A severe negative emotion interferes with the way we see our future. It can be so bad that we forget emotions are temporary and in those moments, we strongly believe that we’ll be in that state the rest of our lives. How stupid does that sound? And still, it’s very true.
Having a depression is the clearest example. Actually, one of the reasons a depression can last for years is because there is the strong belief that it will last forever. When there is no hope, there is no path. And without a path, there is no change. Because a depression causes a negative view about the future, one of the ways to challenge that view is to remember about the past. There surely are examples when life wasn’t that negative so we know it’s possible because we experienced it. However, there is the risk that the examples will make the condition worse because it can suggest the idea that situations like that won’t happen ever again. This differs from one person to another and from feeling to another.
Usually, an emotion sets for us the path we should choose. If we don’t like something, we’ll find some logical reasons why we don’t like it. If we like something, we’ll find more logical reasons why we like it. Even though those emotions are triggered by some core beliefs, which basically are a bunch of automatic thoughts, the emotions can trigger additional thoughts to sustain it. This is why when we don’t feel like doing something, we find reasons not to do that thing.
Bottom line, an emotion can stop us from doing things. We sometimes need it, but sometimes it’s a big blocker especially when it’s about strong negative emotions.
What emotions are in your way?