Emotions are that funny thing that all of us humans seem to be hard-wired with from birth. The very thing that makes life so enriching and yet so painful all at the same time.
Bringing love and light into our lives, and yet also suffering and sorrow.
Seems like none of us got that crash course on Emotions 101, nor did schools implement such courses into the classrooms; leaving us to blindly feel through certain situations, labelling emotions as we believe them to be, and grasping straws in aims to understand why at times we experience those great highs, and yet also hit those all-time lows.
What are emotions after all? How would we define them, and do they serve us?
More importantly, how can we best learn to respond to emotions (such as anger, sadness, fear, jealousy, disgust, and shame) in a more relaxed and rational manner when they arise?
According to our good friend Merriam-Webster, Emotions are: “a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes in the body.”
Whether we are aware of it or not, when certain emotions arise, our whole physical state of the body shifts.
In the case of Anger, our heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more shallow, blood flows to the hands, adrenaline courses through our bodies and we go into fight-or-flight response- ultimately prepping us for “battle.” AKA: getting ready for action!
When experiencing Sadness, our immune system tends to weaken, our appetite changes, our heart can physically feel like it is hurting, we experience a drop in energy and passion for life, a slower metabolism, and often it keeps people close to safe environments- their home.