When we reflect upon our life, we might sometimes feel a sense of doom, unhappiness, depression, or sadness. And perhaps this is true if you’re struggling with an addiction or mental illness. Perhaps you always find yourself in certain feeling states such as disappointment, anger, guilt, or shame. Perhaps as a result you always find yourself making poor decisions for yourself or you might want to never go out of to go out of the house. You might isolate yourself, avoid family and friends, or simply stay to yourself as much as possible.
However, authors of the book Ask and It Is Given, explain that just one move up the ladder of emotions can slowly facilitate feeling better. The point is that you don’t have to go from feeling depressed to feeling joyful – that might be too hard to do if you’re in a depressed state. However, you might be able to make the move from depression to rage for instance. Although rage isn’t always a healthy feeling. It’s certainly better than feeling depressed where you’re likely not feeling anger at all. Anger and rage are empowering emotions that might kick you into gear towards making a change.
Instead of making the jump from one end of the spectrum to the other, from feeling horrible to feeling great, you can simply make a tiny move towards happiness. Eventually, as you continue to climb the ladder you might find yourself in a joyful mood one day.
Below you’ll find the ladder of emotions presented by the authors:
- Joy, Appreciation, Empowered, Freedom, Love
- Enthusiasm, Eagerness, Happiness
- Positive Expectation, Belief
- Frustration, Irritation, Impatience
- Hatred, Rage
- Insecurity, Guilt, Unworthiness
- Fear, Grief, Depression, Despair, Powerlenssness
You may not agree with all of the emotions listed here, nor might you agree with their sequence. However, one powerful activity you can do for yourself is to list the emotions you tend to have and in the order of positive to negative. However, don’t forget to list positive emotions that you might not have but that you want to have. For instance, if you’ve never felt joy in your life, then add that to the top of your list. Even though you haven’t felt an emotion, you can still have the opportunity to experience it.
Often, it’s memories and/or emotions that trigger cravings for drinking or drug use. Feeling depressed might trigger the need to drink in order to feel better. In addition to prompting us to move one tiny step closer to happiness, one of the other benefits of using this scale is to learn that we can have control over our emotions. Instead of following that craving, you might simply work on changing your feelings. We often think of feelings that have control over us, that when a feeling shows up, that’s it, we must bear it and deal with it. But actually, we can have control over our feelings. It takes practice and the awareness to know what we are feeling in the first place, but it’s possible.
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