“Emotions,” wrote Aristotle, “are all those feelings that so change men as to affect their judgements, and that are also attended by pain or pleasure. Such are anger, pity, fear and the like, with their opposites.”
Well, we all struggle for our emotions and try to suppress it. But that process really doesn’t help. Let’s get inside it and study more about our emotions to know what way we can be helped in this regard.
Emotion has three specific definitions according to Miriam Webster dictionary. One of them is – “emotion is a state of feeling”.
That state of feeling can be of Primary or Secondary. A primary human emotion types are the one that triggered in response to an event, for example: Anger, Sympathy, Empathy, Love and so on. Secondary emotion types are those which follow the primary emotion, for example we show care and concern to the needy after we are moved with compassion and love. Here the feelings of care and being concerned are secondary emotions of human or the care giver.
That state of feeling can also be Negative or Positive. Fear, anger, pride, self-pity, envy etc., are negative emotions and love, hope, trust, patient, joy are the examples of positive emotions.
If I extend it little further then according to me this state of feeling can also be Momentary or Lasting. Usually primary emotions are Momentary and the emotion that follows it becomes Lasting or Secondary.
Now when there’s an upsurge of emotion that we feel after an occurrence of an event we immediately can know whether it is negative or positive after it processed through primary to secondary. At that particular moment we need to take little time to make it Momentary or Lasting. We should let the positive emotion proceed further and put a bridle on the negative emotions.
Don’t mock me…
I know it’s extremely difficult doing than how easy for me to mention above. But if you have marked people around you then you can easily make out how impulsive people suffer all the time. They respond quickly. They react in lightening speed. They are quick to speak harsh words and hurt. Their tears roll down swiftly. They are short tempered. They flare up instantly. We all know about it very well.
If we look into our day to day life then we will realise at times we are impulsive and at other times we are not. Have we ever tried to find out why we behave differently at different times?
I will tell you…
The presence of certain persons, a particular situation makes us to behave differently at different times. Can we show our emotion of anger impulsively in front of our boss? No, we can’t. But in front of our spouses or children we react quickly and flare up instantly. If we observe we will find many such instances in our life that will tell us how differently we behave. It gets inculcated in us from our childhood to react in a certain way. Now at this point of our life when we try to set ourselves back on track it is really difficult.
Our emotions are like wild horses. Have you seen a wild horse? Controlling it is the most tedious task for its master. And when our emotions go berserk it is really very difficult to keep them quiet.
But we all know that a wild horse can be tamed by a harness; and so also our emotions need to be harnessed… not suppressed.
The other day I was talking with my wife about emotions and she said, “If we suppress our emotions then it will burst one day”. And she was absolutely right. I have seen people trying to suppress their emotions and they feel they will be portraying themselves as weak if they are emotional but that’s not true. Always be yourself and let your true emotions come out.
To support what I just said above I want to quote an article in Psychology Today :
“So emotions don’t have to be a problem for you. Any emotion can bring a welcome sense of positive energy or the opposite—a dose of gloom and doom. It just depends on how you work with it, how you respond to the upsurge of energy.”
So the solution is harness your emotions. Tame it. Keep it under your control to use its energy as your strength.
The same article concludes like this:
“When you’re feeling tormented by your emotions, what do you do? You probably look for an escape route. But you can’t see your emotions the way you can see smoke or fire, so which way do you turn? You can’t exactly decide, My anger is hammering at the front door, so I’ll go out the back . If you react out of panic, without thinking it through, you might end up jumping from the frying pan into the fire. You never know what might be waiting for you in your backyard. Instead of leaving your well-being to chance, it’s a good idea to have a rescue plan for those times when you find yourself on shaky emotional ground, looking for a lifeline.”
Yes, we need to plan ahead, practice, keep our lifelines ready for those shaky moments.
Dear Readers! Our emotions are like messages. Our emotions tell us a lot about our likes and dislikes, what we care about or fear, what makes us happy and what makes us sad. Emotions are our identity. It also lets people know who we are and what our personality traits are. So it is very important for us to harness our emotions to keep our chin up. But remember, never suppress it.