What is the reason for the emotions?
To answer them, we need to understand what emotions are, why they appear to us and in what way.
What is the value of emotions?
Emotions are responses that we have to events, but preceded by cognitions that can be more or less conscious. Therefore, emotions have, in a sense, a cognitive dimensionAs they involve thoughts, beliefs, judgments and evaluations.
These are fundamental, because without them we could not remember, learn or socialize … Their function was very adaptive and useful for our ancestors because if a predatory animal came, they were afraid and ran away .
But, today … we have to know what to do with our emotions in every situation because, for example, we cannot run away if we are afraid that our boss will take us out of our workplace. And in addition, we live in a world so fast that we have neither the time nor the space to give in to the emotions and deal with… It is then that they are perpetuated, become chronic and that the suffering appears. .
these develop physiological expressions and are accompanied by reactions of pleasure or pain according to the valence given to it in relation to the confrontation that takes place. And so, depending on how all of the above happens, emotions ultimately prompt us to perform certain actions; depending on how we take them and manage them.
Good or bad? judgments
We have generally always associated certain emotions with negative aspects and others with positive aspects. But we really did it that way because of how we value or deal with those emotions. They don’t teach us how to deal with anxiety or sadness when they really are as precious as joy and surprise..
We are usually anxious when we feel “negative emotions” because we don’t know how to give them space … we just try to avoid them and not get into them; that’s when they get bigger, more intense …
Usually we resist feeling certain emotions because we have certain preconceptions about ourselves but which are idealized and not real. This way of dealing with emotions promotes short term security, but in the long term it can lead to deterioration, immobility and frustration.
Although the emotional universe of humans is large and complex (much has been written about this in recent years in fields such as psychology or medicine) we will focus on four fundamental and universal emotions related to stress: Fear, anger, sadness and joy. Below, we summarize its manifestations, expression, utility, limitations, time focus, and distortions.
- Fear: It helps us see dangers, flee dangers, protect loved ones, plan and prepare, and exercise caution.
- Anger: defending loved ones and their rights, setting limits, facing dangers and enemies, competitiveness, surpassing oneself and taking risks.
- Sadness: coping with losses, healing psychological wounds, asking for and giving help, reflecting and learning from mistakes.
- Joy: nurture, grow, develop, create social links, creativity, participate, innovate, discover, motivate and strive.
What to do with emotions?
For emotional management, it is essential, first of all, to work on the prejudices that we have on certain emotions. Because if we anchor ourselves in the thought and the self-demand that we cannot feel certain emotions, we will not be able to move forward.
Many times we anchor and get stuck with certain emotions because we want to find the reasons why it appears to us, from a place of anger. And it has to do with a sense of identity because we have preconceptions about ourselves and, for example … if one day anxiety arises in a person who thinks they are strong, it will not be allowed. to feel it.
Behind every emotion hides a message. Emotions appear as a reaction to what we are going through, so … we need to pay special attention to these processes and pay attention to what is going on within us. Ask us what this emotion means to us, why it is appearing to us right now.
It is only from here that we can transform emotions into a place where things can be better understood. Because emotions are great vectors for change. They help us grow and have better ideas about who we are. When we take responsibility for it, even if there is a risk in the short term … in the long term, there will be rose, resilience, health and well-being.
But this can only be done when we know how to handle emotions well, thus relying on our resources to overcome the discomfort of this process. because crises and suffering (under safe conditions) can transform pain into resilience, health and well-being.
Emotional management strategies
The main step in being able to perform good emotional management is not to react, but to respond to it with awareness and calm. For this, the following steps are necessary:
1. Create a pause between stimulus and response
This allows you not to react impulsively, but to do this process more calmly and paused … to be able to decide freely how and with what resources to act and not to respond automatically.
2. Direct the attention inward
It is advisable to turn our attention to what is moving in one and really see what we are feeling, name it, acknowledge it.
3. Understand why we feel this emotion
Find out what it is used for and what message this emotion means to us.
4. Accept that we have this emotion and all its nuances
Only acceptance and not resistance, is that where change and development can occur.
5. Modulate the response
What can we do to make ourselves feel better? Apply the transformance. Every emotion and emotional process will have its best response for every person and every context.
Depending on the context and with special care, we can witness the effect of emotion and its expression both on oneself and on others. Only then can we decide which emotions we want to express and with whom we want to express it.
Finally, those that we do not want to express, we will let them pass until they weaken, trying to use the strategies that suit us best and help us overcome this discomfort (pleasant or relaxing activity, breathing, meditation, socialization, relaxation with sport, etc.).