Article 1

Our feelings can sometimes help us to achieve our life goals , but at other times they might block us from doing so. Here, we will help you to identify the feelings you are experiencing , and the different ways in which they can be helpful and problematic. It is often tempting to think about moods as extremes-low moods versus highs , and slowed-down feelings versus sped-up and activated feelings . Similarly there are ‘negative feelings’ such as fear, sadness , anger , shame and guilt, which can separate from ‘positive feelings’ such as happiness, joy, excitement and comfort.

However, even though negative feelings can be unpleasant , they usually have a purpose.

Fear help us to be prepared for a threat , and anger alerts us to situations of injustice around us .

But if we are too frightened , then we are unable to face our fears at all.

Article 2

If we are too angry , then we can go off the rails without being able to tackle the injustice itself. So these emotions have pros and cons to them. It is the same with positive emotions. Feeling happy and excited can make us energized and optimistic about achieving our goals, but if you are too excited then you may not be able to concentrate well enough to get anything done.

We might also have positive and negative ideas about our emotions.

For example, we might think that it is ‘bad ‘ to feel angry or ‘weak’ to feel sad. We might think that we ‘ought’ to feel happy. If you have trouble with mood swings then these ideas can be particularly strong.

If you feel happy , for instance , you might think ‘Oh no’ I am going high again- it’s be disastrous .’ If you feel sad you might start to panic and think’ Oh no’ the depression is starting again – I won’t be able to stand it. These ideas about your emotions can make it much harder to cope with them.

Article 3

Jamie’s experience of anger

When I was depressed I felt that my anger was kind of supressed because I was pushing away all kinds of negative feelings. Through therapy I began to understand that these feelings can also be helpful in dealing with a difficult time or event and it changed how I viewed anger . I realized , for example , that if somebody shouts at you it will eventually make you angry -that is normal.

But an appropriate amount of anger is very natural and does not have to get out of hand; it doesn’t have to lead to a low or depressed state of mind . There have been situations where I have been able to use my anger in a productive way to stand up for myself.

Now I see it as being like a burglar alarm – it goes off to let me know that something isn’t the way I want it to be .

For example, if someone is being abusive, but you don’t do anything about it, the abuse will just carry on. Getting angry doesn’t mean being violent or abusive back , but it is a warming sign that I might need to do something , it tells me I need to find a way of letting the other person know that I’m unhappy with know they are treating me.


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