We think our emotions drive us because we feel that they are largely involuntary and we have no control over them. Our emotional impulses sometimes work in our favor and sometimes we end up doing actions that we regret later on. The Stoics explain that there are different causes of our emotions and some of them include our misaligned beliefs. According to Chrysippus (Diogenes Laertius 7.111, Galen PHP 4.3.2),emotions are judgments that involve beliefs about value.
When we face a situation that is not favorable or if we get results that are not in concurrence with our beliefs and desires, we become susceptible to our emotions. If we don’t keep a check on them, feelings of anger, envy, jealousy or resentment may emerge within us as a consequence.
Beliefs are patterns that we have cultivated over time and because these emotions are driven by our beliefs, we are responsible for these emotions. Our beliefs have contributed to the development of our character and the traits that we have gathered over time, whether good or bad. Hence, a wise step that we can take is to run a diagnostic check of our core values and beliefs.
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