Monday, April 27, 2015

Mini-Treatise: Emotions and How to Relate to Them

I find it helpful to see my emotions as something that happens to me, not "me." They are useful because:
* they are like indicator lights in a car, diagnostic tools that help you figure out what's right or wrong
* they sometimes give false readings, so you've got to use your brain to know when to ignore them or get them fixed
* sometimes they're not diagnostic at all, but rewarding. They make you feel good or bad, to reinforce doing/not doing a certain behavior you engaged in.
They are never your destiny. They don't tell you what you have to do--they have to be interpreted. You don't have to feel the way your emotions make you feel. You can uncouple your mind's participation in them by consciously choosing not to dwell on them. Engage in an activity that biochemically alters your physiology so that the emotions you're dealing with change. An easy example is if a guy is sexually aroused, a way to destroy that is to engage in vigorous exercise. It kills any feelings like that and clears the mind. It does the same with hunger, for that matter. If you're up late at night and feel depressed, go to sleep! It'll get your circadian rhythm back on track, and stressful build-up gets dealt with unconsciously while you sleep. Distracting your body by interrupting a natural process (or returning to one, if your emotions are due to biological instability) can keep certain moods at bay for a while so that you can make progress without their influence.

~ Rak Chazak

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