Humans We tend to experience what surrounds us as if it were a narrative.
Beyond the knowledge that describes things, as encyclopedias and manuals do, we like to see things interpreting them as if they were stories: not something fixed and immobile, but something fluid and moving. Our own identity, without going any further, is a set of memories about ourselves that we are unconsciously animating to give it a narrative form: from the past to the future.
Therefore, we also experience emotions as if they were narrative arcs. In this article we will see how to close an emotional cycle and, in this way, be able to turn the page and give dynamism to our psychological development, avoiding stagnation.
- Related article: “The 8 types of emotions (classification and description)”
What does it mean to close an emotional cycle?
By closing emotional cycles we mean assigning a meaning of completion to a stage of our life. That is, feeling that it has had a beginning, a development and an outcome. However, beyond this simple definition, there is an emotional factor linked to the feeling of personal development. Feeling that a stage of our lives has ended is not the same as feeling that it has ended and also realizing that this has made us improve.
It is essential that when closing emotional cycles there are reasons to believe in this evolution and sense of improvement. Otherwise, it is very likely that a fear of falling into the same mistakes as before will appear, given that nothing has been learned from them.
The desire for completion
If we aspire to close emotional cycles by giving meaning to a past stage, it is because in general we do not like to live together. with the tension generated by the idea that there are things pending in our lives.
This phenomenon is called the Zeigarnik effect, and it tells us to pay more attention to those things that we feel are not over. If what we are trying to do is overcome a phase of life that has been colored by sadness and emotional pain in general, obsessions with the feeling of not moving forward can make us feel stuck.
This creates a paradox: there is a desire to finish that stage, but As time goes by, there is less and less belief in that solution.. Therefore, closing the emotional cycle is important to avoid falling into a self-fulfilling prophecy (pessimism reduces our chances of moving forward).
- You may be interested: “Zeigarnik effect: the brain can’t stand being left halfway”
How to emotionally end stages of our lives
To move on to another chapter in your life, follow these helpful guidelines when ending an emotional cycle.
1. Think about what the beginning of the cycle was
Have a clear photograph of the moment in which the emotional cycle began helps identify what can lead us to close it. For example, the appearance of a problem (a family member’s illness, dismissal from work, etc.).
2. Think about how you felt
We must go beyond the simple description of objective facts. Stop and think about what your emotional reaction was in this first phase of the cycle, both in its positive and negative aspects.
3. Remember how you tried to move forward
At this point, remember what initiatives you had to move the situation forward, both in objective criteria and in those that have to do with your feelings.
4. Don’t ignore your mistakes
Mistakes and failures are inherent to life, and keeping them out of our memories does not help. If what we want is to make them make sense to us. In short, we must learn from them to be able to notice that the most significant events of this stage led us to a final stage in which we closed the cycle.
5. Think about the direction that can take you to close the cycle
With the things you have in mind after having gone through the previous steps, it is now possible to see a trend that can lead you to close the cycle in the most positive and constructive way possible.
In the same way that a series of points can cause us to estimate a trend or direction if we connect them together, when recapitulating what we have been through, it is easy see what completion solutions are more realistic and which ones are not.
Especially, it is important to take into account the latter: how reasonable and realistic the solution we come up with is. In the imagination all ideas seem equally feasible, but in practice, we know that their application to reality creates inequalities between these options.
6. Go to the call to action
It is very difficult to close an emotional cycle simply through introspection. That’s why, make your exit from this phase take the form of an action or a series of actions, so that you can give it a solidity or physical structure that shows your progress. In this way, you will be showing yourself that the person who entered that emotional cycle is not exactly the same person who came out of it.