Emotional security is something that few individuals have and what many would like to have; for the latter, it often seems elusive and hard to come by. And that’s if one has even challenged their instability; for these people it may appear to be how life is and this means that it is often accepted.
If one is emotional insecure it is going to affect many areas of life. There is of course the inner stress that will be created and this will then lead to outer stress. So, the inner instability that one feels always has the potential to increase through the combination of the two sides.
Moments Of Insecurity
There are moments in life where one will feel insecure. This could be after the loss of a loved one, during a time of illness or a relationship that has come to an end. These could be described as part of the human experience, but these are very different to the feeling of being emotionally insecure on a regular basis.
When it comes to noticing insecurity, it can be easy to spot through another’s behaviour. However, through certain behavioural patterns being used, what’s going on inside can just as easily be covered up.
It is also possible for one to have certain habits or tendencies that cover up their insecurities. And this can be done so automatically that it is out of one’s conscious awareness and soon passes without the slightest recollection.
While this may be true for some people and at certain times for others, there will be times when this approach is unsuccessful. And this can lead to a whole myriad of internal experiences being triggered.
The emotions that can make up this inner experience can range from being slightly uncomfortable to extremely overwhelmed. This will depend on many factors; from how strong the emotions are, where one is and to who one is with.
Feelings of: rejection, abandonment, shame, anxiety, guilt, anger, frustration, betrayal, hopelessness and fear are some of the primary ones. And each can create a different internal experience.
A term that is often used in spirituality is being grounded or ungrounded. When one feels grounded they feel connected, that they belong in this world and are at peace with themselves and life. If one feels emotionally unstable, this will likely lead the experience of being ungrounded.
Noticing emotional instability is a lot easier to do through observing behaviour. People who behave in ways that are consistent and reliable are often classed as stable; with inner insecurity being deemed as the reasons for inconsistent and unreliable behaviour.
When one is needy and desperate to be in a relationship, this is another sign of feeling insecure within and based on the intention that motivated one to seek a relationship in the beginning; it often leads to a dysfunctional relationship being formed.
However, it is just as easy for one to avoid relationships altogether; as way to avoid certain feelings being brought up and experienced.
Seeking the advice of another person or people is part of life and yet if this is taken to the extreme, it can reflect inner instability. For example, when one is reliant on the views of other people and avoids making their own choices, one doesn’t have to face their uncertainties.
This could be why people are often affected by what they are exposed to through the media; it simply taps into insecurities that already exist within.
There is either self control or there is the control that one has through controlling another human being. Now, there are naturally extremes to this kind of behaviour. And if one feels certain emotions and feelings within, controlling another person is one way of dealing with these insecurities
Groups And Organisations
When one feels internally unstable, there is often the tendency for the ego mind to seek the complete opposite. And this is where certain groups and organisations come into this. They provide all that one does not have within.
And this then helps to repress and cover up these internal feelings. Perhaps this is why people become addicted and attached to certain religions and societies.
When one consumes certain foods, there is not only the physical wholeness that is created; there is also the emotional wholeness. Food has many benefits when it comes to creating short term emotional stability.
In the modern day world, exercise is hugely popular for people of all ages and backgrounds. A word that is often talked about is endorphins: this is known as the happy chemical and it is released during exercise.
Emotions and feelings can be repressed in the short term through exercise and lead to opposite feelings being formed for a short while.
There are the obvious benefits that sex can bring, such as: pleasure, stress relief, sharing of love and reproduction. But what sex also does is provide short term emotional stability. Although it may not last very long; what it does do is create an instant and powerful experience.
Many years ago alcohol was used to numb oneself to physical pain, this was before drugs came to the fore, as it still is today in certain situations. Hoverer, the pain that it is numbing these days is rarely physical pain; it is largely emotional pain.
These provide an incredibly powerful way of changing ones state of mind. The trouble is they are short term solutions and through the law of diminishing returns; the amount has to be increased in order to create the same experience.
Whether it is these that I have described above, or any of the other options that this world provides, they are leading to short term emotional regulation. By themselves, they are fairly neutral and can be part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
And while they are short term benefits, they are unlikely to lead to long term solutions. If they are the only things that are used, it can lead to one going to the extreme and being addicted to such things.
Blame And Reasonability
It would be easy to blame and to point the finger at these external sources; to describe them as the problem and that regulations and law’s need to be brought in. And although this is often what happens, these options are simply fulfilling a need.
If more people had the ability to regulate their emotions or were more centred, then these external options wouldn’t be needed as much.
In The Beginning
It is what happens in the very beginning of one’s life that will often define whether one can emotionally regulate themselves and if they grow up to be a centred human being.
In the world of psychology they often use the term attachment style to describe the kind of relationship one had to their primary caregiver. And the quality of this early care is likely to define how secure one feels as an adult.
What will go a long way to creating this secure attachment is if the caregiver is secure themselves. If they are, it will then be possible for them to tune into the needs of the child. And whenever the child feels uncomfortable emotions or sensations, the caregiver will be able to respond.
The Childs experiences are then being mirrored, supported and acknowledged by the caregiver and through these experiences, the child begins to identify and then internalise this model. This also creates positive relationship expectations that are programmed into the child’s brain and these will likely be taken into adulthood.
On the other hand, if this is not the case and one is brought up by a caregiver that is emotionally insecure, this will probably be what they internalised. Due to the caregiver being unresponsive and emotionally cut off, it may have resulted in one being left to deal with their emotions without any assistance.
The above is just a rough guide and one that can cause one to start asking questions. There are whole books dedicated to the early attachment and how this influences ones adult life. This all starts with awareness and as the right questions are asked, progress can be made.
One can then look for the appropriate assistance; this could be a therapist, book or some other form of help.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.