I loved watching escapist TV series like The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and the like in my early twenties (now I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole).
I remember a scene in one of the episodes of The Vampire Diaries in which Stefan, one of the lead characters and a vampire, was compelled by Klaus, an evil vampire to turn off his emotions so he wouldn't be held back by guilt when doing the evil guy's bidding, much to the horror of Stefan's human girlfriend.
For some reason this scene really stayed with me, even though I've thankfully forgotten most of the series. It made me wonder what it would be like to switch off unpleasant emotions or forget haunting memories, and wished and wished for the ability to do so during a particularly distressing time.
I learnt, like most people do in their lifetime, that every experience plays a part in shaping who you are today, and that bad experiences help you appreciate the good ones. They teach you coping skills and help you develop your strength and resilience to better deal with others that may come your way.
However, there are instances when switching off your feelings can be useful.
I've been a slave of my likes and dislikes for most of my life, putting off things that didn't interest me right back in school when I'd just learn enough of the subjects I despised so I could pass them and never have to deal with them again, to harboring an irritated and unhealthy attitude towards performing mundane tasks if I absolutely have to do them. Until a few years ago, I used to deal with these tasks by appealing to my inner child and either making a game out of it, or imagining a whole scenario worthy of a novel (or so I'd like to think) to make it more interesting.
Somehow, somewhere, for some reason, that inner child slipped away and left me alone to deal with the banal. And now this is where turning off the mood that may keep you from dealing with tasks you may not enjoy immediately comes in. I listened to an episode on a podcast (I can't remember which one and haven't been able to find it yet) in which the speaker said we don't always need motivation to do things we may not like, just discipline to get them done with. I've been practicing this for a week or so now and so far it seems to have helped me increase my productivity and get those tasks I previously struggled with getting around to, off my to-do list. I no longer allow myself to entertain even the slightest notion that I may not like doing something if it needs to be done.
Is this too extreme? Do we always need to unpack and analyze the way we feel about everything?