Emotions are the dazzling threads that stitch together our experiences, imbuing them with color and vitality. Once considered mere background noise to the symphony of logic, these vibrant pulses are now understood as the music themselves — a complex dance of cerebral and corporeal signals. Let’s drape ourselves in the rich fabric of our feelings, exploring their subtle power and intrinsic value. With a touch of elegance and a nod to nature’s wisdom, we’ll embark on a stylish sojourn into the heart of what moves us, shapes us, and defines the artistry of our humanity.
What Emotions Are
We used to think that emotion was something illogical and interfering, something that took up a lot of our time and energy. But in fact, emotions are an important mechanism created by nature to make decisions. The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emovere — “to move”, so emotions make us do something.
Evolutionarily, emotions appeared much earlier than humans; it’s proven that the first emotions were in animals. Positive ones helped the animal to understand what it needed more of and where it needed to strive; negative ones warned of danger, when it was necessary to run away or fight, and when it was necessary to stick to the pack.
This is the mechanism we inherited. We like to think we make decisions logically, putting emotions aside. But this is actually an illusion — we make decisions emotionally, and logic simply helps us explain to ourselves and others why we have made the decision we have made.
If you read these words and notice that you are arguing with the author, think about it — you’ve probably noticed that different people interpret the same information in different ways. Some give more weight to some factors than others, some ignore the obvious, and some focus on the seemingly insignificant. And this is not just a matter of intelligence or knowledge.
People choose information, give more importance to particular facts, or ignore something, largely based on their emotional experience.
Accidents and head injuries have been known to cause people to lose the ability to feel emotions — the corresponding connections in the brain have been disrupted. As a result, such people lost the ability to make any, even minor, decisions. They couldn’t even decide what to eat for breakfast. Therefore, emotions are an indispensable mechanism for decision-making, and it’s important to be able to use them correctly.
Our decision-making is influenced not so much by our state of mind here and now as by the emotional experience we have accumulated during our lives.
Here’s how it works: our emotional experience is stored in the brain in a “dormant” state, like an array of information on a computer disk. When a situation arises where we need to make a decision or take action, it’s a trigger for our brain. The brain retrieves relevant experiences from the past and, based on that, produces an emotional response in the here and now. We feel the emotion, which is a recommendation of what exactly we need to do, according to the brain, to make us feel good. Our task is to learn to understand this emotion, listen to it, and use it correctly.
How Emotions Are Related to the Body
All emotions are felt through the body. The body and psyche are inseparably connected, and all our states are manifested through the body — our pulse, breathing, heartbeat reacts, and feelings of different intensity appear; palms may sweat or evaporate on the forehead.
Any emotion can be described through a sensation in the body. For example, we can feel joy as lightness, happiness as warmth in the chest, and sometimes they say “butterflies in the stomach” about excitement. Grief can be felt as heaviness, and anger as something hot and burning.
Many of us may have a weakened or broken connection with our bodies due to previous negative experiences. When we have to experience some painful emotion and there is no way to deal with or avoid it, we may turn off the ability to feel for the sake of self-preservation. And when we live like that, we don’t feel emotions well; we can’t detect them in the body, and sometimes we can’t even name them. But that doesn’t mean there are no emotions. It’s like if the thermometer outside the window is broken: it shows a normal temperature all the time, but in fact, it can be freezing cold, scorching heat, warmth, or freshness outside.
When we lose contact with the body and the bodily experience of emotion, we lose the fullness of sensation. We don’t feel pain, but at the same time, we don’t feel joy because you can’t feel some emotions and not feel others. Therefore, with sensitivity, we lose the joy of life.
Why It’s Important for Us to Learn How to Use Our Emotions
So, emotions are information for decision-making, courtesy of our brain. And it will do everything it can to choose, from the whole array of information, exactly those arguments that will support the point of view it recommends.
That’s why we need to know how to use our emotions — to turn them to our advantage. It’s often said that emotions need to be “managed” or “controlled”. And then we either turn them off completely or, if emotions are too strong and winning, we fall into them with our heads.
