What do you feel when circumstances go against you in life? Do you huff and puff and rail against the unfairness of the situation? If you do, then you are definitely not alone. Many of us experience this sort of initial reaction, which is a combination of fear and anger. Both fear and anger are heightened emotions translated into different forms. Our emotions are heightened because we lack control over our new set of circumstances. They are ones we have not prepared for and hence have no plan to refer to when things have happened. (If we have experienced them before, then our emotions are less fear and more a mixture of anger and exasperation.) Our minds go into overdrive and we end up thinking of hundreds of possible courses of action, of which only one or two are appropriate, and waste mental energy not only thinking of scenarios, but also wasting time hating ourselves.
Eventually anger settles more into acceptance and often this stage depends on time as an influential factor. When sufficient time has moved on, the anger and fear is muted and things become clearer. We become less stressed because our options are fewer, and this in a way is more helpful because we spend less time aggravating ourselves.
What can we learn from all this? The first is when you are stressed, try to ride it out. Realise that clarity comes with time. Look after yourself and rest, so you are not wasting precious energy going around in mental circles!
The range of human emotions is encapsulated by the canon of songs by George Gershwin. Some of his songs deal with love, others with sadness, some with anger, some with joy – in fact, it would be possible to find a group of songs that show the various stages one goes through! Gershwin treaded between the jazz and classical genres, establishing himself in both (you can read more about him from the Piano Lessons N19 website) and the number of piano rolls and sheet music he published is testament to the fact of how he was aware and keenly made a fortune about writing about the range of human emotion. You might even say he monetised feeling!