The emotional spectrum is wide ranging, encompassing all sorts of subtleties of feeling which we don’t give much thought to as we go through the day. But there are three main groups which I would like to outline here because we can find ourselves suffering with them without realizing it.
I call them the 3A emotions – Anxiety, Anger and Anguish.
Thoughts can be very habit forming. We go over them (or versions of them) again and again. Thoughts about work, home life, relationships past events and traumas. These thought habits are not healthy but we get stuck in them all the time.
And all thoughts come with emotions. Whenever we think, we feel. There’s no getting away from it. Try thinking about something. Anything you like. Your shoes, for example. Do you like them? Joy. Do they need cleaning? You might feel disgust at the state of them or annoyance at yet another job to do.
Thinking about the things in front of us is one thing, but habitual thoughts are usually about something else. Something not in the Here and Now, but in the There and Then. In Gestalt Therapy we call these repeated thought scripts ‘Fixed Gestalts’. The term can also apply to patterns of behaviour and interaction, but for now we’ll stay with our thoughts and how they affect us emotionally.