Emotions, an enigma

Emotions can be defined in many different ways by people, depending on their perspective and understanding of this word. Some make a distinction between emotions and feelings saying that a feeling is the response part of the emotion and that an emotion includes the interpretation, the perception, and the response or feeling related to the experience of a particular situation. One of the definitions of ‘emotion’ is, a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others’. This definition reflects on how ‘emotions’ are clearly something that comes from within or has been embedded in us and these so-called ‘emotions’ surface when they are triggered by a certain situation. Emotions are feelings that when triggered, make us react depending on our state of mind at that moment. Fight or flight mode is triggered instinctively when in a situation that could prove harmful and the need to protect yourself is provoked, emotions can surface in a similar manner but the intensity of the emotion felt by the person solely depends on the circumstances. Anything can cause different emotions to surface, from pictures to words to thoughts and much more, our state of mind at that particular moment determines what kind of action or if any action at all is to be taken as the feeling could be of joy or of anguish but this just points to a huge fact, that our emotions can easily control us and determine the outcome of a situation, be it good or bad.
There are eight primary emotions: Joy, Trust, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, Anticipation. Biologically speaking, emotions emerge from out of the brain’s limbic system. If we are inhospitable surroundings accustomed to our presence, our mind will give a positive cognitive response. This cognitive feedback will help us act appropriately. This helps us to develop a strong sense of understanding and identity. If, on the other hand, our environment is unaccommodating, our limbic system will start to breakdown in a way. We’ll begin to feel negative emotions towards ourselves like self-doubt, and our morale will drop. We will start questioning ourselves, in turn these thoughts may lead to violent attempts at trying to control and suppress such feelings. It is extremely unhealthy to suppress such emotions, as they usually lead to isolation and losing oneself in a torrent of emotions, the mental and physical effects of doing so are both very dangerous. BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is also a result of the individual’s emotions and the environment’s reaction being out of sync with one another. As time goes on, the difference is intensified and life becomes a burden to bear, it gets much more difficult. Suffering and hardships become a normal part of life.
In today’s busy and unpredictable world there is a lot going on and we are being pulled into many different directions all at once. We have responsibilities at work and home and at times they become too much for us to handle. Our mind and body let us know as we start to feel worried, anxious, distress, and many other negative emotions that have a strong effect on us physically and mentally. These feelings mature and become worse, thus causing depression in cases and leading to bad scenarios. A lot of students and teenagers go through these types of problems because they don’t know how to control these emotions. Negative emotions like these, if they stay unkempt and disarrayed, become worse and that is why they affect the younger and more inexperienced people who don’t know how to handle them. Negative emotions surface when something bad happens and positive when something good. How a person interprets a situation, be it good or bad is entirely up to themselves as there is no black and white, only gray areas. Our self-reflection also matters when it comes to emotions. If we belittle ourselves this only causes us to look at ourselves in a very negative way, like a distorted image of ourselves or a reflection in rippling waters that can’t be calmed. Especially nowadays in this unprecedented and daunting situation of the coronavirus, many negative emotions are being released due to isolation and fear. There is not necessarily a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way to handle this situation, but many people are trying to ground themselves through yoga and tai chi or other spiritual activities that calm them. Emotions are almost like unpredictable ‘entities’ that have a mind of their own and try to influence our actions, however, it is our will whether we listen to them or not. Controlling our negative emotions and learning how to understand and deal with them can change the world for the better.

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