Author Topic: Negative Emotions  (Read 1169 times)

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Offline nebula

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Negative Emotions
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:27:01 PM »
My religious beliefs bring me peace and help me to get through life.   I'm interested in learning about atheist mental techniques for dealing with life's dilemmas.  What do you do when you experience unwanted emotions such as anger, fear, regret, embarrassment etc.?   

I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.   So I was wondering about the atheist equivalent or ways that atheists deal with life, other than by seeking professional help.

Here is an example:   You are forced to work with someone who you find unreasonable, inconsiderate and stupid.   How do you keep yourself from being consumed by anger?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 10:35:22 PM by nebula »

Offline Nam

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 10:35:42 PM »
Like any other emotion: it comes and goes. Though when I get angry (really angry) I go smoke a cigarette. Calms me down; that's what they do anyway. I also come to websites like this and argue with people.

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Offline Astreja

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 11:13:56 PM »
Hei, Nebula! *wave wave wave*  Very thought-provoking question.

My main coping strategy at the moment is mindfulness, combined with what I call "borrowed confidence" (using the memory of past successes to ease the anxiety of current or future situations).

I try not to "stockpile" emotions but like to deal with them up front.  Sometimes it's as simple as putting a voice to what I'm feeling, as in "I get angry when I have to work with that idiot."

In an acutely painful situation, I may have to withdraw to a quiet place and just feel all the physical sensations that have been stirred up... And stare right at them.  I discovered that if I look closely at an emotion, or even physical pain, it seems to fragment and I start "seeing" through the pain or worry.  If I can do that, I can mentally break it into even smaller pieces until it's no longer a problem.

As for borrowed confidence, I can give you an example of highway driving at night. (I play in a few bands that do the occasional out-of-town gig, and we usually come home well after dark).  I'm a city mouse:  I'm fine driving around town, but if I know I'm going to be driving on a rural 2-lane with no streetlights, I get anxious.  The last few times out, I reminisced about previous successful trips home and the anxiety dropped immediately.
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Offline kin hell

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 12:03:25 AM »
Hei, Nebula! *wave wave wave*  Very thought-provoking question.

My main coping strategy at the moment is mindfulness, combined with what I call "borrowed confidence" (using the memory of past successes to ease the anxiety of current or future situations).

...great thinking. I know I am occasionally confronted with recurring situational fears and generally deal with each as an individual problem. You've suggested a tool that I've never applied  ....now I do feel a little silly :-[

Quote
As for borrowed confidence, I can give you an example of highway driving at night. (I play in a few bands that do the occasional out-of-town gig, and we usually come home well after dark).  I'm a city mouse:  I'm fine driving around town, but if I know I'm going to be driving on a rural 2-lane with no streetlights, I get anxious.  The last few times out, I reminisced about previous successful trips home and the anxiety dropped immediately.

I have done massive amounts of rural driving, and the best tools I've found (aside from alertness) are extra spotlights (like rally cars) and yellow tinted glasses.
I don't know what it's like in the states, but good strong spotties are life changing if the road is not busy, and even if it is, you can get them wired in to dip with your normal highbeam, but only come on when you want them. The yellow tinted glasses break down the glare of oncoming headlights without losing night sight.

Re the OP  being alive can be awesome enough to override malaise. I am v strong atheist, but I regularly experience a sense of glorious wonder at the immensity of this universe and my/our obvious connection to it. A god is not required for epiphanies, nor to remember that, whatever the life dilemma you are confronted with, being alive to experience life is the true wonder.

Re dealing with the unreasonable inconsiderate and stupid.
Well first up, there is no dealing with them, they are incapable of reason, incapable of considering your perspective, and too stupid to ever realise.

I think I'd take them for a long long rural night drive, and eventually try out my new ejector passenger seat.

Seriously, if they were as bad as all that, there are HR methods of resolution that can be applied.
As far as personal anger at their shitty attributes, I'd just let them know that I would not tolerate their bad behaviour impacting on me personally, and that I would take it as an unwelcome invasion of my personal space and well being.
If this proved futile (as the described parameters suggest) and it was truly relentlessly unbearable then I would involve higher authority if it existed, or just change my universe by leaving.
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 12:08:59 AM »
Astreja: OK, mindfulness works regardless of whether you are an atheist or theist.   I actually hadn't thought of it when I was writing the OP because lately I have been dealing with my problems primarily through metaphysics.  I use mindfulness as well but it's kind of in the background now and not my main focus.   I had forgotten its power.   Thanks for answering.   
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 12:16:14 AM by nebula »

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 12:13:27 AM »
Like any other emotion: it comes and goes. Though when I get angry (really angry) I go smoke a cigarette. Calms me down; that's what they do anyway. I also come to websites like this and argue with people.

