Emotions Defined in 6 words and why they matter…

I am sitting in this lovely Urban Rustic coffee shop, it’s cool 60 degrees overcast and calm.  The light at my table gives off a soft glow, my Handmade blue coffee cup holds my first Pumpkin Spice Americano of the season.  It is not fall yet, but a feeling in the air makes itself known and reminds me, that it’s not too far off for Colorado.

What I am experiencing is Joy and Happiness reminds me of days gone by. I’m in my 50’s now and a thought or reaction to a memory, can take me back to good times and bad. This experience or Emotion makes me Happy, Content and Contemplative. Since being in Colorado I have had lots of these types of emotions. It’s kind of crazy, how the memories flood back into my being, without provocation, just a nudge. 

I was recently talking with a friend, and we discussed getting in touch with our feelings.  She expressed not even knowing what that is. I remember learning somewhere that emotions come first, like an open umbrella, and the feelings are reactions to those emotions. The feelings are a broad range, from a light sprinkle, to steady rain and into a downpour. It was rather eye opening to understand this concept.

As I was researching, I discovered that for many researchers, scientists & psychologists that Emotions are the root of our feelings and there are 5-10 basic emotions, depending on who was writing.  These emotions include… Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sad, Happy, Surprise.  This made me pause and look a little more in-depth.

What the Heck is an Emotion?

Emotions are automatic bodily responses that occur in response to a meaningful change. We do not choose our emotions – they happen with or without our awareness. Even animals have emotions, as any animal lover will tell you.

Cindy Meyer, Ph. D.

Emotions are physical and instinctive. They have been programmed into our genes over many, many years of evolution and are hard-wired. While they are complex and involve a variety of physical and cognitive responses (many of which are not well understood), their general purpose is to produce a specific response to a stimulus.

Emotions
  Emotions tell us what we “like” and “dislike.”
  Emotions state: “There are good and bad actions.”
  Emotions state: “The external world matters.
  Emotions establish our initial attitude toward reality.
  Emotion alert us to immediate dangers and prepares us for action
  Emotions ensure immediate survival of self. (body and mind.)
  Emotions are intense but temporary.
  Joy is an emotion.
  Fear is an emotion.
  Enthusiasm is an emotion.
  Anger is an emotion.
  Attraction is an emotion.

Sebastien Gendry

Why do Emotions matter?

I wonder why I am fascinated with emotions and feelings and why they even matter.  As I get older, I tend to ignore most of them, as I don’t know if I really understand what I am feeling unless it’s 1 of 2 emotions.  Anger or Joy.

Up until my late 20’s I was considered a “highly sensitive and emotional mess.”  I cried at the drop of a hat, I was made fun of, I was bullied because I was sensitive.  Even into my marriage, and as an adult.  I would hear “oh great she’s crying again!” or “let’s see if we can make her cry.” Ok…that shit is mean.  Being my typical Libra self, I’m all or nothing, so I managed to flip the switch. Suddenly, I was a pissed off angry woman, and everyone knew it.  For many years, I stayed there, it was safe, I could show how angry I was and that was more acceptable than being a “crybaby”.

Until my late 30’s I was angrier than not, and something switched in me again, where I thought, this is truly not me, I am more than anger.  Even today, if I am not conscious of my feelings, I will revert to the angry, defensive, pissed off woman.

Just yesterday, someone said something to me, someone I love and respect and I tried to understand what the point was, I immediately felt attacked and judged, so my defensive angry self, reared her ugly head, then I was reduced to tears, embarrassed because I couldn’t hold my ground even in anger.  I became the over-sensitive “crybaby” in my opinion. Ultimately everything was talked out, and all is well.  I am still a little confused by why I had such an intense reaction, that resolve will come later.

Emotions are odd, they are there whether we like them or not. Based on what I have learned recently, I believe this is the result of those instinctive reactions that have been programmed in me.  Until, now…I didn’t realize they could be changed.

Over this next week,

I encourage you to look at your emotional life.

Think about which basic emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sad, Happy, Surprise you experience most frequently.

  • Which emotions feel most comfortable to you?
  • Which emotions feel most uncomfortable to you?
  • What is it about these emotions that make you uneasy?

Next Week

I will look more at feelings and how they are impacted by our emotions, what they are and why they matter.

My hope for you this week, is that you experience much Happiness!

Love & Light

Happy Notes

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