A special note to you my readers and followers:
This is my 100th post. Happy 100.
As it is with any series that appears on TV, the 100th episode is a major milestone.
This is how I view this post.
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For your convenience so that you can access any of my past posts, I have included a tab to the index of blog posts by title and date at the top of my home page. If this link doesn’t work, you can click on the tab, scroll down and the index link will appear. Find the topic you want and go right to the specific month in the archives on the right hand side of the screen. You may have to scroll down just a bit to get to the post you are seeking.
Secondly, you can also download, with no opt-in, the first two chapters of both of my Amazon best selling books from the welcome post.
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So, it the spirit of 100, I thought I would write about a question I received on Quora not too long ago. It was a question I had never been asked.
Here is the question.
What emotions should you experience daily, in order to be in control of your emotions?
While I am not trying to “put words in your mouth” nor am I demeaning your question in any way, it seems that you view emotions as if they were vitamins. Emotions are not like vitamins as I will explain below. So, the short answer is that there are no minimum daily requirements for emotions.
To put this answer in a different light, you would find the following question quite silly: “How many times a day should my smoke detector go off?”
Let me elaborate..
Your emotions are tools, just like your smoke detector, which alert you to how you perceive your surroundings. The primary emotions are mad (anger), sad, glad (happy) fear, disgust, and surprise. With the exception of glad and surprise, all of the primary emotions are primitive threat detectors. Each emotion reflects a different perception of a situation that demands your attention, elicits an initial reaction, and gives you an opportunity to develop and implement a reasoned response.
You do not control your tools such as the smoke detector, your smart phone, or your TV remote, you learn how to master them as tools to get them to work for you and do what they were “designed” to do.
If you perceive something that you find interesting, enjoyable or pleasurable, the emotion you experience will be glad (happy), your initial reaction will be to spend more time with the task or person you find interesting and you will respond by pursuing that task or person. This is the “message” of glad.
If you perceive a situation which threatens your values, your goals, or your sense of right vs wrong and you believe you can do something to change that situation, the emotion you feel will be anger, your initial reaction will be to attack and your reasoned response would be an action that is designed to deal with the situation. This is the “message” of anger.
So, as your emotions alert you to your surroundings and prepare you to act, you won’t experience an emotion until you encounter a situation or person which grabs your attention. Many situations ==> many emotions. No situations==>no emotions.
Your task is to learn about your emotions, how they work, and how you can use them as tools.
You can go back and read the many comments I have made on Quora or you can get a good overview by downloading a free copy of the first chapters of my book Emotions as Tools:A Self Help Guide to Controlling Your Life not Your Feelings and my second book Beyond Anger Management:Master Your Anger as a Strategic Tool from by website.
To you, my readers. Thank you for coming to (and back to) my blog and participating in my effort to bring some clarity to the emotional universe. If my material raises some questions for you, please take a moment to leave a comment. While I don’t do therapy over the internet, I do read all comments and attempt to answer all legitimate (I eliminate SPAM.) questions.
As a reminder, in order to help you access what I have written, I have included an index to all my posts. There is an IndexI tab at the top of this site. When you click on it, a PDF document will come up which lists each post and tells you the date it was posted. You can then to the post in the archives to the right of the screen.
Thanks, again. And, here is the next 100 posts.