Understanding Emotions

Hello there! Welcome back on another Sunday!

I want to talk about emotions today; about how weird they are. I am a believer that emotions guide us. I made many decisions based on how I felt and most turned out to be good for me (If you have taken the MBTI test at 16personalities.com, there is a part on decision-making and it turns out, I make decisions based on feelings). And I think I have a pretty good understanding of my feelings: what they are, when they arise, how they go etc. But sometimes, they still surprise me, like today. I have been feeling good recently, probably the most self-confident and self-loving I have ever felt. Out of the blue, however, I started feeling bad, as if someone was pouring cold water inside me. It felt weird and heavy on my chest and stomach at times. I really looked into why I might be feeling that. No idea. So I had no solution to it either because I do not know what it is. It is weird.

There are different types of emotions. Those that are caused by our subconscious, those that are affected by others and those that are connected to a Higher Power (or universe, whatever you believe in). I trained myself very intensively to be able to do that and I can do it to a certain extent. For example, the last type usually appears very suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. The first one, you can connect the dots. The problem is, I cannot decide which one is this one and it is often difficult to distinguish them. My tests failed here. So what do I do? My usual treatments did not work.

I am making a big deal out of just a feeling but it was unusual (and in fact I still have it as I write) but also it made me think about the nature of emotions.

Let’s discuss your emotions. Can you understand them well? How do you listen to them and handle them? Do you use them as guidance?


24 thoughts on “Understanding Emotions

  1. Sometimes we control emotions and at times, emotions control us. I know exactly the emotion you’re talking about- that cold water into the heart sort of feeling. My question would be, is it always important to logically analyse and look into our emotions that come naturally?

    1. I also ask that question a lot. I don’t know. I tend to analyze them a lot. I mean, my mind first sees my emotions as things; that’s the way it understands them well. But lately, I am kind of giving up on that. I am like ‘Whatever’. We will see where this will end.

  2. This may be a semantic issue. I think of emotions as feels that are largely reactive to situations, like joy on achievement or grief at the loss of a loved one. Separate from those feelings, we have the ability to “sense” things. These aren’t feelings in the same sense as emotions, but the body picking up on clues and interpreting them. Some people have more acute sensory systems than others, for example, people who see auras around others that indicate the health of that person. There’s nothing “emotional” about that. It’s simply the ability to hear, see or smell things that others can’t (at wavelengths that others can’t utilize) and interpret that information without consciously thinking about it — a processing capability, if you will, that some have and most don’t.

    There are famous examples. If I recall correctly, Ted Williams, the last man to hit a .400 season in baseball, claimed to be able to see the seams on a fastball rotate as the pitch approached him, enabling him to know where to hit the ball. For most people that’s just a blur. Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the famous NASCAR driver, was able to see the airflow around his car, a huge asset when bump drafting other drivers.

    Conventional terms for this are inadequate. We talk about “gut feel” or “gut instinct” but that’s just for lack of understanding of why and how we are making a decision.

    1. Oh I actually love this! I never thought about emotions and sensing in this way and I have always been interested in this. I believe I have a strong sense, but I do not understand how it works yet. Only in the last two years did I start being able to somewhat differentiate between them, but there is so much more. Your comment will help me a lot with this. Thank you!

      1. Glad I could help. In fairness, what I know comes from observation. My wife, for example, has extreme hearing, very far beyond what doctors consider normal. With that comes the ability to detect things that others can’t.

      2. One story: She once told a customer that he needed medical attention. He shrugged off her comment, but mentioned it to his admin as he entered his office. A bit later, she heard an odd noise and ran into his office, finding him an the floor. An immediate call to 911 saved his life. Go figure.

  3. Take a walk when you feel down! Of course you can’t be happy all the time, then happy would be average. You have to be down sometimes to appreciate happy. But most of the time we are in between. Don’t worry about it, lots of licks. / Flurry D. Dog

  4. I have learned that even negative emotions tell us something we can listen to!

    When I start to feel overwhelmed or struggling, I have learned to first look into how much I am currently taking care of myself! I’ll focus on getting a couple early nights, eat nutritious food and get into nature for some meditation walks.

