How do our emotions work

Plutchik — Wheel of emotions

Millennia of social and religious moral authority have had a powerful influence over how we express our emotions. The need to gain acceptance of one’s community is the driving force for conforming to behavioral standards whether beneficial or counterproductive. Imposed emotional repression has denied humanity the ability to freely explore their feelings and consequentially has caused much pain and unhappiness.

Nevertheless, over the past twenty years a new paradigm has emerged that embraces emotions and its importance for our health and well being. This shift to acknowledge our subconscious feelings will take time to embrace as we unravel the embedded emotional denial that has been imprinted in our DNA for many generations.

How many of us have thought about how much we hate feeling emotional? There is such a sense of discomfort associated with emotions and feelings. Our fear of “loosing control” makes us behave in ways we often deplore later. We are constantly trying to repress them. We pretend they don’t exist but sooner or later they jump into our daily life – in our professional or personal relationships, with our children, family members and acquaintances in often surprising but sometimes destructive ways.

The more we repressed emotions, the more uncomfortable we feel, the more they permeate our life. The more we embrace them, the more we move towards a transformative path that fuels a positive and prosperous life.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS?

Feelings and emotions are two sides of the same coin and highly interconnected, but are two very different bodily states.

  • Emotions are a neurochemical reaction to an event which alters your physical state. Your emotions are physical, and instinctual.
  • Feelings are mental associations and reactions to emotions which are subjective being influenced by personal experience, beliefs, and memories.

Emotions play out in the theater of the body.

       Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.

       Dr. Sarah McKay (neuroscientist)

What are the basic negative and positive emotions?

  • Positive emotions include: joy, gratitude, hope, serenity, optimism, pleasure, interest, empathy, love
  • Negative emotions include: sadness, fear, jealousy, shame, envy, guilt, anger, doubt, despair

How can emotions affect health?

Repressed emotions can alter hormones, deplete brain chemicals, and have a damaging impact on the immune system. New scientific discoveries have identified that chronic stress from negative attitudes and feelings can actually decrease our lifespan by shortening our telomeres (the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which play a big role in aging).

What are some symptoms associated with repressed or buried emotions?

  • Fatigue and or lethargy
  • Depression without an apparent cause
  • Pretending something doesn’t matter when deep inside it does
  • Rarely talking about your feelings
  • Becoming irritated or upset over minor incidents
  • Walking around with a knot in your stomach or tightness in your throat
  • Difficulty talking about yourself
  • Troubled personal relationships with family, friends, acquaintances
  • A lack of ambition or motivation
  • Difficulty accepting yourself and others
  • Feeling emotionally numb

What is emotional intelligence?

We define emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize, understand and manage our emotions, while being able to understand and influence the emotions of others. Many experts believe that a person’s emotional intelligence is a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and overall happiness than one’s IQ.

Memory and Emotions

Our memories are events associated with an emotion weaved together to create our autobiography. Emotions are very influential during the process of creating memories. The stronger the emotion, the more embedded the event is in our memory. Each important life event forms a memory that, over time, is strung together one after another like pearls on a necklace.

Music has been identified as important in the construction of autobiographical memories. Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. So it is music that helps us recall significant events in our life and the emotion(s) associated with them.

CAP facilitates our work on emotions

The foundation of the therapeutic value of CAP is the use of uniquely composed music. This sequential use of programmed music is designed to gently and effortlessly allow us to uncover buried emotions, while presenting us with the opportunity to process our feelings. This remarkable journey lets us embrace our emotions and feelings, as best friends and allies that help us live a better more fulfilling life.

Whether your area of interest is personal development, psychology, psychotherapy, mental health, speech therapy, emotions are the backdrop, the root, the basis of the work you are going to do. By clearing up the blockages often associated with negative emotion, you’ll be able to reach your goal, discover your unique path and reach a place of fulfillment.

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