Challenge Yourself, Realise your dreams

How do you feel about…emotions?

Have you ever googled the phrase “dealing with emotions”? There are about 34,500,000 results, when enclosed in quotation marks 490,000. The advice on how to deal with them (the “negative” ones of course, we are fine with whatever makes us happy) ranges from controlling or venting them to identifying, managing or releasing them.

But there is another possibility: Using them. Not in order to manipulate or control others, but to find out who we are and what we really want. “Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought” and “Understanding Emotions” are two main branches of a complex concept called “Emotional Intelligence”.

  • What are emotions?
  • Can we trust our emotions?

What are emotions?

Science has come up with a variety of thought models trying to explain what emotions are and why we’ve got them.

Put very simply, emotions are our body’s speedy reaction to external or internal events like a threatening situation, a beautiful panorama, a memory or a thought. Before our slow thinking sets in (and often enough despite it), our body releases various sets of chemicals to inform us about how we might handle this specific situation, imagination or thought. This instant preliminary evaluation sets the priorities and the course for our response.

Can we trust our emotions?

N-yes. Emotions are far from being truths set in stone.

To a great part they depend on our previous experience. If a certain event or situation has made us happy or anxious in the past, we are likely to react the same way the next time we encounter it.

The second major factor is how we feel at a given moment, and which emotion is stronger. When you’re caught in a depression for instance joy has gone from your world for good, and when you’re happily in love you may hardly be affected by anger.

Factor number three: Our emotions are easily manipulated, by ourselves as well as by others. Unless we are consciously aware of What Is we can’t distinguish between what we actually experience and what we imagine or what is presented to us. A happy memory or looking forward to a special event may make us feel better for a while. An ancient, half forgotten fear may raise its ugly head again as soon as we touch a sensitive topic. And as for who “the others” are: There are too many who have a massive interest in keeping us from thinking for ourselves, who catch us by our emotions to make us behave the way they want – who give their best so we won’t notice they are doing it…

There is one exception however: We can trust emotions to be a truthful indicator of how we feel about something right now, this moment. This is the aspect we can make use of in order to find out more about  ourselves, our motivations and our dreams, about why we act and react the way we do.

– read part two

Challenge yourself

I hope you enjoyed the challenge in the previous post. Here’s one possible solution to the first part of the challenge:

After many months of collecting material for my project I signed up here on wordpress. {choice, clarity, previous endeavour and persistence}
While scanning my notes I wondered which topic I should choose for a first post. {specific request}
I took a break {serenity} and browsed wordpress.com. {endeavour}
Only a couple of minutes later I came across Scott Berkun’s Daily Post prompt written only three days earlier. {self-transcendence}
“Wow, thanks, great!” I thought.{gratitude} “Exactly what I was looking for.” {confidence}
I jotted down a few ideas for this post, wrote, revised and published it. {endeavour, persistence}

Do you agree or not? Do you have questions concerning this solution?

Today’s challenge

Remember an event in your life where you were surprisingly unsuccessful, beyond your expectations. That may have been for example something very simple or something you routinely got right, just not this time, or something you were very confident about yet it went all wrong. Find the factors involved and how you actually applied them, consciously or not. Which of them might have contributed to success and which invited failure? How did this failure make you feel?

Enjoy your journey!

Maria

Note: I updated this challenge with an example including comments on the factors involved: The only good photo of his son

Related articles: Realise your dreamsHow do you feel about…emotions? – Part Two

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8 thoughts on “How do you feel about…emotions?”

  1. Great points… especially that we can use them to help us grow and change. Thank you for stopping by my blog. 🙂
    Best wishes,
    Elizabeth

  2. True. It’s hard to forget bad memories. That’s one of my biggest problems. I’ve had some really bad experiences in my past. Whenever I’m in similar situations, I start to get those same bad feelings back. This is definitely something I’m going to work hard on getting over. I need to let go of the past.

    1. You touched on two challenges I think most people face: We have been brought up to believe 1. that we must forget bad memories and 2. that improvement comes only through hard work and struggle.

      But you’ve also found the beginning of the solution: Letting go. And the essential first step to letting go is to forgive others and yourself – completely and for good, wiping the slate clean, opening a fresh page.

      I’ll follow up on your comment with posts; I can’t tell you exactly when that will be, but it’s on my priority list.

      Thank you for visiting; I hope you’ll stay tuned in.

      Have a happy day 🙂

      Maria

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