Good News: Our Emotions Aren’t Set In Stone - Deepstash

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Good News: Our Emotions Aren’t Set In Stone

https://www.mindful.org/good-news-our-emotions-arent-set-in-stone/

mindful.org

Good News: Our Emotions Aren’t Set In Stone
Emotions are changeable and culturally constructed—which means we get to choose how we feel about how we feel. Read more.

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How we feel about feelings

How we feel about feelings

Humans have always experienced boredom and loneliness and a need for acceptance. The feel of feelings is the same as it has always been.

However, how we describe those feelings has changed. For example, boredom and loneliness were once seen as part of life. Now they are described as problems that need to be solved.

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The theory of “constructed emotions”

How we interpret emotions is the result of our cultural context.

When boredom or loneliness is interpreted as something that is wrong and that should be avoided, then the feeling of boredom or loneliness becomes painful.

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Boredom and changing your mental script

The word "boredom" did not even exist until the mid-the 1800s. When people were not mentally stimulated, they did not take it as a sign to find something to engage the mind.

Boredom does not have to be an affliction. It can be a gift of mental calmness to be filled with a richer interior life.

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We don't know how to be alone

While digital technologies have helped us connect and stay connected, our emotional tolerance for being alone has dropped. In relabelling the feeling of being alone, we changed the actual emotions that go with aloneness.

But we can reverse it again. We can accept aloneness as part of life, perhaps even as an opportunity.

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Boredom is unused potential

Boredom is a disconnection to everything we can offer the world and vice versa. It's not influenced by external simulation, it's actually an indicator of how you engage with the world.

Boredom is a social disease

Ages ago, when people were busy trying to survive, boredom wasn’t a choice. They spent all their time securing food or shelter.

We are now overstimulated — easy access to infinite entertainment options is feeding boredom rather than discouraging it.

Embracing busyness to escape boredom

People embrace busyness  because they are having a hard time being alone and enjoying it

Being busy is a tricky form of entertainment however — we don’t feel the boredom, but it isn’t fun either.

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Being alone during a pandemic

Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere ...

Enforced solitude and its advantages

The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.

The wonders of a clear sense of purpose during isolation

As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.

Emotional clarity

It means that we have a good understanding of how we feel emotionally. 

Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.