    Most of the time those negative feelings are my body’s way of telling me I need to take care of myself!

    If that’s not enough, then I look at what external factors are affecting me and by having taken some self care time, I feel better to handle what I need to!

    1. That is a good way of handling it! For me, before, I would ask many questions like why, how etc. Now, the first thing I do is to say to myself: Betul, no questions. And I try to do some of the things you said.

      1. I do like how you said that emotions can come from different places, some as subconscious reactions to others, and some from which are connected to a higher power. You said you’ve stopped asking so many questions and now say “whatever”. I think it’s good to get out of our heads, because we can tend to over analyze things and even jump to wrong conclusions based on emotions! We’re seeing that happen all over the world, with people reacting strongly towards each other, based on how their emotions run.

        Each situation is different and gives us many clues, and as some others have mentioned, these clues come from different sources we each can tune into.

        Just because something triggers us, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the emotion we’re feeling. I think it’s important to look at many factors!

        For example, many spiritual or political leaders are perpetuating lies to feather their own pockets, because lies can trigger deep fears which cause people to live in the Amygdalae part of the brain, which promotes reactions and not rational thoughts. We see many people acting out, based on their emotional responses to how their fears have been triggered. (The leaders profit from these situations, either by people directly supporting them financially because the leaders have positioned themselves as the ONES who will save people – from a nonexistent problem, or from buying goods or services from their companies, think about the sale of firearms and ammunition!)

        When I feel something very strongly, I try to sit with my body to see what it’s telling me, for that seems to get to the root of what’s going on. Am I sensing something, or am I being triggered; I. E. am I being given information or is there something from my past resurfacing in response to something that happened?

        When I sit with myself quietly, sometimes through the process of calming my ragged breaths from a panic attack, I allow my thoughts and feelings to just “be” while I feel and observe them, for as I tell myself, they’re just thoughts, I can let them show me what they’re trying to tell me.

        Being in imminent danger means we need to take steps to remove ourselves to safety, even if it means pulling off a highway onto a quieter street. If we’re already in a safe place, then we can slowly process what’s going on inside!

        If my blood sugar is low, or if I’m mentally or physically exhausted or drained, I’ve learned to take care of those, because they tend to amplify my emotions and don’t help me to process. Once I take care of those, calm myself from a potential panic attack, then I feel better equipped to look at the clues the current situation has sent me!

        I think what you’re working on is helping guide you through!


      2. So well-said! I don’t think I can add anything to this. I agree to the overall sentiment that we need to listen to ourselves (by not losing ourselves though) and then act accordingly.

  5. I use my emotions as guidance when they are not overwhelming, and I can think through them.
    I have instances when my strong feelings regarding my family members have prompted me to act swiftly, and save myself the heartache of a mishap.
    I firmly believe in showing my feelings of affection, appreciation, and gratitude, verbally or by action to the people concerned.
    However, I try to think twice (not always successfully) before displaying my feelings of displeasure, hurt, sadness, and anger depending on who is at the receiving end.

  6. I try not to let my emotions rule me, but sometimes they do get the better of me. And usually that’s if I’m angry or scared, so I might lash out. Then later on I’ll rethink why I reacted the way I did.
    But yeah, generally speaking, I do examine why I’m feeling a particular way and try to root it out, based on conversations, past events, and maybe even dreams.

    1. I did let my emotions rule me before and it did not turn out to have good results. Now I do not. I think some level of thinking is good but not too much. Because then, you get lost in the thought and make the emotion even stronger.

  7. I would be silent in such times because as a humans emotions oscillates without your knowledge. And we cannot win and make sense of every single thing that happens to us. Yes, I agree that certain thoughts demand our attention, but only if it is repetitive. Observation is the key here and would be amazed to see the outputs when you adopt the skills.

    1. Yeah, I tried to do it but this time, this specific emotion made me unable to sit still. I do not know why. But I do believe that generally, just sitting in silence and listening to the emotion is very helpful.

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