Step 3: Feeling, Emotion, Behavior
Feeling, Emotion, Behavior
When our body gets invaded by bacteria or a virus, the body’s immune system comes to our protection. The body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight the invaders and restore the body back to its health. Our mind also gets the same way, when the mind gets hurt our physiological system comes to its rescue. We apply various types of defense’s to protect the mind.
It is the daily hassles of life that causes the mind to twist and turn. In fact, we can view life as a battle front. Little things or big things are continuously happening and we are battling through them day in and day out. These are stressors in our life. When negative experiences cause emotional upset as a child, we have to calm the discomfort. This is a strategy we have learnedthrough adversity. A child’s lack of experience and support may have led him/her to learn strategies which are in-effective in adult life. Battles are won and lost on when we are happy, smile, or when our facial expression brightens up. When we are sad; we cry and get tears in our eyes. Our sadness shows in our face.
All these emotions show in our behavioral expression or are translated into actions (behaviors). Internal stimuli from our bodily organs like heart, muscles, stomach or external stimuli received through our five sensory organs; eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin generates a sensation inside of our body and gives us a feeling. These feelings translate into categorical emotions like: fear, anger, happiness, sadness etc. It is the body that tells us how our mind feels.
The brain’s limbic system is the seat of our emotion. It has very rich connections to all parts of the brain and can influence bodily functions. Diseases of the mind therefore present itself in physical expressions of pain or other somatic discomfort. Brains frontal cortex usually regulates our expression of emotion. The growth of the frontal cortex spreads from childhood years to the early adult years. As we grow we learn to process our emotions through the frontal cortex, our thinking brain. Those emotions which are socially acceptable are allowed expression and those which are not socially accepted are inhibited. Impulsive behaviors which find expression in our childhood years are gradually brought under control as growth of the frontal cortex occurs.
Emotion serves a very useful role n the formation of our mind. When the brains neuronal network is activated, it generates energy which affects the state of our mind. This is what creates our primary emotion. The flow of energy runs through the brains information system to find a meaning for the incoming stimulus. In this process emotion organizes out thoughts and help in problem solving and decision making.
Emotions serve as a vehicle that allows one person to have a sense of the mental state of another. This perceptual ability greatly facilitates the development of interpersonal relationship. This ability also allows us to perceive danger and to escape. In this manner it serves as a tool to survival. In co-ordination with orbit frontal cortex and anterior cingulated gyrus emotion significantly affects our social functions. In adults emotion deregulation can occur as a carryover from adolescent years or caused from psychiatric or substance abuse disorders.
Emotion needs to be regulated, for a deregulated emotion:
- Distorts perception
- Damens expectation
- Derails cognition
- Disrupts communication
- Dislocates relationship
- Disintegrates behavior
- Downgrades defense and Derides wellness.