Do you feel like life would be sooo much easier if we didn't feel everything? It can often feel like our emotions take a toll, and if we had a magic wand, we would probably change a thing or two about them. However our emotions are super important (vital, actually). Our lives are basically guided by them. Awareness is key...
What are emotions?
An emotion can be defined as a biological state effecting the nervous system and brought on by neurophysiological changes. They can be impacted by thoughts, feelings, behaviours or painful/pleasant experiences.
Although there is often a negative connotation associated with emotions, the word emotion encompasses both positive and negative, and should be embraced as emotions have an important purpose in our lives and the lives of others.
Emotions are both physical and cognitive, leading to either high or low energy responses (in our bodies) or logical judgment about whether they are positive or negative (in our brain).
The purpose of emotions.
The purpose of emotions is to motivate us to act on something. Back in the day humans needed their feelings and emotions in order to be steered out of danger. If they saw something that they perceived as a threat, their body would go into fight, flight or freeze, they’d tense up, start breathing fast, adrenalin would pump through their bodies. All of this would occur because it would help them to either fight off the threat, run away from it, or hide from it. In turn, helping them survive. The emotion of fear in this case was extremely important in survival.
Nowadays, we don’t have to worry so much about threats like Lions or Tigers chasing us down the street to secure their breakfast. However our bodies still have feelings and emotions which are used as signals to show us when something needs to be acted on. For example, if you’re in a state stress it’s important to recognise this so you can do something about it.
Interpretations of emotions.
Our emotional responses are based on our experiences and values and can therefore differ from person to person. This may be why you could find it annoying when your partner leaves dishes in the sink, but they think it’s perfectly fine.
It also means that the way you’ve interpreted the emotion isn’t the only way it could be interpreted, so you should think before you act on an emotion. If your colleague in the office says you look nice today, they probably just mean you look nice and weren’t trying to be snarky.
Why should we be aware of our emotions?
We should be aware of the emotions we feel for a multitude of reasons including;
- Emotions control the decision making process. As much as we like to think we are in full control of our decision making, we aren’t. Our emotions like to take us for a ride. If we’re aware of our emotional state, we can bring our logical brain back to the table and make decisions with the whole picture in mind.
- Our emotions can impact our physical vibration. Have you ever had a brief interaction with someone and just sensed something was off? It was probably you picking up their energetic vibration. Your mood can effect the way you vibrate out into the world.
- Avoiding emotions can lead to them building up, or we could become numb to our emotions which is bad for out emotional and physical wellbeing in the future.
- Reactions of the feeling brain kick in before our thinking brain, meaning that we could act out in response to our emotions without even thinking about it. Only to realise later that we were out of line. This can effect our relationships with people.
- Our emotions are paired with physical responses, so it is important to know what we are feeling to be more aware of any physical responses that may be harmful to our bodies, like persistent stress.
Here's to all the feels!
Team TBM xx