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How Anxiety and Depression Could Be Good For You… And How Trying to Stop It Could Harm You

Can you remember playing the Hot and Cold game when you were young?…

…It was the game where you were blindfolded, spun around and you had to try and find another person but the only thing helping you was receiving verbal feedback from others.

They would yell out, “You’re getting warmer,” if you were heading in the right direction. If you were moving away from your target you would hear others say, “You’re getting colder!” Inevitably after a few bumps and giggles, you would end up finding your target.

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The “Hot and Cold” game can help you listen to your own internal emotional compass

Now imagine what would happen if you tried to play the game again but this time you could only receive positive feedback?

They could call out, “You’re getting warmer,” when you were heading in the right direction but were muzzled from letting you know if you were heading away from your target or even heading toward danger.

How successful do you think you would be in this game?

It would make it a lot harder, wouldn’t it? It wouldn’t be as much fun. There would also probably a greater chance of getting hurt because you couldn’t receive any warnings.

So you may be wondering what on earth this game has got to do with anxiety and depression?

Well, this game highlights the possible dangers in life if we try to suppress so-called negative emotions like anxiety and depression.

You see, most people think that the only emotions that we should feel are happy and positive emotions. We think that emotions like anxiety and depression are bad emotions that you should not feel and we are encouraged socially to suppress the expression of these feelings and just “get over it”. Medical doctors are quick to even label these emotions as diseases that we need to get rid of and are all too happy to promptly prescribe you anti-depressant medication!

But what if these negative emotional states such as anxiety and depression were similar to your body saying, “You’re getting colder.”

What if these “negative emotions” were giving you a positive warning?

What if feelings of anxiety and depression were valid feedback, warning that you are looking at your present situation from an incorrect or potentially dangerous perspective? What if these feelings were your own internal compass encouraging you to change direction and look at things from a different perspective?

So you can understand how suppressing the expression of these so-called “negative” emotions through medication or other means could be interfering with your own personal “emotional compass”. No wonder so many people are feeling lost and directionless in life!

Consider all of your emotions, both positive and negative as “Feedback from your soul”. Allow your emotions to be freely expressed in your life to provide you guidance and direction. Just like the Hot and Cold Game, chances are you will find your targets in life a lot better and have a lot more fun in the process.

 

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