How to Work With Your Emotions
What is emotion?
Scientists have yet to agree upon a standard definition of the term emotion.
Research deals with affect, sensation, reflex, simple emotion, complex emotion, mood, and temperament.
It’s debatable where “emotion” lies on the continuum, and how to draw the lines.
The definition of emotion we use here is:
This is a simplification of appraisal theory, which states that emotions arise when various internal and external stimuli are interpreted in specific ways. Which in turn trigger reflex-like feelings in the body, that then affect one’s perspective, physical state, and subjective experience.
Each person interprets stimuli based on their internal cognitive networks — their thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and expectations about the world and their place in it.
Some networks are “hardwired” biologically, and others take longer to develop — such as cultural beliefs.
How do emotions work?
Emotions can have profound effects on subjective experience.
Evolution selected for emotions because they effectively mobilize the body to respond optimally to the environment, in order to maximize chances for survival.
Emotions are meant to be tools that help you to adapt to your environment.
But because humans also evolved culture — which drastically affects cognitive networks — emotions can get “out of whack.”
When this happens, emotions no longer serve as accurate signals about the internal and external environments. This is when emotions can work against you.
But the emotions themselves are innocent — it’s the dysfunctional cognitive networks that underpin them which are the culprit. And most of them come from culture itself.
Meaning, cultural beliefs help get emotions “out of whack,” so they’re no longer working for you.
How can you work with your emotions?
Recognizing this is the first step to taking response ability for your emotional health.
You can work with your emotions by:
- Recognizing how intelligent emotion is — minus all the dysfunctional interference that comes from culture.
- Recognizing how emotion can actually enhance thought and reason.
- Expressing all of your emotions in safe and appropriate ways, in order to use them as mobilizers for response ability.
- Paying attention to what your emotions tell you about your life and your place in it, in order to create your life as a mindful construct.
- Committing yourself to the path of self-growth — which focuses on response ability and mindful constructs. This means that you have to armor up for emotional resilience, because much of culture is still in the dark about how you can work constructively with all of your emotions.
Why work with your emotions?
You’re going to experience your emotions whether or not you work with them.
If you don’t partner with them for your personal growth, the out-of-whack ones will sabotage your success in many aspects of your life. Because ultimately, your dysfunctional beliefs will remain unchallenged, and will run the show behind the scenes — via your subconscious.
If you do partner with them for your personal growth, then you have a direct link to those dysfunctional beliefs that get in the way of your success in life, your happiness, and your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Working with your emotions is the only way to make the best out of what your life has to offer.
Start working with your emotions today
The following articles will help you start working with your emotions today:
- She’ll Play When She’s Done Crying
Four-year-old Arielle knows the two secrets to developing true emotional intelligence: patience and timing
- Use Your Emotion Toolkit Like a Man
From the masculine perspective, emotions are powerful tools that you can use to leverage your success in life.
- The Robot Guide to Emotion
Robots of the future may very well have advanced abilities for introspection. We humans could learn a thing or two from the robot perspective on how to be more mature in how we work with our emotions.
- Nurture Your Emotions with a Woman’s Touch
According to the feminine perspective, if you simply accept all of your emotions, they will impart you with valuable gifts of wisdom, healing, and self-empowerment.
- 3 Keys to Emotional Serenity
A guest article on Serenity Hacker, showing another take on the feminine perspective of integrating all of your emotions.
- Connect to Your Emotions to Build a Brighter Future
A practical overview on how emotions are actually based on your cognitive networks, which may or may not be “logical.”
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