What Is the Bio-Emotive Framework?

The Bio-Emotive Framework advocates for the healthy acknowledgement, understanding, and expression of emotions, for all people. It is a framework of understanding, created by Dr. Douglas J. Tataryn, a psychologist based in central Canada, which explains why it’s important for all people to have a safe and healthy experience of experiencing and expressing emotion. Within the development of the Bio-Emotive Framework, there are some key-concepts that Dr. Douglas orginated, such as the concepts of the Nine-Core Feelings, Social and Survival Emotions, Updating Impressions, Feeling Beliefs, the Nedera Process, Chronic Emotional Activation, and more.

The Bio-Emotive Framework is often seen as “the missing piece” for those who are committed to self-help, psychological or spiritual pursuits. By understanding this framework, you will amplify the power of the tools you already use, as well as your understanding of why they work.

The Bio-Emotive Framework is a synthesis of Dr. Douglas J. Tataryn’s 20+ years of a background in statistical analysis and clinical work, organized into a cohesive framework to explain why acknowledging, feeling, differentiating, and expressing emotion is a fundamental aspect of a healthy life.

Chronic Emotional Activation

Chronic Emotional Activation, a term coined by Dr. Douglas J. Tataryn, explains that the majority of our western world’s experience of anxiety, depression, stress, and chronic health issues, are results of our bodies being in a state of chronic emotional activation, as opposed to each of these issues being mental illness’. When we are in a chronic state of Emotional Activation, our nervous systems are looping into fight-flight responses and are not entering into proper rest and relaxation responses, which are required for proper healing and neurological development.

At best, we might find healthy coping strategies such as exercise or art; but at worst, most people unconsciously distract themselves from the emotional activation by engaging in social media, staying in unhealthy relationships, moving towards drugs and alcohol, etc.

Coping vs. Emotional Processing

Coping can be functional or dysfunctional. Coping strategies are short-term solutions to managing the challenges of life. When we are unconsiously coping, we are often using things like social media, drugs, sexual relationships, video-games, work, etc. to numb or distract us from our situation. Healthy coping strategies may include doing things like going for bike-rides, staying fit, having a drink with a friend, or doing some art. These strategies are great for reducing the activation in the body and finding short-term calm.

That said, most of us have a few unconscious Feeling Beliefs that weigh us down and stop us from showing up as our best selves in relationships and in the work place. No matter how many times we exercise-out our feelings, we usually return next day with the same issues. We are unknowingly being driven and hindered by emotional distortions in how we see ourselves and the world around us.

According to the Bio-Emotive Framework, emotional processing is the ability to experience, differentiate, and express the feelings and emotions you have going on inside you, so you can consciously start setting up your life for better outcomes. 

When we practice Emotional Processing, we update our impressions and are able to create healthier mindsets, make better decisions, engage with friends, family, clients and colleagues more fluidly, and remove the habitual patterns which unconsciously sabotage our relationships, goals, and our visions.

Creating a Happier Life

Processing your emotions stops you from being haunted by unresolved feelings and reduces the likelihood of you living in a state of Chronic Emotional Activation. When you are not living in Chronic Emotional Activation, you can access your body’s rejuvenation response, which means you can access states of creativity, relaxation, and motivation more readily. Learning how to process your feelings is a key element of creating a balanced life. We strive to see a world where people go to their therapists, eat healthy meals, have satisfying friendships, live with purpose and get out into nature doing physical activity.

What about Physical Health?

There are so many ways Chronic Emotional Activation causes problems with the body. It interferes with getting restorative sleep, weakens the immune system, stops the body’s Repair and Rejuvenation sequence, causing premature aging and disease, creates chronically tight muscles causing pain and soreness and making it more like to injure yourself while playing sports, if you fall, etc; causes chronic inflammation and its related mental and physical disorders, including weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

In other words reducing or eliminating Chronic Emotional Activation may be the single more important thing you can do to stay physically (and psychologically) healthy, right up there with exercise and a healthy diet!

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