Life is a fluid miasma of change that can often cause us to feel lost, desolate, and hopeless – as if our life will always be this way. Emotional Forecasting is an unhealthy technique in which we often engage without realizing. It consists of us experiencing profound emotions and thinking that this is how we will always feel, or that the situation will always be this way. For example, say you experience a life-shattering break up. You are blindsided and you feel as if your life will never recover. Your perception of your surroundings and the numbness you feel has you paralyzed from noticing anything other than your thoughts of despair. Since that despair is so intense it feels as if it will never end.
As you continue to focus on your immediate situation it grows exponentially and you may often engage in behaviors that are unhealthy. You may find yourself trying to numb the pain through alcohol, self-medication, sex or other activities in which you would not normally engage. Your thoughts drive the sadness and your behaviors solidify that what you are experiencing will be your long-term future.
It is vital you catch yourself before you sink into this profound despair. Yes, it is natural and healthy to experience grief, but when it is all consuming, you then start to lose sight of reality and it becomes your lifestyle. For example, its natural to feel scared when someone jumps out from behind a bush, but if you were to take that fear and feel it at the same intensity for the next hour it wouldn’t make sense. So, then why do you continue to project your current emotional state into the future just like that fear?
One of the best ways to counter the feelings from Emotional Forecasting is to remember an event when you experienced the same types of emotions and how they lessened over time. When you can write down these events and remind yourself of how you initially felt and the time it took to feel the emotions lift, then you can remind yourself that it has happened in the past and you will get through it again. Your personal history is wonderful data to utilize to counter emotions that drown you. When you use this data it then starts to weaken the deafening emotion and helps you remember that there is a healthy end to this current situation.
Once you are able to create the historical foundation then its necessary to forecast your future in the way you want it to be. Since you vanquished it in the past, remembering your historical data from previous experiences, you then know you will overcome it again. It’s imperative to use phrases like, “I’ve experienced this in the past, it was hard but I was able to overcome it.” “This will not defeat me.” “I will love again.” ”I will have a partner again.” The more you remind yourself of how you’ve conquered an event in the past the stronger and more expeditious moving beyond the current trauma will be.
You have not danced your last dance. You have not smiled your last smile, or laughed your deepest belly laugh. Your life will one day, soon, be bright again.
James Miller is a licensed psychotherapist and a piano composer who resides in West Palm Beach, FL. He is currently known for his YouTube channel: JamesMillerLifeology where he gives daily advice in ways to simplify and transform one’s life. Subscribe to receive his daily episodes. For more information visit his website at www.JamesMillerLifeology.com.