Ugh. Emotions. Everything would be better if we just didn’t have to feel those ones we don’t like, right? You know the ones I am talking about. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Disgust. Guilt/Shame. Sometimes we go to great lengths to avoid those emotions. Things like alcohol and drugs or even staying busy or binging in front of the TV. It seems though the more we try to avoid those emotions, they more they tend to build and build and eventually come out. When they do come out, it isn’t usually in the best way, or they present in an extreme manner.
What if I said we have those emotions for a good reason and they can actually help us. Sure they can still be uncomfortable but maybe learning a a few reasons why we have them can help us fear them less.
First, emotions can help motivate us. Going something that gives you joy, can motivate you to keep doing that thing. Doing or not doing something and feel sad? That can motivate you to change and not feel sad! Anger signifies there is something in the way of what you want and can motivate to fix that. They can also help keep us safe. Why don’t we just walk across a busy street? A fear of getting hurt. A normal amount of fear is good for us. The other day I was making dinner and as I was unwrapping the ground beef, I got a good whiff and I felt disgusted! You better believe that motivated me to go to the store and get some new ground beef to keep me from eating something dangerous. They also give color and depth to life.
Can you imagine how boring life would be without emotions? (Check out the book/movie The Giver if you’re curious). There are many more reasons we have emotions. Follow along for more installments of Demystifying Emotions.