What is the truth about emotional responses, and how should we regulate them in our lives. Let’s find out.
Emotions are inherent to human nature. Almost every reaction is an emotional reaction when we let them ride us.
Moreover, the types of environments also heavily influence the emotional undercurrent of the room. Our emotions may stem from society. However, our introspective nature influences them to a great deal.
But, when we talk about controlling our emotions or regulating them, most of us are clueless. The reason is we aren’t aware of them in the first place. Besides, our environment might force us to neglect them as a weakness that affects the idea of a rational being.
As a result, most of us fail to understand our emotions. We can build emotional resilience only when we experience all sorts of negativity and positivity related to them.
So, “How deep are our emotions?”
Well, to know how deep it is, we can read poems, stories, novels, and any other written works of artists. They best represent emotions through their beautiful art forms.
But, we need to know what influences the depth of emotions.
So, let us find out the truth about emotional responses in the next section.
What are the key elements of emotions and the truth about emotional responses?
Well, this is simple, right.
We feel our emotions even when we are doing nothing. It is the result of our tendency to feel many things at the same time.
However, the previous generations were not sure about the emotions themselves, let alone types of emotions. As a result, there was a lot of confusion regarding these intense sensations that people felt in their hearts.
So, let’s find out where the journey of understanding emotions started.
The truth about the history of emotional responses :
The history of emotions dates back to the seventies when a psychologist validated the existence of six types of human emotions that are universal.
- In 1972, psychologist Paul Eckman came up with six emotions that are universal throughout cultures and traditions, namely fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness, and sadness.
- In the 1980s, Robert Plutchik came up with a classification of emotions called “wheel of emotions.” This model presented a new idea about the combinations of emotions, which is the same as an artist mixing his colors to form a new one.
- In 1999, Eckman included other emotions, such as embarrassment, excitement, contempt, shame, pride, satisfaction, and amusement.
Plutchik’s idea of the wheel of emotions was different from the rest and gave a descriptive analysis of emotional responses. His belief that emotions can be combined to form a new one refined the psychology of emotions.
For instance, happiness+anticipation=excitement. Likewise, he compared the emotions of anger and fear, sadness and happiness, and trust and disgust.
So, this was the history of emotions and the way psychologists viewed them.
Now, let us discuss the elements of emotions that arose from these subjective analyses.
The Subjective Experience:
Yes, the subjective experiences.
These experiences influence our emotions and feelings to a great extent. Besides, these also depend on many circumstantial factors such as environment, culture, and tradition.
But, “How do these experiences affect our emotions?”
To answer that, we will take the help of an example.
For instance, let’s consider that you have a job interview to attend. You have prepared for it and are ready to face the ordeal.
However, you notice many people have different concerns regarding their interviews. Everyone does not have the same fear and anxiety that you have. But still, they are experiencing something similar to you.
It is how our subjective experiences influence our emotions. Most of the time, our reasons for the emotional surge is different. As a result, everyone does not feel the same anger, sadness, and happiness, etc. Moreover, it depends on our current state and how we respond to it.
Therefore, these experiences are called subjective experiences.
Besides, we do not exhibit the full range of a particular emotion. We experience a cluster of two to three emotions at the same time. In this example, we experience nervousness, excitement, and anxiety. However, they differ to a great degree due to their subjectivity.
We even experience different emotions of regret and despair when we face adversities in life.
Now, let us discuss the second element of emotions.
The Physiological Response:
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that our emotions also affect our physiological process. The sweaty hands and fast heartbeat are the results of the influence of emotions on our biological systems.
Besides, it is also the result of one of the psychological disorders, such as Stendhal syndrome, where people experience physiological responses due to an influx of emotions.
In other words, the sources go deep within our nervous systems which control involuntary activities, such as blood flow and digestion. Therefore, when we face a threat, these systems play a role in controlling our reactions and help us to either face it or run from it.
However, recent studies do not comply with the same and consider the significance of a brain constituent called the amygdala.
The amygdala deals with hunger, memory, and thirst, which is vital for response to fear and anxiety.
Now, its time to discuss the third and the last element of emotions.
The Behavioral Response:
The behavioral response is fundamental and most well known of all elements as it is easy to notice. Many people emotionally react in certain situations. Besides, it also indicates the tendency of people to respond through facial expressions.
For instance, when we witness a cruel and capricious person, we tend to show signs of anger and disgust. Likewise, when we are motivated to do something significant in our lives, we show excitement, passion, and aggression toward it.
It also correlates with emotional intelligence tests. Moreover, different cultures support different emotional responses. For instance, western culture differentiates from the eastern one, as people exhibit different behavioral responses.
To sum up, our emotional spectrum is vast and has a lot of rich and insightful experiences. Besides, nothing is more abstract and complex as our emotions.
Nevertheless, the complexity of emotions helps us understand ourselves better and we can bring new insights into the emotional connections. Therefore, the upcoming research areas might come up with the ultimate truth about emotional responses.