-Nam

For me anger comes but doesn't go unless I deal with it head on.   Simple diversions will not work.   But some people are more broody and hold grudges while others can brush things off more easily, so I guess you're one of the latter.   
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 12:18:28 AM by nebula »

Offline Fiji

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 12:58:53 AM »
Metal
Seriously ... bad day at the office? Metal
The dark and broody stuff ... NiN, Rammstein, Tool, Therapy? ... Serj Tankian seems to go with any mood.

Rock bottom for me is when Therapy?'s Troublegum can no longer cheer me up. That's when I talk to my nearest and dearest. Not that they can actually help, but still, putting all that negativity into words does help.
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Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 01:07:31 AM »
Re the OP  being alive can be awesome enough to override malaise. I am v strong atheist, but I regularly experience a sense of glorious wonder at the immensity of this universe and my/our obvious connection to it. A god is not required for epiphanies, nor to remember that, whatever the life dilemma you are confronted with, being alive to experience life is the true wonder.

I am glad to hear that works for you but it would not work for me.   Take grief for example.  A close family member or pet dies and you have a terrible sense of loss coupled with regret over what you should or should not have done when they were still living.  In this case it is quite hard to be delighted that you are alive or wonder at the universe.     

Offline Nam

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 01:51:34 AM »
Like any other emotion: it comes and goes. Though when I get angry (really angry) I go smoke a cigarette. Calms me down; that's what they do anyway. I also come to websites like this and argue with people.

-Nam

For me anger comes but doesn't go unless I deal with it head on.   Simple diversions will not work.   But some people are more broody and hold grudges while others can brush things off more easily, so I guess you're one of the latter.   

Trust me, I am not one of the latter. I mainly keep away from things that get me angry (though sometimes I get angry for no reason), and use other "devices" to keep calm as long as possible.

I could make a list of minor things that get me angry (not upset; angry) and doing things that make me calm; like coming to places like this to banter, or watching a movie, or other things; it's a lot of effort on my part.

I'm angry a lot. Perhaps it stems from my childhood and the tribulations I went through or perhaps I've always been this way; there was a time I didn't care now I just slightly don't care.

But it isn't easy, never has been.

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Offline Nam

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 01:54:11 AM »
Metal
Seriously ... bad day at the office? Metal
The dark and broody stuff ... NiN, Rammstein, Tool, Therapy? ... Serj Tankian seems to go with any mood.

Rock bottom for me is when Therapy?'s Troublegum can no longer cheer me up. That's when I talk to my nearest and dearest. Not that they can actually help, but still, putting all that negativity into words does help.

With me it's more the opposite: when I'm angry I like to listen to A Fine Frenzy, Tracy Chapman, Jem etc., when I'm calm I like to listen to metal. Weird.

-Nam
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Offline wright

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 02:15:16 AM »
I am glad to hear that works for you but it would not work for me.   Take grief for example.  A close family member or pet dies and you have a terrible sense of loss coupled with regret over what you should or should not have done when they were still living.  In this case it is quite hard to be delighted that you are alive or wonder at the universe.     

Interesting topic, nebula.

As someone who struggles with depression, I agree that there are times when negative emotion is simply overwhelming. After a point, it leads to a kind of numbness, or detachment: events seem decoupled from any emotional context, for good or ill. As if a perfectly clear, impenetrable barrier has come between me and the rest of the universe. From experience, when it gets that bad, I know I need outside help. Usually a combination of exercise, having regular social contacts and occasionally antidepressants lets me survive and even prosper.

In dealing with difficult coworkers, I usually find just concentrating on the task at hand sufficient. If their behavior really can't be ignored, then I take it to higher management. Maybe I've been lucky, but that's always done the trick so far.
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Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 02:32:08 AM »
Trust me, I am not one of the latter. I mainly keep away from things that get me angry (though sometimes I get angry for no reason), and use other "devices" to keep calm as long as possible.

I could make a list of minor things that get me angry (not upset; angry) and doing things that make me calm; like coming to places like this to banter, or watching a movie, or other things; it's a lot of effort on my part.

One thing that helps me is to keep a a pair of dumbbells around, light enough that I can do multiple reps easily.  When I am very angry I do a fast set with them which uses up all the adrenaline quickly.   Then it's easier to calm down.

Offline kin hell

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 03:39:01 AM »
Re the OP  being alive can be awesome enough to override malaise. I am v strong atheist, but I regularly experience a sense of glorious wonder at the immensity of this universe and my/our obvious connection to it. A god is not required for epiphanies, nor to remember that, whatever the life dilemma you are confronted with, being alive to experience life is the true wonder.

