ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

You Need To Work On Your Past Excitements Too

Past excitements do have a negative impact on our current life

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Most of us are satisfied if we get an A in a particular subject. But in case we want to do extraordinarily well in the class and secure a grade of ‘A+’ then we need to touch upon the areas that normally the other people consider unimportant.

Similarly, if we want to be extraordinarily happy in our life then we should not be limited to dealing with past criticisms and fears but also should give emphasis on dealing with past excitements as well. Working on our past feelings of extreme excitement will differentiate us from getting an ‘A+’ in the subject of life instead of just an ‘A’.

Excitement vs Blissfulness

“Getting overly excited does not equate to being blissful”

If we traverse the path from excitement to its cause and its cause then eventually we will reach some form of insecurity or fear. Since the root cause of the excitement is insecurity or fear, hence it does not make us reach a blissful state and we eventually will feel empty after experiencing excitement for some time.

Example: If a person feels overly excited upon receiving a good rating and hence good raise in his appraisal, then it may be because he would now be able to get appreciation from his spouse and friends. If we delve deeper and try to find the reason for his longing for appreciation from his spouse and friends then it may be because in just being the person that he is, he is unable to get their praise. Thus he needs to do or achieve certain things in order to be valued by them. Thus there is an insecurity in that person.

If deep down, there is no insecurity or fear in a person then he will not get overly excited. In the above case, he will handle the experience of getting a good rating and good raise with poise. There won’t be any increased heartbeat upon receiving the news.

Drawbacks of excitement

Getting overly excited has certain drawbacks:

  • Less productivity before the result: A person who expects a good result and knows that he will get overly excited upon receiving it, will spend the time before the result, in anxiety and will not be able to concentrate on his work. Actually the magnitude of anxiety will remain less many days before the result but as the ‘D-day’ comes near, the anxiety will increase considerably and can render the person paralyzed.
  • Wrong motivation: Any person who gets overly excited upon receiving the result of his work will have ‘getting the expected result’ as one of the motivating forces behind doing the work. When we have this motivation then the quality of our work will reduce and we will have some level of anxiety also while doing the work. This is not good for the overall wellbeing of the person.
  • Bad effect on health: Excitement leads to the increased heartbeat and high blood pressure so apart from having an effect on our emotional wellbeing, it has a negative impact on our physical wellbeing also.

How to deal with the excitement

Our behavior in the present is based on what experiences we had in the past. If we had a lot of experience of excitement then even a normal situation in the present may cause us to feel the same level of excitement and make us paralyzed. Hence first the emotional charge associated with the previous excitements needs to be removed and for that purpose doing catharsis may help.

Catharsis: Catharsis is the process of re-experiencing the strong emotion associated with an earlier incident and venting it out through various means such as fast breathing, etc. Normally it is applied to all negative emotions like anger, fear, etc but since the excitement is also having a negative impact on our life, we can re-experience the strong excitement associated with earlier incidents of our life. Doing this will remove the emotional charge associated with that incident and hence it will have an automatic effect on our current experience given a similar situation.

We should not just stop at removing the emotional charge but should also go to the root cause behind that experience and work on them as well. It may eventually involve us to change some of our beliefs as well.

Example: I used to feel extreme excitement after my article gets published by any publisher. I would immediately send it across to all my friends and relatives and wait for their good comments. But this excitement had a dark side to it. From the time I submit the article till the time it gets published, I used to have extreme anxiety. I will often check my email or medium app to see if the article got published or not. Also while writing the article, one of the motivating forces was to experience the post publishing situation of excitement. Thus the quality of my writing was also affected.

Upon doing catharsis, I went to all major experiences of excitement in my life and removed the emotional charge associated with them. Then I also changed the belief that I do not need to prove myself to others in order to be valued by them. Eventually, after doing this work over several sessions, I reduced the level of excitement in me. This has provided me with a lot of positive effects on my general wellbeing. I do not get anxiety in the timeframe I submit the article and it gets published. I no longer check my email or Medium app on whether my article got accepted or not. My motivation for writing also is not based on getting some favorable results but it is just to have an outlet for my creative expression.

Conclusion

Normally a person works on negative emotions existing in his life. Once all major negative emotions are handled, one may then also start looking at so-called positive emotions like excitement. The excitement upon receiving a result may seem a positive aspect of a person’s life but actually it has more negativity associated with it. In anticipation of the excitement, one is left paralyzed before getting the result, and also the quality of the work is affected.

Through catharsis, one can remove the emotional charge associated with past experiences of excitement, and then by doing self-analysis and deep thinking one can change the belief responsible for the excitement in the first place. A person then becomes more in control of himself and is poised in situations which earlier brought excitement in him.

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Utpal Kumar

Utpal Kumar

Interested in the psychology behind human functioning. I write on a variety of topics with most of them dealing with personal development | MS in CS from UCSD