The Mobilization Continuum of Emotional Expression is an instructional diagram, shown below.
- (Click on the image above to see it appear as a PDF file in other window)
The Mobilization Continuum Explained
The Mobilization Continuum shows how we always have the choice to work with, or work against our negative or undesirable feelings, such as anger and fear.
When we work against our feelings, we move along the left side of the continuum. We do this by denying, suppressing, ignoring, suppressing, judging, and/or rejecting our feelings, and it leads to detrimental effects which harm ourselves and possibly others.
When we work with our feelings, we move along the right side of the continuum. We do this by acknowledging how we feel, expressing our emotions in a safe and appropriate ways, and being mindful of how we are feeling (observing it without judging it), and it leads to personal growth and improved relationships.
Mindfulness is absolutely key for moving along the right side of the continuum because when we are non judgmentally aware that we are emotionally reacting to something:
- 1) We are able to assume an emotive mode by conscious choice (and thus greater control)—and give ourselves permission to say irrational, offensive, or hurtful things in order to express how we feel and then later understand why. The key is to not censor our feelings because those very feelings can be traced to thoughts and beliefs, which we want to access in order to learn more about why we might feel that way in the first place.
- 2) We are aware that there is a process taking place and that if we work through the emotional reaction first, later on we can go back and analyze our reaction to learn more about our belief systems and assumptions which gave us cause to feel a certain way. Our awareness of our emotional reactions makes it easier to return to (unemotional) rational thinking.
- 3) We are able to see how others violate our boundaries by expressing any anger/sadness/frustration/depression we may be feeling in regards to that violation—if we never ourselves to feel the violation, we may never become aware of it. After expressing how we feel about a violation, we are then able to see how we are or are not protecting our boundaries by taking a mindful look in the mirror at our own behaviors.
- 4) We are able to conclude the emotive mode by transitioning back into “normal” life and assessing what course of action we want to take, from a rational mindset based upon a clearer understanding of ourselves, our needs, and our boundaries or lack of them.
We are able to transition because we cleared out the emotional cobwebs clouding our judgment—emotions are merely psychoevolutionary signals for danger and so on, and they will remain as long as we sense real or perceived danger on a subconscious level. So we need to change the way we think about the threat before we can change or lessen our emotional response to it.