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Wellness

What Can Be Done To Eliminate Negative Emotions?

This is an excellent conversation I had about living out, embracing and expressing the things we truly believe in. A couple of my friends gave me a copy of it, since I hadn’t given them a chance to see it. It was the most inspiring thing that I had read all year.

This month marks the 200th anniversary of Galileo’s discovery that the planets revolve around the sun, and as a result, we have been using Galileo’s system of measuring the moon and planets to calculate our time in terms of months. We celebrate a small change in how we use the planet as a calendar system in this month’s lesson. But I believe we can all take some time this month to reflect on how and why we chose a calendar system based around the Earth as the sun system. In particular, when Galileo was studying the motions of the planets, he noticed that two of them are in the neighborhood of the sun. He wondered if there was anything about this that would allow the sun system to be a more precise model for how time works. Galileo’s insight was that the Earth is more accurate as a model for how time works than the sun system because our planet orbits around the sun at a more constant velocity than does the sun system, meaning that we can use it to predict our time more precisely than the sun system can. Since Galileo’s time, the sun system has been replaced by the more accurate system of measuring time based on our 24-hour day. In the course of making that change, we have had to make other changes, but we have made the system we now use more accurate. And in time, this more reliable method has become the universal model used across our planet and in the world.

My question, “What can be done to eliminate negative emotions and make people happy”, is a direct reflection of my long-standing belief that there is something we can do about the “negative” negative emotions or feelings we have. There is something we each bring to this job we don’t like very much, and I’ve been interested ever since I learned that when we are really tired, we don’t want to work very hard. I didn’t realize until recently that when we are really tired, we don’t want to do any of our very best work either.

When we are frustrated, we don’t want to work because it doesn’t feel worth doing (if we can’t see what we are doing, it doesn’t seem worth doing). When we are anxious, we don’t want to be a manager, a professor, a doctor, or a teacher. When we are angry, we don’t want to go anywhere – we want to be where we are and do what we know best. When we are disappointed, depressed, or anxious, that can be a very hard day for us, and we may not even be able to recognize it, but something must be wrong. And that is true whether we think of our problems as “negative” or not.

Sometimes we know exactly what our “emotions” are, and the problem is that we don’t think we’re feeling them. And sometimes when we are feeling a very hard problem, we don’t think that the very hard problem is the reason we feel that way.

In the same way, we can make these negative emotion and emotional reactions more visible to ourselves and others by focusing on it with the intent of doing something about it. Sometimes we can fix these emotions by doing something about them and other times we have to just do some more thinking about it. But either way, that action to deal with an emotion is a good action, and one we must do every day if we want to stop feeling some of these negative emotions.

Why Do I Have to Do Something?

Sometimes we don’t realize we have these difficult emotions in the way we do. When we have a bad day, we can try our best to ignore the feelings that go through our system. Or we can try to take a moment to acknowledge the problem, but that doesn’t take much time, only a couple of minutes. But we can’t just “work through” how we are feeling, we can’t sit there and think about it or take notes about how we feel and the specific emotions we have. We have to work because we want to do something about it. And when we do something about it, we are better off.

When we work hard, we are more effective, and as we make progress, the emotions can’t come back unless we have made ourselves less effective, and that is true whether we have found or are still finding something to do about the underlying root problems of our emotional reactions. Our goal in doing something about emotional reactions should be to keep doing as we are getting better at it, not get worse at it or work at the same problems we were working at before.