Both of these strategies carry little benefit but require a lot of energy. If you try to “turn off” emotions, they won’t go anywhere but will remind you of yourself with background excitement and stress. A vivid example of this effect: we can all remember days when we worked without getting up from the chair, and it seems that we didn’t do any physical work, but at the end of the day we feel dead tired. This state appears because a lot of extra energy has gone into dealing with emotions and then dealing with background stress or excitement.
Try to return to the original purpose of emotions and use them. With this approach, emotions will communicate their benefits to you, and you’ll spend just as much energy on it. It’s like fixing the thermometer outside the window — it’s immediately clear whether to put on a hat or take an umbrella.
What Is the “Message of Emotions” and How to Live Them?
As we remember, emotions were created by nature to prompt us to take action. The intended action is the message.
In order for us to follow emotions, they are designed by nature to be as strong as possible. Except that sometimes this power gets in the way — when the brain relies on previous emotional experience, the situation may be different or the experience may not quite apply. Or the power of emotions is such that it blocks actions.
To reduce the power of emotions naturally, they need to be lived. You may have already encountered the phrase “living the emotions”, it’s often used but rarely explained what it means.
Emotions are lived in three stages:
- Recognize and name.
- Feel it in the body.
- Appreciate the strength and observe:
- When you realize what you’re feeling and name the emotion, it’s easier to understand what message it carries. By the way, studies show that people who have a larger vocabulary regarding emotions are better able to cope with them. Remember that we can feel several emotions at the same time, such as guilt, fear, anger, and so on. So find and name them all.
- Feel the emotion in the body — where and how you feel it. Is it hot, is it cold, is it heavy, is it empty, is it expanding, or is it tense? And so on. For those with a weak connection to the body, this may not be very easy, but it’s a necessary step. Develop bodily sensitivity, including through sports.
- Next, you rate the strength of the emotion on a ten-point scale and observe the sensation in your body. Just let the feeling be and put all your focus and attention there. You may think that the emotions will overwhelm you, but in fact, the opposite will happen. Emotions are like waves; they arise quickly and reach their peak quickly, but then they gradually subside and, like an ocean wave, roll quietly into the shore. As you focus on the sensation, periodically re-evaluate its intensity, and you will notice how the wave has gone down. When the level reaches zero, the emotion is over.
Praise yourself for the exercise you have done. Not only have you improved your skills in understanding your emotions, but you have also taken a step towards understanding yourself. So keep practicing.
When we have the skill of understanding emotions and the ability to live them bodily, we don’t waste energy suppressing them. The tension goes away, the energy stays, and there is greater clarity in the mind. With this clarity, decisions will be made much faster and more effectively, and you will be more confident in them.
Just as in nature, the spectrum of sentiment in human endeavors can be vividly observed in arenas where risk, reward, and passion collide. Take, for example, the world of online betting Senegal. It’s a microcosm where the ebbs and flows of emotions are as palpable as they are in our daily lives. In this sphere, each decision is a gamble, not just of money but of emotions too. Bettors ride the crests and troughs of hope, anticipation, and sometimes disappointment. It’s a realm that encapsulates the essence of our emotional agility, showcasing how we can harness our feelings to inform decisions under pressure. In this space, one can see a direct correlation between the understanding of one’s emotions and the potential for success or failure.
How Sports and Emotions Are Related?
If we are talking about amateur sports, it’s a good unloading, including emotional unloading. When we don’t experience emotions during the day, they remain in our body in the form of unprocessed hormones and neurotransmitters, and sport helps to get rid of them. For example, the stress hormone cortisol is best “released” with sweat. It turns out that sport is at least a reliever for coping with daily stress, as it neutralizes emotional toxins.
But if you learn to get rid of negative emotions right in the moment, then sports will give you an additional resource. When we exercise, a cocktail of a variety of neurotransmitters is released into the body to improve brain function. This energy can be channeled into creativity, finding opportunities, and business success. It’s like extra engine power — if you need to pull a heavy trailer with negative emotions, you won’t go far. And if the trailer is empty, you can overtake your rivals and win the race.
I am an accomplished tech writer with a passion for simplifying complex technology concepts. With a background in Tech, James has dedicated their career to making the intricacies of the digital world accessible to a broad audience.