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Some people embrace them, others run away from them and some almost don’t acknowledge their existence. What are emotions really all about and why are they so important to your survival and experience?
This is the questions I will answer in the following post.
What are emotions really?
I’ve always been very connected to my emotional part, I guess it’s just the way I am. Being very kinesthetic I’ve spent my life time trying to understand how to master these elusive and abstract experiences.
About 6 years ago I stumbled upon some philosophical teachings that changed the whole way I perceive our emotional systems. This in time enabled me to gain access to a great ability of control and advantage that I wish to share with others.
This understanding was that emotions are indicators that that bridge the two main types of mental capacities we have as humans
The conscious and subconscious
They are simply the link between the two which when balanced can allow for the experience of growth and evolution.
Imagine for a second not eating for a whole day and feeling hungry. Now let’s say you could take a pill and stop feeling that hunger. You pop it in your mouth and the feeling goes away. The next day you wake up to your rumbling stomach and the uneasy feeling of hunger. You then take another pill and pop it in your mouth, the hunger goes away.
You continue this trend for the following week until suddenly you feel week and collapse.
That’s an extreme and obvious example but is also very relevant to any emotion we feel indicating that some sort of imbalance is happening and we should attend to it.
Our subconscious part which regulates every part of our being such as heart beats, body temperature, physical needs and many more aspects needs a way to signal us. The most strong and meaningful way being our emotions.
When we lack a certain basic need our emotions are triggered to give us a sign that something needs to be done.
Another very interesting side to emotional states is the access they give to certain parts of the brain. This is called state dependent learning which implies that any skill or knowledge you attain at a certain state of mind can only be accessed if you are in that specific emotional state.
This can explain why many students who feel anxiety during tests experience blackouts.
This also implies that having a positive state of mind gives you access to the subconscious parts that will enable more growth and more positive experiences.
This subconscious mechanism helps us deal and cope with many situations we are faced with on a huge variety of experiences.
Let’s say your life was in danger, the trigger of fear would give you access to skills and ideas that are relevant to the situation and help you escape it. On the other hand during a party when you are social and enjoying the company of others this specific state would probably not fit well.
The problem starts when we as modern humans start practicing and confusing emotional states and ignoring the chronic behaviors we acquire.
Running away from emotions:
Though they play such a huge role in every part of our being, there is a tendency to observe emotions as being unimportant. This social mentality is one of the biggest causes for most ill behaviors in our societies.
In my opinion drug abuse, alcohol consumption, overeating and many negative behaviors are merely a way of running away from facing our emotions. Even though this might give some temporary relief, it is often very counterproductive.
Chronic negative emotions:
Because they play such a big role yet are so misunderstood, emotions can tend to take over and become the masters of the game. This happens when people practice feeling a certain way for a long time without taking the necessary steps to understand and change their emotional situation.
Instead of listening to the indications of imbalance they shut them away as irrelevant and continue moving on with their self-destructive patters which in time can lead to various sorts of illness and mental issues.
The interesting thing is that the same way you can create negative emotional habits; you can actually create the positive opposite polar.
Ever meet someone that is always happy? I mean a total Pollyanna
Well, the only difference between them and you is that they practice positive emotions and as a result have a strong balance towards effective and progressing events.
On the other hand, you’ve probably met the chronic negative person that has a tendency to turn everything into pure garbage, the same effect on the other side of the scale.
The more you practice a specific emotion the more you will experience it:
The same way that emotions indicate a situation they also work the other way around. The more you practice a positive state, the more access you have to positive skills, the more oriented to positive experiences you will be.
This is a sort of bypass that can be immensely helpful if you wish to achieve success and enjoy life more.
Emotions are the seed of advancement:
Modern life can be harsh and emotions are not considered to be of high importance in the grand scheme of the great machine. But on an individual scale emotions play a huge part in the way we experience our lives, the decisions we make, our goals and also our aspirations.
The need for feeling good is what has motivated the human race to advance to such high levels and continue to strive for improvement.
Think for a moment about your goals and dreams? Why do you really want them? What does having them mean to you?
I bet if you take the time to really think about it, you’ll find that ultimately you believe that achieving them will bring you joy.
Emotions are a very intriguing and complex system that is highly important for our survival and advancement. Learning to understand how and why they work the way they do can help you live a much better and more balanced life.
The first step is to start listening to what they are saying about your current situation and then take the steps needed to start practicing the emotional state of mind you wish to achieve. This in time will give you access to the resources you need to achieve and enjoy anything you wish.