How do our emotions work?
Human beings are exceptional creatures with an astounding range of emotions starting from happiness to sadness, from hatred to love. However, have you ever thought why humans feel and express emotions, or to keep it simple, how our emotions work?
Importance of understanding emotions.
There is always a reason why we behave rudely with someone or admire someone, and why we find someone attractive while at the same time we cannot tolerate the sight of some people. Now, before answering the question, we must know that humans live their lives, relying more on their perceptions rather than the reality.
Without identifying the complete picture, we just react to the portion which is decipherable to us. This means that most of the time, we react to what we see or hear about someone without understanding the reason and intention behind that person’s actions. This is the most significant reason why we live a life full of discontentment. This is one of the reasons why we fail to understand the other person’s behavior, which leads us to a toxic relationship.
The Human Experiential Model of Cycle of Emotions
The Human Experiential Model helps us understand our emotions and be responsible for our actions. This, in turn, will help us in self-reflecting and reconsidering our actions the next time we face a similar situation. The Human Experiential Model is a cycle that tells us how we develop emotions during our lifetime and why we express them the way we do. The cycle starts with a ‘Life Event’ occurring in our life. We, then, give meaning to that event or ‘label’ that event as good or bad according to our experience. Our ’emotional’ state inspires the label that we associate to that event. Our ‘actions’ and behavior, in turn, reflect our emotions. The next time we face a similar situation or ‘Life Event’ again due to our perception of the ‘label’ given to the previous event, we feel the same ’emotions’ and ‘react’ similarly. Ultimately, these lead to the outcomes and consequences in life as this cycle continues.
To help control emotions
During our life, we experience a lot of events that instigate emotions in us. Suppose a person got rejected by a person they loved. This rejection caused him emotional distress, and he suffered from depression for a few days and had a tough time overcoming the stage. Then, one day, he regained his courage and again expressed his love to some other person. This time, again, he got rejected. An emotional superstition, consequently, gets developed from this series of events in his mind.
He, then, goes on to develop a perception that he is not good enough, and every time, he will get rejected. Now, suppose he applied for a job interview. Because he had developed a perception that he is not good enough, he was suffering from low confidence. This, in turn, caused a decline in his performance, and again he got rejected.
Accordingly, what was the actual reason behind his rejection in the interview? Was it his look or his personality or his low self-confidence? I would say none of these. The main reason for his rejection was his belief. The way he thought and perceived himself was his major problem. If he had understood that a person and a job interview are two completely different scenarios, he would have been able to crack the interview. This might have helped him change his perception.
We should always remember and try to consider our feelings and link back to some similar incident. It might have occurred in the past. The person or event might remind us of something from the previous experience.
Therefore, understanding our emotions and being aware of our actions can help us control our emotions and distort them according to our needs. Madeleine L. Engle, a famous American writer, said “nothing happens in isolation.”. This means that if we don’t have experiences, we will not have emotions. Experiences bring up emotions. If we can figure out the experience instigating the thought or emotion, it will be easy to amend our previous mistakes.