Transforming Emotion Workshop

Facilitated by Dr. Ong Tien Kwan

“The only real way for us to transform any experience – especially past unpleasant, fearful or painful experience – is through a shift in the way we see the experience. This is called a paradigm shift, which is basically a change in the way we see things. We achieve that by changing our perspective. This usually involves looking at things from a higher perspective, and a perspective that is closer to the truth, free from our beliefs and conditioning.” — Dr. TK Ong

To be more specific, we are not transforming all emotions – only the negative ones. The mother of all negative emotions is fear.

Before we can transform fear, we must first understand what fear is. Some people say that F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, and this is actually quite a good way to describe it.

But cognitively understanding fear itself is inadequate when we want to transform it into something better and more useful for us. We also need to understand it affectively – emotionally. We need to understand how fear is imprinted, conditioned and stored within us, and how we can safely release its hidden and often destructive energy.

Fear is an emotion that is deeply linked to the perceived Self. Fear arises when the Self perceives a threat or a loss. One of our goals in emotional transformation is to see and understand this link.

The perceived Self has only two perceived needs. The first perceived need is safety or security. The second is significance, or having a sense of uniqueness or special, or a purpose to existence.

(Self esteem, and specifically negative self esteem, is also deeply linked to both Self and Fear. Self esteem is the way we see and feel about ourselves, and manifests outwardly in the way we behave.)

We also need to recognise fear’s many manifestations,and the costs of not facing up to it.

The Manifestations of Fear
The Costs of Fear

The two videos below show how to use mindfulness as a mind tool to transform negative emotions like depression, anger and fear, taught by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.

Transforming Depression, Anger and Fear – Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh
Taking Care of Anger – Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh

The video below, by Dr. Christiane Wolf, explains how to use the acronym RAIN (Recognise, Allow or Accept, Investigate, Non-identification) to deal with difficult emotions.

Working with Difficult Emotion, using RAIN acronym – Dr. Christiane Wolf
Working with difficult emotions (analogy of the river) – Mingyur Rinpoche
Self esteem, Feelings and Vulnerability – Mandy Saligari
Rethinking Anxiety: Learning to Face Fear
Scroll to top