Here's a little opener I used in my master's class to show the powerful relationship between beliefs and emotions, a topic I'm wrestling with for the Handbook chapter that I'm writing.
First, I have students watch the video (posted above) without explanation, just telling them that its title is Varuo, and they are to write down what emotions they feel while watching the video.
Then, I tell them that Varuo means "Warning" in Icelandic, and I show them the final minute of the video of the again, asking them to note any changes in their emotional responses to the video. So far, out of about 60 students, all except a handful reported that their emotions shifted after learning what the title meant. We then discussed how our interpretations of reality (beliefs) affect our emotional experiences of the world.
I find this a very powerful and interesting relationship, though I don't think it's unidirectional. I do think, though, that one can influence this relationship on either end--either intervene at the level of beliefs or do something that changes the emotional reaction. Surely the latter is involved in phobia therapy, and yet, I marvel at how powerfully influences beliefs influences subsequent emotional reactions. I guess that is why education is so powerful. I want to return to this subject again in a later post, but for now, I leave you with this amazing song by one of my favorite groups.