Emotions and feelings can be very misleading

Sometimes emotions and feelings can be very misleading. You take them for real because they feel so real, but what are emotions and feelings and how can you trust them?

There is nothing more annoying than entering into a dialogue with someone who truly believes that his or her emotions tell the truth. I feel bad, so you did something bad. Or we don't buy that car because it doesn't feel right.

I do not want to undermine the importance of pure feelings. What matters to me is that feeling is always a cause of your perception and associations and therefore has nothing to do with reality.

handling emotions

Where do feelings come from?

We can easily be inclined to believe that feelings and emotions are merely there and that we have no influence on them. As if it is something that is outside of us. Or as the people who find themselves very intuitive could say: “It is something that we get inspired from above as wise advice.”

Complete nonsense: How people have learned this and where they have learned it remains a mystery to me because feelings are a logical consequence of how you deal with something external. Do you get tears in your eyes from that beautiful red rose? Or are you frightened when someone speaks harsh and nasty words to you? Then ask yourself if it is the words or the rose that give you emotion and feeling or the meaning that you give that rose and words and the associations that you have with it.

A red rose means nothing by itself. The person who gets tears from it has decided to give it meaning and to associate feelings with it. No matter how strange it may sound, the same applies to those annoying words. You give meaning to how loud they sound and to what extent you take them seriously.

Can emotions make you sick?

Emotions such as anger or happiness appear to have a huge impact on your physical condition. The quality of your emotions determines whether you stay healthy for longer or whether you develop various ailments or illnesses in your body. But how do you prevent sickening emotions and can you transform from anger to happiness just like that?

Emotions do not emerge by themselves

Emotions don't just fall out of the sky. It takes an event to feel emotions. Some of these events have a big impact on you and others do not. It is not the event itself, but how you respond to the event. This has everything to do with the meaning you attribute to the event.

Assigning meaning to an event

Simply put, we have to assign a meaning to everything we see, hear or experience. We do this, among other things, on the basis of previous experiences that we associate with the event. More or less negative associations make it easier for one person to deal with a certain event than for another. Because once again, the event itself only has meaning if we assign it to it ourselves.

The world is boring without meaning and associations

Fortunately, human beings can give meaning to something. The world would be very dull if we didn't give it meaning to anything. It is different if we start giving saddening or even pathogenic meanings and associations.

Suppose you associated that red rose with the last red rose you got when you broke up with your ex. And the annoying harsh words with the last fight you had. Who made those associations? You could also have chosen to associate that rose with that beautiful rose garden. And those harsh words with a sweet person who finally dares to speak.

If you are able - and you are free to do so - to face the associations and meanings that you give, you are also able to control seemingly uncontrolled emotions. Emotions are not true, but the meaning that you give to something and the associations that you create is true. So the next time you feel something, ask yourself if your perception of the truth is true.

Negative meanings lead to negative emotions

If someone ascribes a negative meaning to something, this immediately leads to negative emotions. It also works the other way around. Positive meanings lead to positive emotions.

If someone steals your wallet, you can assign many negative meanings to it. For example, that it is unjust, that the person does not have the right values or that you yourself are stupid to let it happen.

But you can also assign new - healthier - meanings to it. For example, that fortunately there are few people in the world who steal or that it happily happened to you and not that old woman who lives on a small pension.

The latter meanings create positive emotions instead of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, or feeling guilty. If you can choose, what meaning would you give to stealing your wallet?

What are the 5 most sickening and healthy emotions?

There are several sickening and healthy emotions that are usually related to each other.

The 5 most important sickening emotions are:

  • Irritation
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Hate
  • Jealousy

The 5 most important healthy emotions are:

  • Joy
  • Satisfaction
  • Love
  • Passion
  • Compassion

Coaches at TheONE understand your emotions and know how to handle emotions positively. Often believing your emotions are true are related to cognitive distortions. You can read more about cognitive distortions here.

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Ben Steenstra Ben Steenstra
28-03-2019 5 mins read
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