I was thinking today about why we have emotions and what purpose they could possibly serve us. Why would feeling angry, depressed, or fearful be helpful to us? It seems that we are often taught not to experience these or at least supress them. The reasons we have emotions are quite simple. They act as a trigger to let us know we need to do something else. As an example, if you are feeling fear about an upcoming speech you will be delivering, fear serves a purpose for you to get yourself prepared. But at some point, when you have prepared all that you can possibly prepare, fear serves another purpose to let you know that you need to change your perception about the event. Now you can visualize an amazing speech with everyone giving you a standing ovation. Soak it in. Feels nice doesn’t it? When you do this your state will automatically change which is one of the goals of the emotions anyway.
When faced with a negative emotion, use it as a trigger to do two things. 1) Change your belief about the situation and/or 2) Change your perception about it. In the speech example above, it would work something like this. My current state is fearful because I am afraid I will fail and be laughed off the stage. I change my belief about it by preparing for the speech ahead of time and rehearse it over and over again until I feel confident. By feeling confident, I changed my state from a negative emotion (fear) to a positive one (confident).
Peace and gratitude,