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Why Emotions Are Important and How Not to be Controlled by Them

Did you know? Your wardrobe for the day and the food you choose for lunch are somewhat determined by your emotions.

Emotions significantly impact your thoughts and actions. The emotions you experience every day can motivate you to act and they have an impact on both the big and small decisions you make about your life.

Emotions can be fleeting, like a sudden burst of annoyance at a coworker, or they can be ongoing, like enduring sadness over the loss of a loved one or an end of a relationship. But why do we actually feel emotions? What purpose do they fulfill?

Emotions play a major role in your reactions as they represent your felt response to a situation. When you're tuned in to them, you have access to vital information that will aid you in:

- decision-making

- self-care

- daily, regular interactions

- success in relationships

Where emotions come from

A network of interconnected networks and structures in the brain known as the limbic system is responsible for influencing emotions. The limbic cortex, the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and other essential structures all play a crucial role in emotions and behavioral responses.

The key elements of emotion

Understanding the three fundamental elements of an emotion is also key to fully understanding it. Each component greatly impacts the purpose and function of your emotional reactions.

- Subjective element: Your personal experience of the emotion.

- Physiological element: Your body's reaction to emotion.

- Expressive element: How you respond to emotion through your behavior.

Reasons why we need emotions.

1- Emotions can motivate you to take certain actions.

When anticipating a nerve-wracking piano recital or job interview, you might experience a great deal of anxiety about whether you will perform well and how it will influence the result. These emotions make you more motivated to prepare.

Because you felt a certain emotion, you were inspired to act and do something constructive to increase your likelihood of getting good results.

You also tend to act in specific ways to increase the likelihood of having pleasant emotions and decrease the potential of having negative ones. For instance, you will prefer and choose hobbies or social activities that make you feel content, happy, and excited. Meanwhile, you would generally steer clear of any situation that would cause you fear, anger, or sadness.

Hence, your likelihood of taking action is boosted by emotions. You're more likely to confront the cause of your irritation when you're angry. You're more likely to flee when you feel fear. And you might seek out a mate when you feel love.

2- Emotions help you avoid threats to your safety.

Charles Darwin asserted that in both humans and animals, the ability to survive and procreate is made possible by adaptations brought about by emotions.

He stated that emotional responses can be crucial for safety and survival. If you come across a fierce animal, it's a clear indication that it's angry and on the defense, which will lead you to back away and prevent danger.

Emotions also prepare the body for action. The amygdala particularly commands setting off emotional reactions that prepare your body to deal with anger and fear. For instance, fear can trigger the fight-or-flight response, which results in a range of physiological reactions that prime the body to either remain and face the threat or run to safety.

3- Emotions help in making decisions.

Your emotions greatly impact the decisions you make–from what you eat for lunch to the candidates you vote for in elections.

Researchers have discovered that people who suffer from specific types of brain injury which impair their capacity for emotions also have a reduced capacity for making good decisions.

According to research, experiencing fear makes people more inclined to perceive risk, feeling disgust makes people more willing to throw away the things they own, and feeling anger or happiness motivates people to take immediate action.

Even when you think logic and reason alone are driving your actions, emotions often have significant influence. It has been proven that emotional intelligence, or one's capacity for understanding and managing emotions, is vital for making decisions.

4- Emotions help you in better understanding others.

While your emotions provide others with vital information about you, their emotional expressions provide a wealth of social information as well. Being able to recognize and respond to other people's emotions is necessary for effective social communication, which is an essential ingredient in daily life and interpersonal relationships.

It enables you to respond appropriately and create stronger and deeper bonds with your family, friends, and other loved ones. It also enables you to effectively communicate with people in a variety of social contexts, such as dealing with a hot-tempered employee or an unhappy customer.

Understanding other people's display of emotions provides us with a clear picture of a particular situation and allows us to respond and make decisions accordingly.

5- Emotions help others in better understanding you.

It's necessary to convey "signals" when interacting with others so that they can gauge your emotional state. These cues can be physical expressions of emotion through body language, such as different facial expressions related to the specific emotions you're feeling.

