PREVIOUS: “What others think of me is none of my business’ (#2)
REVIEW: “Feelings Aren’t Facts”
• The English word emotion (Es) is from the French émouvoir, from the Latin emovere, where e- means ‘out’, & movere means ‘move’, as TO emit & emote
• at it’s most basic: Es are pure mental & spiritual energy from the core of our being that makes us all one, where we meet & overlap as human beings
• they are short-lived psycho-physical phenomena that represent efficient adaptations to environmental demands (Levenson, ‘94)
• an E. is a particular mental state formed spontaneously rather than by conscious effort, often accompanied by physical changes
• they are the part of our consciousness that involves sensibility: “The very essence of literature is the war between emotion & intellect” Isaac B. Singer
• Es are the result of combining external experience, brain chemicals, the way we think & the actions we choose,
— based on our native Self, our personal history, with the cultural rules & values we grew up with
• Es can be used to motivate us to take actions needed to connect, to protect ourselves, & to grow
• our Es enliven those actions, which would otherwise be rigid or boring
• From Evolutionary Psychology – Emotions developed to coordinate our many adaptive needs so we can function more efficiently, without those needs being in conflict or demanding attention all at the same time (food, shelter, reproduction, safety, sleep, communication….)
Es are considered an overriding brain-programing that temporarily activates, deactivates, or modifies particular needs. This depends on the current situation – where 1 need is turned on, while another has to be put on hold – so we can keep functioning properly (sleep vs go to work, stay connected vs withdraw from danger, achievement vs relaxation, socialize vs. regroup alone…..)
• From Affective NeuroScience (en.wikipedia)
Affect is an encompassing term, used mainly in psychology to describe emotion, feelings & moods, even though it’s more commonly used to mean Emotion
Feelings are our subjective impressions of emotions, private to the person experiencing them – based on perspective, beliefs & desires. A general state of consciousness independent of physical sensations, thoughts….
Moods are diffuse affects, generally lasting much longer than individual Es, but less intensely. They represent an overall tone or general attitude that effects one’s outlook on everything, for as long as the E lasts
• In “What are Emotions? And how can they be measured?” (2005)K. R. Scherer suggested 5 crucial elements:
– Action tendencies: motivational energy to prepare & direct motor responses – Es as the push to act in some way
– Bodily symptoms: physical aspect of an emotional experience, generated in the gut, but also experienced in other body parts
EXP: FEAR can be felt as tightening of the chest, stomach, throat, weakness in the knees…. & in panic attacks – as temporary blindness, inability to think, ‘clutched heart’, trouble breathing….
– Cognitive appraisal: Es provide an evaluation of events & objects. It’s the Mental component – what we think / believe about something, either healthy or unhealthy which generate Es
– Expression: facial & vocal output almost always accompanying an emotional state, communicating a reaction to or the intention of taking some action – unless using Botox! 🙂
– Feelings: the person’s subjective experience of their emotional state, once it has occurred
BTW – Don‘t confuse feelings or emotions with:
• Compulsions, which are actions we’re not in conscious control of – OR –
• Obsessions (Os), which are over-focused, circular mental rumination, our hamster-in-the-wheel :
a. most Os are unconsciously —
— fueled by anxiety, trauma, S-H, FoA….
— supported by unhealthy thinking (CDs), wanting revenge, being one-up, proving oneself ….
b. less often (legitimate) Os may be:
• called ‘passions’, motivated by a deep need to connect with a H.P, to be of service to others or follow a creative goal
• reviewing a positive event we recently experienced, to anchor it in memory. This is important for countering our “built-in-forgetter”, which automatically new]gated the good things in our life
• a way to rehearse phrases or counter-arguments from our Healthy Adult.
Purpose: to solidify smarter ways of verbally responding to others, since
— ACoAs tend to blank out when confronted or criticized (fear,) or
— when being told something outrageous, insensitive or mean (rage)
💎 So ‘obsessional repetition’ is a smart tool, creating new brain pathways, so it stays ‘on line’ when we need it the most
NEXT: What about Es? (Part 2)