October 09, 2015 - Posted to Education
5 Essential Emotions That Prevent You to Be Happy Every Day
We all have good and bad days. And most of us have more good than bad, because our thought and emotions are pretty well balanced and even. Most of us also go through bad phases in our lives, usually caused by events or circumstances that impact us significantly – death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, etc. And most of us recover from those events, and our emotions even out again. There are those for whom emotions never really even out, and the negativity erodes any happiness that they might have or experience.
Here is a list of 5 truly dangerous emotions that will steal your happiness if you give in to them, and some advice on how to get rid of them.
I believe it was Mark Twain who stated that we humans spend at least half of our lives worrying about things that never come to pass. There are people who have developed a habit of letting this emotion control their lives. They worry about losing a job in the future; they worry about the economy; they worry about their children’s well-being; they worry about the price of gas and groceries, about the burning issues of the day. They worry about the elderly neighbor, about the electric bill, about their health. In short, every life activity and every person with whom they have contact, is a subject of worry. Psychologists tell us that people with chronic anxiety and worry, sometimes so severe that it results in panic attacks, usually had unstable childhoods, with food or housing insecurity, and that their subconscious minds have been programmed for this emotion.
Overcoming Worry and Anxiety: There is no “quick cure” or fix for chronic anxiety, because it involves re-programming the subconscious with thoughts of security and safety. If this emotion is stealing your happiness, there are a couple of things you must do. First, see a counselor or therapist. You have to identify the root cause of your anxiety, and it is not any of the daily anxieties that you choose to embrace. S/he will help you get to the root and to deal with it, recognizing that it is not relevant to your current life situation. Second, make a list of all that you have to be grateful for – a good job, loving relationships, food, shelter, and so forth. Post this list around your living space so that you rather constantly see it. Third, when a feat thought comes to mind, let’s say, “What if I should lose my job?” you have to ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen if that came to pass?” You would have to look for a new job or go back to school to re-train for something new. You would also collect unemployment, get food stamps and, in most states, free medical care for you and your family. And if you have an IRA, a 401K, or a life insurance policy with a cash value, along with any other savings, you have a “cushion” until you land that new job or start that new career. That’s the worst case scenario and, in comparison to many other people, it’s not bad.
What a destructive emotion, and yet we all know people who have to be angry or offended about something or someone all the time. They rarely smile; they find fault with everything; and they are the people who often exhibit “road rage.” Psychologists tell us that anger is really a secondary emotion and that it derives from fear. Anger is simply a method of “coping.” Unfortunately for the angry people, nothing about life is pleasant, they have few friends, and they lead life of loneliness.
Overcoming Anger: Again, until this individual gets at the root of his/her fear, the anger will not go away. In the meantime, however, if you find that you are angry too much of the time, put a sign that says “Gratitude” in several locations in your home and even in your car. This is a reminder to appreciate all that you have. Another very therapeutic activity is to volunteer and work with those who are far less fortunate. It’s pretty hard to be angry with your station in life while you are serving food in a homeless shelter.
There will always be someone who has more than you – more money, more friends, better grades in school, and so forth. This emotion comes from low self-esteem, and the only real “fix” is to fix that self-image.
Overcoming Resentment/Envy: What are your great qualities? What achievements and successes do you have? Make a list and read it every morning with your coffee. Read it out loud. Then, go back to that homeless shelter and start serving food to the homeless again. They have every reason to be resentful and to envy you, but most probably don’t. Get some perspective here!
Chronic regrets over the past cause people to ruminate. They continue to re-play old scenarios in which negative things happened – a fight with a family member or co-worker that damaged that relationship, not working hard enough in college to get into grad school, that boyfriend/girlfriend you broke up with that you now wish you had back, the divorce that you instigated, and so on.
Overcoming Regret: Can you go back and change anything that you have done or did not do? Of course not. It is done. If you have chronic regret and find yourself ruminating, then you have to re-train your mind about though patterns. It takes persistence, but it can be done. As soon as you begin one of those scenarios, stop yourself and think of one good thing that has happened today. Re-play that scenario in your head instead. Before you go to sleep at night, re-play those good mind videos again. Put in as much detail as possible. Good scenarios include things that you have done for others, and they are very powerful in reducing feelings of regret.
If you want to understand the very bad consequences of hate, take a look at our political climate today. Our political leaders absolutely hate one another to the point that they cannot even get together to discuss and compromise. Of course, the entire country suffers, but when you hate, everyone around you suffers too. And medical researchers also state that hatred has a very negative effect on one’s health as well.
Overcoming Hatred: Recently, there was a mass shooting in an African-American church in South Carolina. The families of those victims went to court when the murderer of their loved ones was arraigned and charged. What did they do? They told him that they forgave him. Wow. If people in these circumstances can rid themselves of hate, how about you? You don’t have to walk arm-in-arm with people you choose not to associate with, but you do have to give up the hate, if only for the sake of your own health. Harboring hatred make people so unhappy. Look for ways to forgive, to be the better person, and to let go. You can hate spinach and cauliflower, but don’t hate people.
We all experience these emotions from time to time. But if you find that they are consuming your daily life, then you need to take some action to overcome them. Getting counseling to understand the real cause and getting outside of yourself to help others will go a long way toward restoring your daily happiness.