Coping vs Releasing

Coping versus releasing is one of my favourite subjects, so when I’m listening to an expert talking about stuff that they do, what I’m listening for is, is this going to help someone cope with a problem or is it going to help them release a problem.

Take Dr Steve Peters, a very famous psychologist — worked with British Cycling and other sports teams, with high-performance people — he wrote a book called The Chimp Paradox. A lot of people got the idea that this chimp’s going to leap around causing mayhem because we’re reacting from emotion rather than our than the human and the computer within us. He helped people understand what’s going on. In my language, he helps people cope better than they were able to cope before.

The challenge with these methods is, whilst they might shed light on things, they don’t actually help you release the problem. To release the problem you’ve got to get out of your conscious brain and into the unconscious. So when you’re working with your own challenges ask yourself if I’m working with a psychologist, a therapist or a counsellor, even a coach—are these people helping me cope with my problem? Am I having to work hard to overcome or am I actually able to release and therefore move forward more effortlessly than I did in the past?

The most important distinction between coping and releasing is that coping is something you have to work at every day. Releasing is something you only need to do once.

For a  simple example, let’s talk about habits. Let’s say that you realise you need to lose some weight and you’d feel better if you did, but you just can’t quite manage to stop eating the crisps and the chocolate. So you go on a diet. You have someone that you might go training with and things like that, but actually what they’re not dealing with is the feelings that cause you to want to eat junk food. What’s the root of those feelings? And when we get to the root of those feelings— and it’s most likely to be something that’s happened in your past—and we release that, then suddenly you don’t need to do the comfort eating any more. Because you don’t need to do the comfort eating, you start to lose weight and you no longer need to go on a diet.

There’s a model called the crazy eight, where people go between manic emotions and depressive emotions. So the manic is being very anxious or very angry, and the depressive is feeling guilty or sad. By the way, depression is just unresolved sadness, repeated every day. The term manic-depressive, now bipolar, describes this model. As people oscillate between those two states they are in pain. To get out of those states, to help themselves cope, they might get addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling. What these people are actually trying to do is anaesthetise themselves to the pain that they feel. Never label anybody as an addict, because what that person is trying to do is trying to cope with their pain. If I label someone as an addict and they take that into their identity I’ve now made it much harder to release.

It’s really important when you’re dealing with other people, or you’re thinking about your own problems, don’t put somebody else’s label onto yourself. If you’re coping and doing the best you can then we need to get back to the root cause of your pain and if we can release the root cause of your pain then you won’t need to be addicted to anything.

Just be careful because there are whole industries set up to offer you all kinds of drug treatments, but this is all about making money rather than about helping you. So be careful again what advice you go for and ask yourself, why?

If you know the event that caused your pain then the chances are we can release it very easily. if you’re not quite sure but you think your upbringing wasn’t quite as good as the next person’s, again, that’s stuff that we can probably release. So whoever you talk to and you get advice from ask them about how to get to the root cause and release the emotions that are sitting in your unconscious mind and actually blocking you from moving forward and if they can’t help you do that, do go and find someone who can.

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