Six things you didn't know about emotions

Academic explains the role of emotions in our lives and the importance of knowing and living them for the growth and development of human beings.

Six things you didn't know about emotions
Six facets of human emotion that are often overlooked. Photo by Domingo Alvarez E / Unsplash

Culture has given emotions a bad name or has labeled them; society, on the one hand, asks us to surrender and govern them, but recent studies have discovered that to be happy and truly functional, we need them, to know them, develop them and apply them, they are the ticket, in part, for personal success, in work teams, in the family, and society.

Dr. Noemí Pinto Rodríguez, professor at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG), a psychologist, with a specialty in neuropsychology, a master's in neurosciences, and a doctorate in education, explains more about emotions. "Emotions are an affective state that we experience, a subjective reaction to the environment that is accompanied by organic, physiological and endocrine changes, of innate origin, influenced by experience," she said.

Emotions have an adaptive function of the organism to what surrounds it, thus, emotions come from the brain, the nervous system sends information and decides which emotion and action are fundamental for the occasion, even the most unpleasant emotions have important functions in the social adaptation and adjustment of the person.

Six things you didn't know about emotions

Although it may seem so, emotions do not come from the heart or chest. Emotions come from our brain, from the nervous system, the structure that generates them is the limbic system and the hypothalamus is in charge of the physical responses we feel. In the brain they are generated, change, and adapt, these cause bodily responses or what we know as "my heart squeezes" and "butterflies in the stomach".

Thinking with a cool head does not exist. One of the most common mistakes is to believe that you can think with a "cool head" or make decisions without involving emotions. It has been proven that emotions are the main guide or influence when making decisions in our lives. "I think, I feel and then I am". There are also inhuman decisions, which are only based on reason or logic, where emotions are not involved.

Knowing your emotions does not make you emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence, as it is believed, does not only consist of knowing or recognizing emotions. This is a practice and knowing what it requires to know, do and take responsibility for why we feel and do and consciously apply emotions for our benefit and that of others.

There are emotions, not good and bad emotions. This refers to the fact that they are not good or bad (to have them or to avoid them), they exist and all emotions have a function, adaptive value, and value in people's lives. It is advisable to live emotions and to know them, not to avoid them, but to accept them as part of the nature of the person since they affect the growth, maturation, and behavior of individuals.

Emotions are not only impulses. There is a misconception that getting excited (happiness, sadness, etc.) is part of a human impulse that should be controlled or prevented from exploding. This argument is erroneous; in fact, the most advisable thing is to allow people to experience all emotions so that they get to know them and learn to regulate them to know how to manage them and at what moment in life to use them appropriately, to be empathetic, to understand ourselves and to understand others.

"Another common mistake is: maturing does not mean ignoring your emotions. Maturing is knowing, understanding, touching, sharing, communicating, recognizing them in others, presenting them, and making them part of your life. Emotional maturity is to know about emotions and I must be responsible for what belongs to me," she concluded.