The correlation between fixed ideas, emotional tension and a dislike of curries

Once people realise that I am a specialist in emotional tension they often ask me, “So things no longer worry you then? Stuff doesn’t get you down anymore? Other people and situations don’t aggravate your inner self?… what never?”

Yes… I do still get worried, low and sometimes fleetingly irritable, sometimes mildly anxious, but never really outright panic or steaming angry anymore. In every day working life there are tensions, emanating from unavoidable occurrences and circumstances. I have learnt about acceptance and fluidity and acquired an ability to be calmer and let things that may well have stressed me before just come and go.

“A big part of my individual psychological tension was all woven into and interconnected with my intolerances of many things…. large and small. ”

Many people, including emotionally troubled people, often have this form of internal inflexibility or fixity… that rigid, stuck way of being, where right and wrong, good and bad are definite cast iron, black and white certainties. That is a difficult place to escape from. Evading it sometimes feels a bit like betraying yourself.

“Flexibility and acceptance has had a massive part to play in the overall process of easing my rigidity and this easing has in turn reduced my frustration and anxiety levels.”

Acceptance falls into many parts:

  • There’s acceptance of others
  • There’s acceptance of difference
  • There’s acceptance of change
  • There’s acceptance of yourself as who you genuinely are
  • There’s acceptance of limitations and capabilities

The acceptance of difference is a bit complicated and takes a bit of work; my experience was that I had to be brave and step slightly out of my comfort zone.

“I had a difficulty in recognising and accepting that change is sometimes beneficial… at least I refused to admit change was possible. I knew what was good and what I liked and I would stick to that way…come what may.”

Before anyone can accept themselves for who they truly are they need to know a bit about themselves… why they are who they are. It never ceases to shock me at how little I knew about myself — my self-awareness was almost non-existent.

Many people, and I was one of them, have latched onto a certain type of person they think they should be. They think they are, or should behave like that person whatever happens. By being someone they may not genuinely be they are distorting their actual experience of life. Deep down, they vaguely identify with their true selves, but they deny that part of themselves and refuse to become who they truly are.

“I thought I was this specific person and behaved like that person… in reality I was someone else, who I distantly recognised, but refused to become… Apart from being bloody confusing, it was also often quite painful. ”

I used to live by a sort of simplistic code

  • Things that are bad and things that are good
  • Things that are right and things that are wrong
  • Things that mildly annoy me
  • Things that I like and things I dislike
  • Things that really infuriate me
  • Things I hate

Being acceptant is associated with a sort of fluidity and flexibility of the mind as opposed to a stuckness or rigidity — open-minded rather than narrow-minded. I have adopted flexibility and acceptance as a way of being and it has had a massive part to play in the overall process of easing my frustration levels.

My new code is still pretty simple.

  • Things are usually not necessarily good or bad… just different.
  • Things are usually not necessarily right or wrong… just different.
  • Things that mildly annoy me truly are not worth getting upset about.
  • Getting anxious about how a job is done has faded as I realised that perfection doesn’t exit.
  • There are still things that I dislike… but there are far fewer things that I truly dislike.
  • Hate is a big word and it’s sort of evaporated from my vocabulary.

Since my adoption of a new lifestyle or ‘way of being’ there are very few things that really bother me

Inflexibility helped make me fixed in my ways. A big part of my emotional struggle was about my inflexibility — a strict adherence to my rules… the right way to do things… all things. My previous rigid outlook on life meant that ‘what I did was what I did.’ It was safe in here… I didnt want to try anything new? Why step out of my comfort zone?

Partially through acceptance and added fluidity I’ve lost my internal anxious rigidity and that has eradicated my external behaviour. The idea of changing often made me tense and this could lead to stress and eventually I might became anxiuos and irritable; only to later become low and regretful.

“It may sound strange, but partially through acceptance and added fluidity I have discovered a real fondness for curries.”

It was simple. When I was in the fixed or stick period of my life I knew what I liked and I knew what I didn’t like. I did not like curries…I ‘hated’ them… full stop.

In truth I’d never really tried one… it was just the idea of a curry I didn’t like.

In reality just an idea had stopped me trying something new. My unyielding fixed mindset had refused to allow the possibility of even trying a curry. For me, part of being rigid meant, ‘stick to what you know and be wary of anything different.’

Being adventurous might mean a bit of disappointment…

Becoming more self aware, relaxed and easy going has allowed me to not only eat curries, but to really like them.

I know this newfound taste for curries sounds facile, but its just one small example… a fragment of how easing away from my fixed immovable self has opened up my perspectives and enabled me to embrace different things.

I wish I’d eased up sooner…think of all the curries I’ve missed.

Learn more at www.emotionalskills.uk