I am glad to hear that works for you but it would not work for me.   Take grief for example.  A close family member or pet dies and you have a terrible sense of loss coupled with regret over what you should or should not have done when they were still living.  In this case it is quite hard to be delighted that you are alive or wonder at the universe.     

So are you saying you have an easier time with grief because you have a god myth to sustain you?
Then god belief is like taking an angle-grinder to life. It grinds off the sharp edges and makes life smoother sailing.

Grief is unwanted, not because of the emotion itself but because we would prefer whatever caused it to have not happened.
It's not as if any god ever stopped any event that causes grief. So any god intervention afterwards is but opiate for the masses ...after the event.

Shit happens, if it is painful enough and personal enough loss then grief is an almost inevitable result. I would not take anti-depressents to deal with grief, I'd live through it, experience it, and eventually it would lessen.

And if pain persists for an inordinately long time then I'd seek help.

And let me say I've had my share of deep personal loss and grief, I suffered, I survived, I healed, and I got on with this one and only that life I'll ever get.


"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 04:30:52 AM »
I typically dont become consumed by any emotion because I know its temporary. No sense in focusing on that which you cant control. Also, I dont consider emotions to be negative, they are our responses to stimulants and serve a purpose.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 04:53:02 AM »
What do you do when you experience unwanted emotions such as anger, fear, regret, embarrassment etc.?   

I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option.....

First of all, I wouldn't ever consider medication for "normal" anger, fear, regret or embarassment anyway.  Hopefully you don't consider those as the natural alternatives to religion?

Here is an example:   You are forced to work with someone who you find unreasonable, inconsiderate and stupid.   How do you keep yourself from being consumed by anger?

I minimise my involvement with them, as I do with all people that have negative effects on the world.
I remind myself that their reactions are the inevitbale outcome of environment and history - they literally can't help themselves.
If all else fails I moan to my colleagues to let off steam (or, if appropriate, will report their behaviour).

But getting "consumed with anger"?  Maybe I'm fortunate, but that just doesn't happen to me.  If someone does something that negatively affects me, I take steps to reduce or eliminate those effects.  Someone so obnoxious that I would be regularly enraged by their behaviour is almost certainly doing something against their terms of employment, so I'd do something on those lines to get them to rein it in.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2013, 08:05:27 AM »
So are you saying you have an easier time with grief because you have a god myth to sustain you?

I feel that my beliefs make it easier for me to deal with grief than would what you were describing about the wonder of being alive.   For me personally, thinking about my aliveness and the universe isn't enough to get me out of grief and/or misery.   That is not to say it isn't a good method for other people.  I just can't see that specific technique working for me personally.     

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2013, 08:17:45 AM »
My religious beliefs bring me peace and help me to get through life.   I'm interested in learning about atheist mental techniques for dealing with life's dilemmas.
Firstly by not referring to myself as an atheist, as that is a negative term from your perspective ( the theist). I am a humanist.
Quote from: nebula
What do you do when you experience unwanted emotions such as anger, fear, regret, embarrassment etc.?
Let them rear there ugly head just like anybody else, but not to the extreme like a religious person does. This is because I put man above any imaginary god/gods.  And I know that life is finite.
Quote from: nebula
I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.
And why would you think anybody else would be different to you? 
Quote from: nebula
Here is an example:   You are forced to work with someone who you find unreasonable, inconsiderate and stupid.   How do you keep yourself from being consumed by anger?
Ignore it and think pleasant thoughts. I as well as you have the ability for restraint, tolerance, etc..  Or do you find you lack those abilities?
 
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Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2013, 09:04:14 AM »
Quote from: nebula
I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.
And why would you think anybody else would be different to you?

I know that humanists deal with their problems without professional help or anti-depressants, which is why I said in the sentence right after the one you quoted: "So I was wondering about the atheist equivalent or ways that atheists deal with life, other than by seeking professional help."   I don't think I am the only one who doesn't feel the need for any medication.   Both theists and atheists seek professional help and and take antidepressants.   We're talking about ways OTHER than that.   I am different from a humanist in that I hold certain religious beliefs which seem to help, while the humanist does not hold these same beliefs.   

Quote from: nebula
Here is an example:   You are forced to work with someone who you find unreasonable, inconsiderate and stupid.   How do you keep yourself from being consumed by anger?
Ignore it and think pleasant thoughts. I as well as you have the ability for restraint, tolerance, etc..  Or do you find you lack those abilities?

Yes, I lack those abilities.   Restraint and tolerance don't come easily for me.   I find ignoring it and thinking pleasant thoughts impossible. 


