Emotions can be a way for the body to give us information.A.
They can be a signal to ourselves that we have assessed something in the environment to be either positive or negative.
For example, if we put our hand in a dark hole in the ground, naturally a feeling of fear will come up as a signal to warn us of potential danger. We do not know what will be in the dark hole, therefore this feeling of fear serves to try and protect us from imminent danger.
Another example, if we are suddenly surrounded by a swarm of bees, a feeling of fear may arise and this could come up as a signal to warn us of potential danger and to move slowly to a sheltered area, therefore, protecting us.
Most of the time we experience many emotions at once, for example, we could also perhaps be feeling curiosity at the potential of finding something you might have dropped down the hole. Or maybe a feeling of curiosity as to where the bees might have come from and this in turn will prompt us to investigate and to attempt to prevent that from happening again.
Emotions can also be a signal to ourselves that we have assessed through our belief systems, values, morals and life experiences that something in the environment is either positive or negative; or someone is behaving in either a positive or negative way.
Belief systems, values, morals and life experiences all work together in this very interesting dance.
For example, some cultures celebrate female obesity and see excessive fat as a sign of health, wealth, fertility and happiness. Where, other cultures would disagree and see slenderness as a sign of health.
Positive child rearing is often a very debatable subject in that we will often disagree with others. For example, some people feel it’s necessary to allow children to learn how to self-soothe and therefore ask parents not to attend to each and every cry of a child. Where, other people feel that a child is crying for a reason and needs to be attended to immediately.
Therefore, we will behave in a way that honours our cultural upbringing, belief systems, values and morals and we might not necessarily agree with other people’s belief systems, values and morals. This can create great misunderstandings between different people and by having a good sense of emotional intelligence it could help us to understand and accept others in a more healthy way.C.
Emotions can be a way for the body to give us information about what triggers we have within. Therefore bringing our attention to something within us that needs addressing.
For example, if we have spent hours preparing a meal for our family and they show up late for dinner, understandably we might feel angry and resentful at them for not respecting our time and care. But if we looked a little deeper within ourselves and noticed the emotions that came up around this incident and asked ourselves what really are these emotions trying to tell us, the truth will unfold. It might be that we feel unworthy or ignored which really comes from a need that has not been met somewhere along our lives and when this dinner incident happened, it just triggered the old feelings from an earlier memory, our belief systems, morals or values that have not been met. So if we address this feeling of being unworthy or ignored, the trigger will no longer exist, making late dinners easier to manage.
Triggers can be set off by our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, memories, experiences and all our senses.
For example, a particular smell can remind you of a person who has passed over, who used to wear that fragrance and therefore the trigger can bring about a sense of sadness; or a song could trigger a memory of a time when you were younger, which in turn could bring about a sense of nostalgia or joy. By having a good sense of emotional intelligence, we could recognise the triggers and deal with the emotions in a healthy way, by either mourning the loss properly or letting go of fears etc.
Another example, a child might have witnessed their parents arguing over breakfast each morning and then as an adult that person might wonder why they can’t bear the taste of that particular type of cereal, which might be a subconscious trigger of how that person felt as a child while eating that cereal, while his parents were arguing.
So by having an awareness of our emotions and what triggers we have, we can work at overcoming those things that might hold us back in life.
For example, a child tries his best at colouring in a picture and very proudly shows his teacher or parents his work. If the child did not know that his teacher or parent was tired and stretched for time and they brushed him off, not realising what it meant to the child to show his work, the child might feel hurt or abandoned by not being acknowledged for doing his best. That child might completely misunderstand the teacher or parent and internally think that his best is not good enough. Then as an adult he wonders why he is not able to put himself forward for the job promotion or ask his girlfriend to marry him. Unbeknown to him, he is carrying an unconscious belief about himself from that experience as a child. He believes his best is not good enough, so this silently sabotages him into not succeeding in work or in relationships as an adult. If he had the emotional awareness as a child to understand his thoughts, which turn into beliefs about himself; and to understand his teacher or parent, he might not have developed unhealthy behavioural patterns later in life.