Something more contagious and dangerous than swine flu…

Stop! Before you panic and lock yourself into a bomb shelter, I need to warn you – you will not be safe there. It doesn’t matter where you are, how many different medications and vitamins you are taking – you can still catch this. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years. The symptoms are so varied that it is hard to diagnose. Everyone you have ever known has felt the effects of this epidemic – including YOU. The good news – it is not always bad. But when it is, it can be hard to get rid of. Often times, it attaches itself to someone or something that you care about deeply, and you are at a loss to find a cure.

You may have heard of it before, it is called “emotions.” Wait, wait don’t leave yet! I am serious – emotions are a very real phenomenon. Yes – even men have them too, probably more so than they care to admit! What I will tell you is common sense, yet without actually thinking about it, you will let them run your life.

What is an emotion? That is a very good question. There are many different theories describing the function and root of emotions. To go into depth would take much more page space that I care to write. For the purposes of this blog, I will talk about classical emotions, such as anger, happiness, sadness and fear. If I were to describe it, it would be a reaction from your subconscious mind to external stimuli. You feel emotions consciously, but they are created subconsciously. That is why it is difficult to tell someone to be happy when they are depressed – we do not choose our emotions consciously.

There are many emotions, such as happiness, sadness, fear, excitement and anger. Each of this serve there own purpose. It is not my intention to discuss that. What I want to make known is that emotions are contagious. They can be picked up by just a chance meeting with a stranger. From walking into a room. Watching an emotional event. The truth of the matter is that emotions are everywhere to be found.

Imagine the following. You are working in an office. You walk into a conference room to pick up some documents. You intrude upon two men in a heated debate. One man is banging his fist into a table while the other one is yelling angrily at him. One of them notices you. He turns around, curses at you and throws a pen at you. What emotion would you feel at that moment? How would you respond?

Now picture that you leave this room carrying a large stack of documents. As you are walking down a hallway, a man clumsily bumps into you, causing you to drop everything – mixing up all of your important work all over the floor. What are you feeling now? What do you do?

From the above, it is easy to see that one could easily be infected by another person’s emotions. Then in turn, an innocent mistake from a stranger could cause you to lash out and infect yet another person. Much like a disease, emotions can be spread quickly all emanating from one person.

Knowing this, you should be weary of your surroundings. If you hang out with someone who is angry all the time – chances are you will become angry as well. Take notice of your feelings, and try to understand them. Rather than just saying, “I’m sad,” think about WHY you are sad. Look for the root of the problem, rather than the symptom. If you notice that every time you go to the park you feel very happy, that should tell you something – go to the park more often!

It is a good idea to have a journal of your strong feelings. Right down what you felt, when you felt it and why. It will give you a better understanding of yourself – which you probably know a lot less about than you actually think!


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