Offline bertatberts

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2013, 09:25:51 AM »
Quote from: nebula
Yes, I lack those abilities.   Restraint and tolerance don't come easily for me.   I find ignoring it and thinking pleasant thoughts impossible.
Well! As I have never met any non-believer (atheist) that hasn't got those abilities.
I can only assume that lacking them must be something that is a direct caused of religious faith.
I feel extremely sorry, you have such a burden.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2013, 10:05:35 AM »
My religious beliefs bring me peace and help me to get through life.   I'm interested in learning about atheist mental techniques for dealing with life's dilemmas.  What do you do when you experience unwanted emotions such as anger, fear, regret, embarrassment etc.?
I used to pray - it "worked" only by giving me some quiet, reflective time to work out my issue. skygod never had any input.  So, now (as an atheist) I go talk to a rock in my garden.  So far, same results only now I get some vitamin D from the sun to boot.  Otherwise, just normal human emotions - wouldn't call them unwanted and they tend to pass, unless you like/choose to dwell on them.  I always think, gee, I could have been born blind with no arms and no legs - why stress about the color to paint the kitchen?
Quote
I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.   So I was wondering about the atheist equivalent or ways that atheists deal with life, other than by seeking professional help.
I've never considered meds for dealing with normal emotions, but professional help isn't off limits for atheists.  Why would they be?
Quote
Here is an example:   You are forced to work with someone who you find unreasonable, inconsiderate and stupid.   How do you keep yourself from being consumed by anger?
Ignore them/ think happy thoughts while they babble/ imagine them being eaten by fire ants as they speak....  I always tell coworkers  - why let someone else ruin your day and have that control on you?  Is it really worth it? 
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2013, 10:29:15 AM »
nebula, you indicated that this is an important distinction:

  I am different from a humanist in that I hold certain religious beliefs which seem to help, while the humanist does not hold these same beliefs.   

Can you elaborate a bit please on what beliefs you use to help you cope?

Back in the days when I still believed, more or less, I don't remember turning to god to help me deal with difficult emotions until after the fact. I tend to be pretty direct (and didn't completely outgrow that tendency in adulthood) and was more prone to facing the situation head-on if possible. I've gotten much better at using tact and self-control but that took a long time - I'm impulsive and I have quite a temper and it got away from me often. Weirdly enough, the intent behind the "serenity prayer" was actually helpful; my deconversion took a side path into "spiritual woo" for several years, which is where I figured out how to hold on to the best parts and discard the ugly ones so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

My opinion is just that - an opinion - but I don't see any evidence that belief in a deity is making anyone in my life better able to deal with challenging emotions. Death is inevitable, grief is a process, anger is usually a waste of energy unless it can be directed at improving the situation that's causing the anger. As it turns out, most of the time I was getting in my own way - dealing with my emotions is my responsibility.

I don't think there's any one way that would suit everyone - that's no more likely that one religion to satisfy every believer in the world. People can be very similar in many ways, but our individual quirks are unique to each of us. What might work well in one circumstance might be a colossal failure on another - it would depend on who is on the other side of the issue, assuming that it involves more than just you. I vary my responses based on the other person more than myself. Just because I see a situation one way doesn't mean that the other person does as well. Framing whatever it is (that includes other people as part of "the problem") so that your response is suited to the person you are responding to can be far more effective than holding to any particular method - some people can only be dealt with by ignoring their asshole behavior and focusing on getting the task at hand done. Then you can enjoy the satisfaction of being done with the asshole for that day.

Flexibility helps. Realizing that the other person is just as prone to challenges as you are helps. Controlling your emotional responses - not necessarily your emotions themselves - helps. Not being married to your own ideas helps. Remembering that you have no idea what's going on with the other person helps (although often not very much). Loosening up your own rigid behavior helps. Compassion helps. Understanding that most people go through life making decisions based on fear of what they don't know helps.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2013, 10:35:52 AM »
I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.   So I was wondering about the atheist equivalent or ways that atheists deal with life, other than by seeking professional help.
I've never considered meds for dealing with normal emotions, but professional help isn't off limits for atheists.  Why would they be?

I didn't think I was implying that professional help is off limits for atheists or that atheists need professional help more than theists or that theists need professional help more than atheists or that religious beliefs and professional help are mutually exclusive etc. etc. etc. 

I was saying we all know about professional help.   We all realize that this one avenue that is open to anyone who can afford it.   You don't need to give me "professional help" as an answer because I am already aware of this route.   So what I meant is, please give me something else.   Please give me another method of dealing with emotions that is NOT seeking professional help.   You have done this.   You have given me examples of how you deal with problems and these examples do not involve going to see a psychiatrist.    That is what I was asking for.   Thank you. 

