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Emotions lead to feelings

Being aware of the constant dance between emotions and feelings could improve your decision-making ability.

  1. Every feeling begins with a stimulus.
  2. The stimulus leads to an unfelt emotion in the brain.
  3. Unfelt emotions cause the body to generate responsive hormones.
  4. The hormones enter the bloodstream and bring about positive or negative feelings

For example, when we feel threatened (stimuli), the initial label is fear (emotion) and happens unconsciously. Fear results in the production of fight-or-flight feelings (hormones), which helps our bodies to react (feelings).

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Focus on the resulting feeling

We need to understand how any particular emotion (root cause) will translate into a feeling (symptom).

The six emotions are broad categories, while the feelings are specific to describe what is going on in our bodies. For instance, disgust (emotion) may result in 'loathing' or 'detestable' feelings.

When you have to make a decision, always track your feeling to the resulting emotion to find the root cause.

  1. Name what you are deciding.
  2. Name all the feelings you are experiencing in connection with the decision.
  3. Identify the root cause of the feelings you are experiencing in connection with your decision.
  4. Identify the emotions connected to these feelings.
  5. Process the emotion.
  6. Consider if you want to make a decision from this emotion or change course.

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Disgust

Disgust is another of the original six basic emotions. Disgust can be displayed in a nuber of ways including:

  • Body language: turning away from the object of disgust
  • Physical reactions: such as vomiting or retching
  • Facial expressions: such as wrinkling the nose and curling the upper lip

This sense of revulsion can originate from a number of things, including an unpleasant taste, sight, or smell. This may be the body's way of avoiding things that may carry transmittable diseases.

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IDEAS

We commonly form attachment bonds with a friend. Although we don't talk about it, we do have unspoken psychological expectations when our friends become attachment figures.

The indicator of a secure attachment figure is that s/he is consistent, available, warm, and responsive. But an insecure attachment style (preoccupied, dismissing, or fearful) might struggle with friendship expectations or the ability to provide a secure base to others.

Process Negative Emotions

One of the best ways to deal with negative emotions, in us or in others, is through acceptance. It allows us to build better compassion for how they might present themselves and why.

Acceptance allows us to change how we might respond to negative emotions and develop behaviors that are meaningful and bring value to how we express ourselves and engage with others.