Like many people I have spent my whole life avoiding feeling my emotions. Since I was a child I’ve struggled to understand and decipher my emotions and really appreciate their importance in my life. In particular I have spent years fearing those uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions that we experience.
So I guess that begs the question why I would launch a blog based around emotions right?
I mean emotions...Who needs them anyway??
All they do is cause stress, unhappiness, confusion and an unwavering sense of fear and despair, not to mention a whole heap of physical side effects when we don’t acknowledge them. So far you probably agree there is nothing really positive to say about emotions right?
Well what if I told you that emotions are actually a really important and positive aspect of our lives and that we need them to make decisions to help guide us through our lives?
You probably think I’m crazy right?
How can all those emotions we feel be any good for us?
Well firstly our emotions shouldn’t be as confusing and uncomfortable as we have come to experience.
The problem isn’t our emotions; it’s our society’s conditioning and negative opinion on emotions that has created so much fear and negative stigma around them.
The matter of the fact is that we all experience some degree of emotional illiteracy. So now lets take a closer look at emotions and what they are actually for in our lives.
What are emotions?
Emotions are actually more complex than most would think. Emotions connect a person’s thoughts, feelings and actions which cause people to respond in a certain way. Emotions stem from the limbic brain, this area in the brain is responsible for reacting to the world around you instinctively. This means that your emotions are hard wired responses and do not relate to rational thinking or reasoning.
Why do we have emotions?
Ultimately emotions are there to guide us and enable us to react to situations based on those thoughts and feelings, without them there would be no action as we would not be instinctively compelled to resolve the situation.
From the day we are born our brains relay vital information from our external environment. This acts both as a survival mechanism and as a way we experience the world. As infants we cry, laugh, scream, and giggle to let our parents know how we are feeling. Babies are highly in tune with their emotions and selfishly engage in them to communicate how they are feeling. For infants emotions are key to their survival.
2. Physical Safety
Another reason emotions are important is that they are there to keep you physically safe. Emotions are there to protect you. Cleverly enough they are there as a mechanism or short cut to process information quickly and efficiently. This instinctual part of your brain could save your life if you were to find yourself in a dangerous situation.
Emotions play a crucial role in our ability to harness creativity in our lives. Musicians, artists, actors, and writers all use their emotions to express themselves creatively. They understand that emotions play an important role in their ability to create or portray meaning which they have harnessed from their emotions. All forms of art, music and literature is created to provoke and inspire emotions within us. We spend time through creative expression connecting to and understanding the emotions that arise within us.
· Emotions come and go. We don’t often feel emotions every second of every day. Remember they arise in certain situations when our mind is trying to provide us guidance.
· Emotions vary in intensity. You will experience emotions in a variety of intensities depending on the situation. You may experience them mildly, moderately or quite intensely.
· Emotions are neither good nor bad. All emotions we experience are there to guide us. It is the way we express them or act upon them which builds the foundations for how we view them and deal with them on a daily basis.
When we start to view our emotions as a powerful tool to guide us in our lives we release the fear, anxiety and energy it takes to suppress our emotions and start to use them to our benefit and not against us.
I hope this little introduction into emotions has given you some insight into emotions and why we experience them.
How have emotions played a role in your life? Having read this post do you feel more positive about emotions and harnessing them as a powerful tool in your life?
Share your comments below I would love to hear your thoughts.
Love Jasmin xx