Offline viocjit

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2013, 10:48:07 AM »
I know a simple method whith only two words "Don't care".
Therefore :
1.I don't care about the stupidity of others people.
2.I don't care about what they say.
3.I don't care about what they do.


Offline neopagan

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »
^^^^  I'm with you there, viocjit.
            That's kinda my answer to all of it, let it roll off
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Energized

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2013, 12:03:14 PM »
As many have stated, I work through them. I can't say that a moment of anger has ever stretched out for longer than a few minutes and I have never been depressed about anything.

If a particular negative emotion were to become chronic, then I would likely go talk to someone about it. I would never ever consider taking prescription medication for my "issues" unless it was related to a physiological condition. I know that the brain can become imbalanced and drugs are required to alleviate the symptoms.

However, I would not take anything that would "mask" a non physiological issue. If I was diagnosed as depressed, I would want my head clear to deal with the depression. Taking pills (IMO) would become a crutch. Religion is a crutch as well. We are all born with emotions - why would we want to mask those, even the bad ones?

E.
'O pitiful shadow lost in the darkness,
Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

~Enma Ai, Jigoku Shoujo

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2013, 02:18:43 PM »
nebula, you indicated that this is an important distinction:


  I am different from a humanist in that I hold certain religious beliefs which seem to help, while the humanist does not hold these same beliefs.   

I had written this in the OP: "I know that anti-depressant medication and/or psychotherapy are always an option but I have never felt I needed them because I have other ways of dealing with these emotions that involve spirituality.   So I was wondering about the atheist equivalent or ways that atheists deal with life, other than by seeking professional help."

bertatberts quoted the first sentence in that paragraph and wrote the following in response:

"And why would you think anybody else would be different to you?" 

Since you are quoting part of my response to this question, can you explain to me why he was asking me that?   What did I say that made bertatberts think that I think I am different from anyone else?      I had no idea where the question was coming from and did my best to answer within the context of the thread.   If I indicated it's an "important distinction" as you claim the distinction is only important insofar as answering a question I didn't understand is important.


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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2013, 02:56:04 PM »
^^^Wow, you say a great deal while still managing to not answer my question.....

I think you are perhaps reading too much into my question - you and bertaberts will have to work out your differences without any input from me about why either of you said what you did.

I was just trying to determine what particular religious beliefs you find helpful. Curiosity, nothing more, you don't need to actually identify them. I certainly didn't expect that to be the point of my post.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2013, 04:13:30 PM »
^^^Wow, you say a great deal while still managing to not answer my question.....

I think you are perhaps reading too much into my question - you and bertaberts will have to work out your differences without any input from me about why either of you said what you did.

I was just trying to determine what particular religious beliefs you find helpful. Curiosity, nothing more, you don't need to actually identify them. I certainly didn't expect that to be the point of my post.

I know but I didn't want to let the phrase "important distinction" slide.   This can be totally misconstrued as something like "I'm special and you are all dirty rotten sinners."   The first three words in the OP are "my religious beliefs."   It appears you want to know what these beliefs, which I referenced in the OP, are.   I'm working on an answer.   

Offline nebula

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Re: Negative Emotions
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2013, 05:45:39 PM »
Can you elaborate a bit please on what beliefs you use to help you cope?

Certainly.  Nondualism, it's changed my life.   I wouldn't be NEARLY this easy going without it.   It works even better for me than mindfulness which is saying a lot for it.

Any unpleasant emotion I feel is caused by some thought or another but all of these thoughts are related to my sense of self.   Example: "Something I don't like is happening." In nondualism, there is no me.   If I always thought in terms of nondualism there would be no me in any of my thoughts, therefore no unwanted emotions.   So the less I believe in my individuality the happier I am.   I have only started with it recently but I can already tell it's working.   

Another thing that I do, which isn't related to nondualism and I'm not even sure if it's inherently religious, is to value impersonal love above everything else.   Normally, when something has the ability to affect you negatively, it is because you value it.   Examples: you value your significant other.   If they leave you, you will be upset.   You value your pet.   If your pet dies, you will be upset.   So, if you have something that does not change that you value more than anything else, you are never very affected by anything that happens.   "Love in general" is a good thing to value because it leads to harmonious relationships.   For example, if you value love more than you value being right in an argument, the argument can never get out of hand.    Arguments can only get out of hand when each person values being right very highly.   If you value impersonal love, AKA unity, brotherhood, interpersonal harmony etc. more, winning the argument isn't as important.   

« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 06:30:50 PM by nebula »