Depression Help – The Box of Depression

Posted on January 11, 2009 @ 3:31 am
by John Stephan Laney

One of the first obvious things to discuss around depression is unpleasant feelings. Difficult emotions. And if you look, its easy to find that we all operate from a box around our emotions. A very simple, obvious box.

What are some emotions you like having? The usual list is Love

pleasure

Happiness

Excitement

exhilaration

Love

cheerfulness

These feelings we all call “good emotions.” We like feeling them and want to do so all the time. However, what are some feelings we don’t want to feel? Consider if a lot of these emotions fit in that category for you;

Sadness

Sadness

sadness

hate

anxiety

hate

Emptiness

Emptiness

These we call “bad emotions” and we do all that we can not to feel them. If we must feel them, we try to get rid of them as fast as we can.

Now you are ready to understand the box we operate from about our emotions. The box is that there are “bad” emotions and “good” ones. Kinda obvious, right? All of us just “know” that when it comes to emotions there are bad ones and good ones. Further, we know that part of the point in life is to feel good ones and avoid bad ones. This goes unexamined in our lives because it is so obvious and plain. Of course the way to deal with emotions is to feel good ones and avoid bad ones!

And, of course, all the feelings that go with depression we classify as bad emotions, to be avoided or gotten rid of as quickly as possible and at all costs. The box were stuck in about depression is that it is bad. And we definitely want to get away from having all of the kinds of feelings that go with it.

But there is a big problem to this approach of trying to get rid of all the feelings associated with depression, and it begins with a common emotional mistake we make all of the time. This emotional mistake has to do with trying not to feel bad feelings.

Consider the idea that we all, each of us, have an emotional body, just like we have a physical body and a mental body. And your emotional body has a purpose and function, which is to simply feel feelings. All of them. Good emotions like joy and happiness, and “bad” ones like fear and anger. Its job is to feel feelings. You can’t actually keep your emotional body from feeling feelings.

Notice that your emotional body is a lot like the organ of your skin. You can’t stop your skin from feeling soft or rough sensations, cool or warm. Our skin feels whatever it comes in contact with. In exactly that way our emotional body feels all emotions. You can’t just feel only the good feelings. When you try to suppress bad ones, you only cause your feelings to get stuck. Then these bad feelings tend to stick around much longer, because they are “stuck.” So trying not to feel the difficult emotions that go with depression is actually a way to keep the depression around, keep it from passing through!

Therefore, to get out of the box of depression, one way is to discover more emotional intelligence so that you can process difficult feelings more efficiently and quickly so that they don’t stick around. There’s no room in this article to get into the details, but just a few minutes a day of not resisting but exploring difficult emotions can begin to provide some real depression help.

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