In other situations, it's required to say clearly and honestly what you feel. When you share your feelings with family or friends, whether you're sad, happy, lonely, frightened, or excited, you are providing them with crucial information that they can use to take appropriate action or to give an appropriate response.

While emotions can be beneficial in one's everyday life, they can take a toll on your emotional well-being and relationships when they start to get out of control.

Any emotion, including those considered to be positive, like joy, elation, or others, can heighten to the point where it becomes hard to manage, according to California-based therapist Vicki Botnick.

Fortunately, with a little practice, you can regain control. According to two studies from 2010Trusted Source, one's skills in regulating emotions are related to wellbeing. And the second study showed a potential correlation between these skills and financial success. Therefore, investing some effort in this area has its gains.

If you need professional help with emotion regulation, contact JarvisHypnotherapy today.

To get you started, consider the following pointers:

1- Assess the impact of your emotions

Not all intense emotions are bad. In fact, they make our lives vibrant and unique. They help us embrace and experience life fully. It's natural to be overwhelmed by emotions occasionally, but when emotions get out of hand regularly, it can lead to:

/ relationship breakage or conflicts

/ difficulty engaging with others

/ problems at school or work

/ physical outbursts and emotional breakdowns

Take some time to evaluate how your irrational emotions are impacting your daily life. As a result, problem areas will be simpler to spot and track.

2- Work on regulation, not repression

You can't control emotions with a button, but you can manage them–with practice.

Suppressing or repressing emotions will prevent you from experiencing your feelings and expressing them. This happens consciously with suppression and unconsciously with repression.

Either of these can result to physical and mental health symptoms, like:

/ sleep issues

/ anxiety & depression

/ muscle tension

/ body pain

/ substance abuse

/ difficulty with stress or anger management

It's necessary to maintain a balance between having overwhelming emotions and having none at all to have a healthy emotional expression.

3- Identify and name what you're feeling

Gaining back control entails taking a moment to pause and check in with yourself. Anytime you're at a brink of an emotional outburst, cut in mentally and ask yourself:

/ What is this feeling I'm having now?

/ What are things that triggered this emotion?

/ Does the situation have an alternate explanation that's more realistic?

/ What can I do now with these emotions?

4- Accept your emotions–every one of them.

You might downplay your own emotions to yourself when you're attempting to get better at emotions regulation. But doing so invalidates your experience. Denying what you feel isn't being authentic.

You'll be more comfortable with your emotions if you accept them as they are. You'll understand and experience intense emotions more fully and avoid extreme, unhealthy reactions by increasing your level of comfort with them.

Accepting emotions may improve your happiness and reduce symptoms of mental illness. Plus, thinking of your feelings as helpful tools can result in improved wellbeing.

5- Know how to handle your stress

It can be more difficult to manage your emotions when you're under a lot of stress. Even those who typically have good emotion management skills might find it harder to do so under conditions of tremendous stress and tension.

Your emotions become easier to manage by reducing stress or learning more effective stress management techniques.

Meditation and other mindfulness practices can reduce stress as well. Healthy ways of coping with stress won't eliminate it, but they can make it more bearable. It is, hence, crucial to:

/ get enough sleep

/ make time to talk and laugh with friends

/ spend time outdoors in nature

/ exercise regularly

/ make time for hobbies and relaxation

Other suggested ways (and helpful activities) that will improve emotions regulation include:

6- Breathing exercises

7- Being aware of when is the best time to express yourself

8- Allowing some space for yourself to decompress

9- Practicing meditation

10- Keeping a mood journal

If your emotions are persistently overwhelming and difficult for you to manage, it may be time to get professional help.

Several mental health illnesses, including bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, are associated with long-term or persistent emotional dysregulation and mood swings. Having difficulties controlling your emotions might also be related to trauma, family problems, or other underlying issues.

A therapist can provide you with judgement-free, compassionate support as you:

/ address extreme mood swings

/ explore the factors causing poorly regulated emotions

/ learn how to up-regulated diminished expression of emotions and down-regulate intense emotions

/ practice questioning and rephrasing emotions that result to distress.

If you need professional help now, contact JarvisHypnotherapy.

And, get more ideas on mental wellness from JarvisHypnotherapy here: Understanding Why We Self-Sabotage.


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