There is a hugely empowering lesson we can learn in life. Our emotions are just data to be understood and reflected on; they aren’t predetermined directives that must be adhered to.
By this, I mean that many people proceed through their entire lives governed by emotion. Sadly, throughout much of western society, there is no formal mandate which informs people that our emotions present us with options and not just an ailment or dead end. People who see emotions as directives tend to base their decisions upon the strength of their feelings.
The Danger of Diagnoses
Since the creation of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1952 (published by American Psychiatric Association) it is common for doctors to diagnose emotions as illnesses, and as a result, for the unaware general public to define themselves and their very identities by these diagnoses.
Notwithstanding its almost exclusive biological focus and the equalisation of the human mind, the cause of many mental health professions’ misunderstanding of the mind lies in their deviation from the status quo in the realms of biological psychology.
An Alternative Perspective
Where psychoanalysis has historically endeavoured to diagnose mental illness and conditions, applied psychology inquires to understand human behaviour. Biology, in distinction, studies the world of organic matter. These are three very contrasting views as you might appreciate.
Some people still question whether there is a difference between the mind and the human brain. This leaves some wondering if human organs can produce emotions in and of themselves. In this while, our state education systems trusted the DSM’s ever-increasing range of ways that people can be ‘broken’ as the gospel of modern 21st-century life.
It goes without saying that with all this confusion and no established mandate for setting the record straight, much of modern society has become deeply sensitive and protective over their opinions and emotions.
The Root Cause of Emotions
Having our quality of life governed by the state of our emotions certainly isn’t a reliable strategy for living a fruitful or meaningful life. Therefore, if we can unlearn what we think we know about our feelings (being disorders) and start to view them as nothing more than data that can simply be interpreted, it’s far easier to find the root cause of them.
The principle of cause and effect states that: every effect has a specific and natural cause. Every cause has a particular and likely consequence. What this means is that every outcome that we currently have in our lives is an effect (or a result) of a preceding definite cause.
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.”– Denis Waitley
In the realm of commerce, eCommerce, social research and the global economy, data will always be analysed to be understood and identify any plausible patterns or trends – this is how data is utilised to promote economic growth and advancement.
Sadly, when it comes to responding to our emotions, many people accept them as gospel, or an illness, or a condition that requires the sophisticated support of an accredited therapist or medicinal support from the society serving pharmaceutical companies.
Growing in Self-Awareness
When society decides to shift its thought in terms of how we relate to ourselves and our emotions, vast transformation will occur as people realise that when we analyse our feelings (in the same way we might analyse data), we will also become better able to identify the patterns and trends in our lives that produce them. Thus we become more enlightened people who are more self-aware and empowered.
When people eventually understand that feelings are just data that can be understood and aren’t directives that must be rigidly adhered to, this can be the first step they’ll take towards living more empowered and independent lifestyles.