What are Emotions?
The definition of Emotions are so numerous, it can all gets pretty confusing.
Emotion also has a long history in the discipline of psychology postulating a number of different theories, all of which are open to interpretation depending on the particular school of thought.
At Sharing Self-Improvement we hope our contribution on the subject matter is one you can easily relate to.
An emotion is identified by 4 components which are:
- The experience
- The interpretation
- The perception
- The response or feeling to the particular situation.
Emotions are an integral part of the human experience and feature largely in your daily life. They can be a bit of a mixed bag ranging from negative emotions to positive emotions but emerge as a necessary part of your individual make-up.
Some negative emotions include but are also not limited to sad, indifferent, misery, fear, nervous, disappointed, jealous, shame.
Emotions operate on many levels and are a reliable indicator of what is going on inside. They even play an important role in your survival and are linked to the flight or fight reflex which is governed by the Sympathetic Nervous System.
Most of you would have experienced anxiety, anger or fear and noticed an immediate physiological response. This response involves autonomously innervated visceral organs such as the heart or stomach and presents as the ‘butterflies’ you feel in that region or an intense pounding in the area of your chest. An increase in your adrenalin flow and escalated blood pressure is also the body’s way of reacting when it is exposed to strong emotions.
Likewise positive emotions of love, excitement have a very different chemical reaction and the latter can cause the response called Eustress. This is the positive stress which shows up as heightened excitement and can lead to greater motivation, focused energy and an overall improvement on your performance.
Because your emotions are so intrinsically linked to your physical body it imperative that you create a harmoniously balance between the two. If you chose to ignore, dismiss, repress or inappropriately vent your emotions, there is a real chance that it will manifest as a physical illness.
Anger for example is a negative emotion that if repressed can lead to chronic headaches, sleep disorders, digestive problems, high blood pressure and even heart attack. Anger carried inside for an extended period of time will likely lead to depression. It is said that depression is anger turned inward.
Where do Emotions Come from?
Everyone has emotions which as I stated earlier exists along a broad spectrum. They are a necessary part of your existence. But have you noticed how some people seem to have stronger emotions than others? You may know someone who is described as ‘highly strung’ in reference to their emotional state. Or you may have experienced the wrath of someone’s anger quickly or the expression of another’s love openly and willingly.
What makes a person react one way to a situation while someone else reacts in a totally opposite emotional manner?
There are factors that affect our emotions but equally there are choices you can make to either feed, develop or transform their existence. You cannot delete your emotions but you can decide what to do with them.
Emotions are here to stay. They can either become your inner demons or your guiding angels but understanding where they come from can help you determine their status or power in relation to your life.
- Other people
If you were valued and praised as a child by your parents or carers they probably established a strong emotional base from which you draw on as an adult.
The opposite is true if you parents failed to develop you emotionally which could hinder your emotional capacity. Other people can affect your emotional well-being such as a loving partner or an abusive spouse who either support or harm your emotional make-up.
- Belief Systems
Your belief system affects your perception and how you interpret what you see, feel and experience.
There are certain religious or cultural belief systems where your emotions are encouraged to be either expressed or suppressed. Depending on which, it will likely determine your emotional interaction with the rest of the world. An overly strict or liberal value systems in the home can also be the source of positive or negative emotions.
- Love or Fear
As mentioned earlier your emotions are rooted in love or fear. Exposure to either environment will impact your ability to express negative or positive emotions. Now this does not mean putting you in a loving environment will automatically eliminate negative emotions. However it is known that an environment of love is more conducive to building a framework for healthy positive emotions to flourish.
- Physical and Emotional Abuse
Emotions which stem from emotional abuse can be deep and complex and can lead you to engage in a series of unhealthy behaviour. These types of behaviour only serve to numb the emotional pain for a very short period and will inevitably lead to mental and physical disease.
- Buried Emotions
Sometime buried emotions from childhood or as a result of trauma can remain hidden inside for a very long time. Buried emotions can come from a violent act, emotional deprivation, sexual exploitation or even exposure to long term abject poverty. Buried or repressed emotion is like a cancer which gnaws away at the very integrity of your life leaving nothing but pain in its path.
Now that you know what emotions are and where they come from let us move onto your emotional awareness. Also how unbalanced emotions may show up in your life and what you need to know to deal with them.
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