Some time ago I heard someone say 'Negative Emotions'. Since then it happened a few more times, and recently someone said it in the context of a moment I was angry and disgust.
What the heck is a negative emotion? What is positive emotion?
Who is the one who decides which one is which?
We have a big misconception around emotions.
We all grew up in a specific culture, in a specific family.
We learned through them about emotions in an unspoken way.
The majority of us can only learn about it when we stand in front of a person that is completely different from us. When we judge or have an idea or opinion on the emotion of another,
"drama", "overreacting", "too sensitive", "too emotional".
Until then and sometimes even in the face of such a meeting we think
"that's how it is", "that's the way", "my way or the high way".
Understanding what emotions actually are, is a big stone on our way to having a better relationship with them. I first learned that four years ago when the Bodynamic system got into my life. Emotions are physical, body reactions. They are hormones release that each one of them creates very unique movement in our body.
Emotion= Energy in Motion.
All emotions arise in the body and they originate and connect to our limbic brain/ limbic system, which means they are not rational, they are common with mammals and they have a really important role to handle interaction necessary for the survival of the herd. They support us to connect and relate with each other. For example;
Anger is a sign of stop, enough. Shame creates a deep drive for change. Sadness supports our ability to let go. Joy creates safety to connect.
They are what makes us human and in my opinion beautiful.
What actually happens in us when we define emotion as 'negative', 'strong', 'overreaction'?
What is it that we actually do in our body?
We all have this emotion we are a fan of, that is easy for us, that look to us completely "normal", and we have the other ones, that are not accepted, that we judge when we see it in others, that are scary for us.
"Emotions are an assessment of what a situation does to my well being." Dr. Raja Selvam
A few years ago I got exposed to a research that was done in Finland on Bodily maps of emotions, and how they move and activate different areas of the body. So what happens in this movement when we don't want to feel a certain emotion? When we judge it as 'Negative'?
Dr. Raja Selvam says that we shut down emotions that are difficult, that is disconnection that accrue between the brain, the body, and the environment. It's good to check, is the emotion is supported in me or I don't want to feel it? How do I feel regarding feeling it? What judgment I have on it? Is the emotion was supported in the culture and family I grow up in?
Brené Brown in her famous Ted talk 'The power of vulnerability' share from her research,
"We numb, the problem is -- and I learned it from the research-- that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You cannot say here is the bad stuff, here is shame, sadness, fear, anger. I don't want to feel these. You can't numb these hard feelings and emotions without numbing the others. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable and we look for purpose and meaning. "
" One of the things that I think we need to think about is why and how we numb. And it doesn't just have to be an addiction. The other thing we do is we make everything that's uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty."I'm right, you're wrong. Shut up."That's it. Just certain.The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are, the more afraid we are. This is what politics looks like today. There's no discourse anymore. There's no conversation. There's just blame. You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort. We perfect. And we perfect, most dangerously, our children.
We pretend that what we do doesn't have an effect on people. We do that in our personal lives. We do that corporate -- whether it's a bailout, an oil spill ... a recall. We pretend like what we're doing doesn't have a huge impact on other people. I would say to companies, this is not our first rodeo, people. We just need you to be authentic and real and say ...
"We're sorry. We'll fix it." "- Brené Brown
It happens in the greatest families and parents as well, we are all humans.
In my family anger was not supported,
it was the emotion we would be sent to our room to relax for.
Now the nature of emotions, especially in childhood - they are regulated in contact.
Until my late 20's it was really hard for me to feel and express it,
I would "exchange" it in sadness or disappointment, that were easier for me.
I would think that when people are angry they are leaving, it's the end where all the bridges are being burned. It took me a few years and good connections and specific partners to unwrap it.
Next time we hold a judgment on our own or another emotional reaction,
it's good to check as Dr. Raja Selvam suggested -
Is the emotion is supported in me or I don't want to feel it?
Is the emotion supported from outside? (connection).
And I add,
How do I feel regarding feeling it?
What judgment I have on it?
Is the emotion was supported in the culture and family I grow up in?