Overview about Emotions

multitasking vs quick switch
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

As humans, we deal with countless emotions daily and some of them can change our mood and that affects our thoughts and our behavior. To better understand why this is happening and how to control our emotions, we need to understand what triggers them.

Are we in complete control over our emotions? Not quite, but we can control our thoughts about those emotions and this might be the game changer here. How many times did you get mad because you thought someone gave you a strange look? How about when you remembered something embarrassing? Or furthermore, how many times did you got excited when thinking about something in the future and when you got to that point, you felt… meh? All our emotions are triggered  by our thoughts, to be exact, by our interpretation of that situation. So when we get mad, we are not getting mad because someone gave us a strange look, we’re getting mad because that’s how we are interpreting that person’s look. If we think that it’s something bad about us, we get mad.

The same principle applies about our good feelings. When we get excited, that’s because we think about that situation to be good for us. That’s why some people get excited about a situation and others don’t even it’s the same situation. It’s all about how we’re seeing that particular situation so if we can control the way we think about something, we control how we feel about that particular something.

In theory it all looks great, but in reality we can’t even control our thoughts, at least, not all of them. There are some called automatic thoughts (maybe most of them). They are called automatic because we can’t control them and therefore, we can’t control our feelings. The best way to deal with those is to counter them with conscious thoughts, thoughts that we want to have in that situation. This implies monitoring the thoughts we have so we can control which one can have an influence over us.

How can we decide which thought is the best suited for that situation? One way would be to look for alternatives (for example, instead of thinking that someone is giving us a strange look because that person has something against us, we might think that he or she is in some sort of pain, like a migraine or maybe their shoes are too tight). The more alternatives we can find, the more control we have over feelings and therefore, over ourselves.

Obviously, what we think might not be real…a person can actually give us a strange look because he or she has something against us, but… should we care?

12 thoughts on “Overview about Emotions

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    1. Replacing negative with positive sounds mechanical. Since people doesn’t think like machines, some fail to follow this technique, in which case I suggest that there should not be any negative thoughts at all.

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      1. I think we all have negative thoughts that we cannot necessarily control. And they aren’t always a bad thing. They protect us and keep us from danger. I’m meaning that if one catches oneself repeatedly thinking of a specific negative thought that one might consciously (not mechanically) try to think of something else.

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      2. Oh, a single word ‘thought’ has so much to mean – precursor to action, interpretation to a situation, worries of ill possibilities etc. Yes, repeatedly is not good. Moreover, if it signifies an existence of habit, then it can be nullified by reverse-habit viz. practice without which it’s a daunting task to reprogram one’s own underlying mental source of thoughts, but possible through realizations and revelations.

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    1. One can get rid of reminders, if the state of mind can be altered. For example, if one regularly needs an alarm clock to wake up at 5am, then some would suggest to make it a habit to get rid of reminder whereas I personally prefer to sleep early to have the rising automatic, in short, alter the state of body.

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  1. Hmm… I guess the best way to control our own thoughts would be to give them more time. To analyse. Because emotions are often temporary, fleeting. Our beliefs however… Aren’t. So if you have a thought, then stick with it. See whether it tallies with your beliefs. And then take a call. Of course it’s much easier in theory😅

    And should we care about that person? Maybe. Because that’s how we’ll improve. But then it also depends who that person is and whether they are our well wishers or not. Either way, we shouldn’t allow them to overwhelm us. That’s all…

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  2. For reasons I won’t go into now, most of the time I feel like if someone has an issue with me, especially online – the word TROLL springs to mind. Why in the name of heaven would I want to feed that?

    OTOH, last night my husband told me I looked “incredibly wiped out” and I took THAT to mean he was concerned. Different ballgame.

    Most of the time, I think we need to spend less time worrying about what other people think or do, and more time being peacefully alone with ourselves.

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  3. Really nice content! Should we care? The answer to this is really subjective. What people CAN do is be more aware of their emotions and question WHY they are feeling the way that they are. Knowing the core of an emotion can help lead us to the thought that caused it. Then, it’ll be easier to discern between whether or not what you’re feeling is in alignment with your values.

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