Pleasant And Unpleasant Emotions
Most people have an ambivalent relationship with their emotions, since they can’t imagine life without the pleasant ones yet fantasize about how wonderful life would be without the unpleasant ones. The fact that they are unable to see that emotional engagement is an all or nothing affair, where you either expose yourself to the possibility of pleasant and unpleasant emotions alike by turning towards life or cut yourself off from experiencing any of them by turning away from life, is just another example of compartmentalization.
If you can think in terms of taking the bad along with the good, of emotions being an all or nothing affair, you’ll be less likely to compound your misery when the unwanted emotional states come along because you won’t feel the same sense of unfairness, desperation, and general malaise that usually accompany unpleasant primary emotions.
You’ll be able to remind yourself that unpleasant emotions when things aren’t going the way you want them to go are the price you pay for pleasant emotions when things are going the way you want them to go. And no matter how you are feeling, good or bad, the state will eventually pass to make room for something else.
You can’t necessarily control your emotions but you can control how you respond to them, and the mindful relationship with emotions that we have been talking about here will bolster your resolve while you are feeling bad while helping you to appreciate your situation even more while you are feeling good.