Episode 23 – Opposite Emotion Action

It’s been a couple of weeks. My last two appointments have largely involved personal matters that I did not want to detail here. Now that some things are more generic again, I decided to make another post.

My therapist told me this time that the average emotion that a person feels initially lasts for three seconds, and that the emotion turns into a mood when thoughts or events contribute to this emotion. According to the internet, the average emotion lasts for 90 seconds. Either way, emotions are quite brief and fleeting, and they only turn into a “mood” if they are encouraged.

This is true with any emotion. The first step to handling emotions effectively, considering this, is to be able to identify the emotion as it happens, and then react accordingly. So if you identify a negative emotion, you could count the seconds in your head instead of following the corresponding train of thought, and shortly the negative emotion should dissipate. The same is true with a positive emotion, where you can dwell on these thoughts and emotions to keep it alive.

If the method of counting doesn’t work, another method is “opposite emotion action”. I’m sure people have already heard of this, where if you start feeling sad, you should do something that makes you happy. If you’re feeling ashamed of yourself, do something that makes you feel proud and accomplished. That sort of thing.

A common example is to work out when you start feeling bad, but that doesn’t work for everyone. It definitely doesn’t work for me. For me, the best option is to work on a puzzle, which makes me feel productive, accomplished, and generally helps me feel content. It doesn’t always work for everyone, but if it doesn’t, it just means you need a different method. There are a lot of ways to work on emotional regulation. If this doesn’t work for me, I just need to try a different method next week.

It takes time to rewire the brain and your behaviors to use these methods effectively. And there are always other options that might work better for an individual. It’s hard and it takes some serious effort and self-awareness, but hopefully it will be worth it.

Published by Rawry

I'm just a writer and gamer living in the middle of nowhere..

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