymore, it doesn’t mean that that trauma is gone! In contrary, that emotion might have just been burried under a surface of what I call “artifical busyness”. If you cannot be alone, feel obliged to constantly work or keep yourself distracted with music, tv shows or exessive exercise, this can all be a sign that something unresolved has been swiped under the rug to not be felt. Sleepless nights can be a first sign that something is not quite right here. 

Connecting Childhood With Adulthood

As we get older, childhood memories might fade and not be present at all, but, very often, our sensations go back to the time when we were very young, and what we experienced during our childhood. The time around birth is extremely important for the healthy development of a baby, including its development of trust. Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas R. Verny has done extensive research on the time inside the womb and around birth and their effects on the psychological well-being of a person. 

If the mother experienced trauma while she was pregnant or mother and baby could not experience the complete cascade of hormones (particularly the love and bonding hormone oxytocin) during labour, birth, and shortly after birth, there is the possibility that the development of trust is disturbed. If, for whatever reason (can be due to f.ex. a traumatic event), mother and baby are not able to connect in the proper way or the baby does not have its needs for nurturing love fulfilled, the child grows up in a “tough love” environment, and does not have a person on whom the child can rely on, and feel entirely loved and safe, the view that the world is not a safe place is being fostered, and beliefs are being formed. Just to be clear, this does not mean that a separation of mother and baby after birth due to f.ex. medical reasons automatically leads to the development of emotional trauma. It may be one factor in a cascade of events.  

Our Core Beliefs Or View On The World Is Formed In Our Childhood

As the child grows into an adult, the core view on the world often stays the same as these beliefs don’t just change or disappear by themselves. As we go through life, we perceive everything through the filter of our beliefs or our view of the world. They become reinforced and we believe the world or people behave in a specific way. Yet it is the other we round! Our thoughts and beliefs create our own world or microcosmos. Only if we work on processing the past in a healthy manner we can change these old beliefs and transform them into healthier ones that are more appropriate now. 

Our Filter At Work

Everything we do at work or how we feel at work, is being perceived through the lense that we developed ourselves. It could be that a critical word by a colleague or boss makes us feel insecure, that a client’s actions make us angry, we are maybe not as cool-headed in a discussion as we would like, we feel off-balance, cannot see the big picture, maybe we lose sleep over something that happened at work, the pressure to perform builds up, we feel stressed, and not on top of things. Maybe we are not able to switch off on weekends, feel guilty if we are not productive, and before we know it, get more and more tired and worn out. A downward spiral has developed. 

You can try to run away from your emotions and escape them for a while, but eventually, they will catch up with you. Worse, they will keep showing up until you resolve them. It does take a lot of courage to look at your emotions, as it likely will bring back some old pain. 

What If I Just Ignore These Unpleasant Emotions?

If we try to control or manage emotions, they can easily turn toxic as they develop a life on their own. Emotions want to be looked at. They want to be felt – even though they are unpleasant! Instead of being annoyed or bothered by our emotions we could try to see them as a way of our body and mind trying to communicate with us to steer us in a certain direction in order to protect us. Therefore, unpleasant emotions may highlight old wounds or conflicts that haven’t been resolved yet. Ignoring these emotions will just make things worse, similar to a dish cooking on your stove that is boiling over because you neglected it.

Become A More Developed Version Of Your “Self” To Become Better At Your Job

Very often we are only held back by our own limitations, our own fears, or we allow the fear of others to be transmitted onto us. If we resolve an old, underlying conflict within ourselves it may allow us to take away the pain that is related to it. An unanswered Email is then maybe not automatically a lack of interest, but just an Email that may have been overlooked. The colleague that ignored you was maybe just with the thoughts somewhere else, and it had nothing to do with you.

As we work on resolving these old conflicts within us, we get to know ourselves better. Only if we truly know ourselves, meaning being aware of the good, the bad, and (!) the ugly, we are able to know those around us. As we lift layer by layer of our old limitations, fears, and beliefs, we are able to let go of that old baggage, one layer at a time – similar to peeling layers of an onion. If we manage to resolve emotions on their deepest level, in the core of ourselves, we become free from the past and are finally able to start living in the present.  

Be Free And Live In The “Now” – Without Fear Or Anxiety

To be an emotionally healthy and stable person it is usually important to make peace with the past. However, we don’t need to know all the details about specific traumatic events as remembering too much can be retraumatizing.

In order to let the past go, it is essential to be open and curious about getting to know yourself. It won’t always be easy and can even be an intense emotional roller coaster, but cleaning up your emotional past can be one of the most liberating and rewarding things you do in your life!

As you carry less and less emotional baggage with you, chances are your life will become more beautiful, your communication and your relationships will improve, you might feel more grounded, sleep better, and develop clearer and broader views – all of which are going to help you excel in your job or business!

For any questions or if you would like me to support you in your journey, feel free to contact me here. 

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible. 

Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.


Thomas R. Verny, psychiatrist pre- and perinatal psychology.