I frequently hear from our clients, especially those who suffer from panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and phobias; Teacher, I wish I did not have a feeling of fear, I did not worry at all, I did not experience a feeling called sadness, I am always afraid, what should I do! What should a person who is afraid of everything do? I am so unhappy and lonely! How do I deal with my anxiety? I can say that sentences and questions like these helped me to write this article.
At the beginning of the article, I would like to start with a question. Never with your basic five senses; Have you ever thought that you cannot see, taste, detect smells, hear sounds or feel the object you touch?
Almost all of us realize that our life becomes almost impossible when we bring this situation before our eyes. Just as our five senses make our physical life easier, we can describe our emotions as elements that protect and direct our spiritual life and even enable us to survive. When we imagine a life process in which we are devoid of emotions, we would experience serious difficulties and problems both psychologically and socially. In order to explain this, I’m going to ask you to stretch your imagination a little.
For example, suppose that a very advanced tool was invented by scientists with which we can completely eliminate any emotion we want. Let’s say that when we use this tool, for example, we get rid of our fear completely and no longer have any fear whatsoever.
-What do you think our life would be like in the face of such an invention?
-How would our relationships with your family, spouse, children or friends continue?
-Or how would people who have no sense of fear and have to work on top of a tall building continue to work at that height?
– What would your non-swimmer friend do on your sea vacation without fear?
How would we cross a street with heavy traffic?
How would we use our motor vehicles?
Fear is one of the negative emotions that our clients generally state that they are most uncomfortable with. However, the complete disappearance or disappearance of this feeling from our lives is not compatible with life. On the contrary, our most precious friend that will keep us alive when a situation that really threatens our lives occurs is our sense of fear. Today, although human beings make their lives easier with technological tools, manage to prolong survival with developments in the field of health, and make life safer with the laws they have enacted, our life will probably end in a short time if we are devoid of our sense of fear.
To give an example on this subject, we can look at the statistics on traffic accidents. According to statistics in the mid-1970s in the United States, alcohol is the most important factor in 60% of fatal traffic accidents. The cause of death of more than half of young people, especially between the ages of 16-20, is related to alcohol.
So what causes such a statistic?
Certain areas of the brains of people who drink alcohol are affected. Especially the emotional area is the most affected area. As a result of the emotional area in the brain being affected, alcohol causes the person to relax, reduce anxiety, cheer up and lose behavioral control. Although alcohol taken in small doses does not completely eliminate the anxiety of the person, increasing the dose reduces the anxiety of the person at similar levels. The person’s sensory perception continues, but the decrease in the sense of fear causes him to act without thinking about the possible consequences, which can lead to tragic traffic accidents.
Without leaving our imagination, let’s consider the feeling of sadness or unhappiness with the same logic this time. Consider someone who has never experienced sadness or unhappiness in their life. What would such a person’s life be like?
Sadness or unhappiness is an emotion we feel when, for example, a loved one leaves us or experiences a loss that results in their death. Think about what a person who has never experienced this feeling will experience in his social environment and relationships? He wouldn’t realize what he was missing in his life, maybe he wouldn’t care at all. It is even possible that he would not appreciate what he had and would not try to protect them, and he would become increasingly poor and lonely.
However, on the contrary, if we did not experience the feeling of happiness, which is one of the emotions we accept as positive, this would cause a negative picture, but a picture that does not coincide with life would not occur. Most likely, the person would have lived a bad life, but the consequences of being deprived of happiness would not have been as devastating as losing a sense of unhappiness.
We also know that the state of chronically deprived of happiness is a picture incompatible with life: Such cases have been defined as a psychiatric disorder called “dysthymia”. Many people can live this way. The idea that not feeling unhappiness can cause more serious losses than not feeling happiness may seem strange to you, but if you try to visualize this situation, maybe you will agree with me.
Let’s consider another emotion that is considered as a negative emotion, the feeling of guilt and regret. What would life be like if people didn’t feel guilty?
In this regard, I would like to talk to you about “antisocial personality disorder”. The fact that individuals with antisocial personality disorder do not have a sense of guilt is the most well-known feature of this personality structure. People with this disorder do not show and feel almost no signs of remorse or guilt, despite all the torment they have done and the pain they have inflicted. As a result of this disorder, they generally have problems with the security forces and the law due to the terrible crimes they have committed. Therefore, the fact that we do not feel guilt and remorse will most likely enable us to exist in a life where we commit crimes all the time.
Although the feeling of anger is not as intense as the feelings of fear, sadness and guilt, it is one of the emotions that sometimes disturb people. But what would our life be like if we never felt the emotion of anger?
If you try to remember what happened when you got angry, you can more easily understand what role it played in your life: Anger is an emotion we usually feel when our right is violated, when an unwanted behavior is displayed intentionally or deliberately. Imagine people who do not reflect their anger on people or who do not feel this emotion. Generally, we say that such people have a mouth and no language. So is it healthy to act like this? Where does the result of acting like this lead us?
Most likely, people would start ignoring us and behaving as they please in our relationships. In short, they started to do whatever they wanted.
As you may have noticed, all of our emotions have very important functions in our lives and no emotion by itself causes a negative result. On the contrary, our inability to feel or lack our emotions can have negative consequences.
Just as we completely need all our organs in our body, they all have a duty and a function, and we can think of our emotions as a limb that composes our spiritual structure. All our emotions, both positive and negative, are necessary and have a very important function in our lives. In fact, it should be noted that our negative emotions are relatively more necessary and vital than positive emotions.
To summarize, our emotions are the most important part of our sign system. What we need to focus on is noticing and understanding our emotions, seeing what they indicate and trying to act accordingly. It’s not about ignoring our emotions.
Another point we will focus on is what kind of connection is there between the event we experience and the emotion we feel, and how much does it overlap? If the reaction we show to the event and the emotion we feel is very extreme, it may be useful to get professional support.