Over the past two decades, the rise of the study of the nature of emotions and the relevance of their proper management for the psychological well-being of human beings has been justified by innumerable research, initiated by authors such as as Peter Salovey and John Mayer or Daniel Goleman. Thus, currently, the construction of emotional intelligence is approached and included by most branches of psychology (clinical, educational, sports, organizational, etc.) as one of the basic components to more easily reach a higher level. Student.
We then show what is the relationship between the two phenomena: Why is it important to know how to express and manage your emotions?
What are emotions used for?
In general, emotions have three basic functions that allow human beings to adapt more competently to the environment in which they interact. Thus, they present in the first place a communicative function, from which it is possible to let the neighbor know what one feels and, from there, to be able to discern the psychological needs that this individual may present.
Second, emotions regulate one’s own behavior and that of others, as it exists. a very strong link between individual emotional state and type of behavioral response Posted.
Finally, emotions have an intense impact on the process of social interaction, so that it is possible to perceive more effectively the peculiarities of the interpersonal environment in which the subject develops, allowing him to reach a higher level. intellectual and emotional psychological growth.
Functions of basic emotions
Paul Ekman established six so-called basic emotions, because in his research conducted from the analysis of non-verbal language (facial gestures) of individuals from different cultures showed how expressions of joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise were common and therefore unconscious, innate and universal. All of them are of considerable use based on the three general functions mentioned above, but what type of message or information does each of them convey?
Joy becomes a facilitator of interpersonal interaction like the social nature of human beings, according to the preservation of their own survival, it tends to get closer to what produces a feeling of well-being (Social relations) and to flee from stimuli that cause the opposite effect.
In addition, joy stimulates the achievement of deeper vital goals and projects. it serves as a motivator and motivates the individual to act.
It is the emotion felt in the face of the loss of a precious and significant object for the individual. This kind of event causes feelings of grief, failure, remorse, etc. which must be transformed and assimilated gradually. Thus, sadness is useful in activating processes such as introspection, awareness or demonstrations of support for one another. It could be understood as a sign of “energy saving” from which a correct elaboration of the duel which generated the object of this loss is possible.
It is the reaction produced by situations in which the individual perceives obstacles in relation to a determined objective. Thus, the person feels that he must preserve the integrity and defend himself, another individual or another determined phenomenon. In this sense, the emotion of anger indicates that there is a potential danger that must be faced and overcome.
4. The por
This is the warning our mind sends out before us the perception of a potential danger which can compromise their own physical or psychological survival. Such a threat can be real (going full speed down a dimly lit road) or imaginary (fear of being fired from work).
This kind of warning it allows to prepare the person to emit a certain answer. Contrary to the above, fear has the connotation of avoiding the effects of the threat rather than orienting oneself to face it openly.
It is the emotion most closely related to more organic aspects because the message which is intended to send is to protect the subject from the ingestion of food or substances harmful or, at least unpleasant, for him. Therefore, it relates more to a biological level than to a psychological level.
6. The surprise
It involves the experience of an unexpected circumstance for which the person needs to gather their own resources and prepare for action. It’s a neutral emotion for its momentary nature in itself has no pleasant or unpleasant meaning.
The benefits of expressing emotions
As you have seen, the experience of each of the emotions described above has an adaptive function for human beings. In this it is as inherent characteristic the fact of communicating with the environment, for what one of the first reasons which supports the need to dominate the competition of the emotional management resides in the fact of not losing this capacity. communicative and adaptive.
It can therefore be concluded that the problematic element does not lie in the manifestation and experience of the emotion itself, but that the phenomenon causing the emotional discomfort in which, on some occasions, the person is immersed is the degree intensity of that emotion and the kind of management that goes into it.
When an emotion prevents the individual from remaining conscious in the present moment and in the reality that surrounds him at that precise moment, it is at this moment that more important emotional affections are usually derived. That is, when emotion “kidnaps” the mind and transports it out of the present, the thread of the rational, the logical or the authentic is often lost.
According to Salovey and Mayer’s (1997) model of emotional intelligence, emotions are understood as skills that can be learned. These skills consist of emotional perception, emotional understanding, facilitation of thoughts and regulation of emotions. We could say that the first of these skills greatly favors the development of others, since an objective of preconsolidation becomes a skill of knowing how to identify and express one’s emotions and those of others.
From this step, the processes of analysis and giving meaning to emotions (ability to understand), integration between cognitions and emotions which guides the subject to the most relevant contextual information for decision-making (thought facilitation) and the promotion of intellectual-emotional knowledge or the scope of adaptive balance in relation to pleasant / unpleasant emotions (emotional regulation) become more easily accessible.
Damage caused by resistance to the expression of emotions
The lack of competence in the four skills indicated can lead the individual to adopt an emotionally deregulated operating dynamic, that is to say based on the emotional “kidnapping” mentioned above. This repertoire is characterized by the following manifestations, according to three levels of action:
1. At the cognitive level
Inability to describe and observe the present experience (one’s own and that of others) in the absence of unfair or disproportionate judgments and criticisms of externalized emotion; incompetence in understand the cause behind this emotion and the type of information that can be extracted as personal learning.
This point relates to the use of some type of cognitive reasoning that is irrational or distorted in relation to the emotion being manifested.
2. On an emotional level
Difficulty finding the balance between resistance to emotion and emotional over-reaction to potentially destabilizing situations; inefficiency for transform the meaning given to unpleasant emotions (Initially negative) from a more tolerant perspective, promoting greater tolerance to discomfort.
The attitude of suppressing emotions (especially unpleasant ones) and emitting them in an uncontrolled and excessive way is also detrimental to the individual.
3. At the behavioral level
Impossibility of controlling oneself the emission of an impulsive or hasty response which makes it difficult to manage the specific situation well; lack of ability to differentiate between the type of emotional consequences the person will experience in the short and long term, which generally tend to ease or change over time.
Behaviorally guiding through a poorly managed emotion can worsen the experience increasing the discomfort initially generated.
It was possible to verify in the text the essential character which presents an adequate level of emotional competence to promote the psychological well-being of the human being.
One of the prerequisites for consolidating this capacity lies in the capacity to know how to identify and express one’s emotions, to apprehend them as “warnings” which alert the individual to an experience or an event which must be approached psychologically as a priority. On the contrary, repression or resistance to emotions they can cause significant psychic damage.