Your emotions are constructed by the brain, unconsciously, and dictated by three factors; your body budget – your body/mind/brain capacity to cope – your current situation and your stored, past experiences that are used in order to predict what may happen, in order to keep you alive, safe and ready for contingency.
The brain is the most incredible and intricate part of the human body that operates in a way that is as unique as your fingerprint; made up of a complex network with over 100 billion neurons that processes, creates and responds to information, every second.
As a result, we have the capacity to combine our past experiences with our current environment, so that we can emotionally respond accordingly, form new emotional definitions and even create new feelings altogether.
In other words, our brain is adaptable and ever-changing to fit with our environment, emotively.
This article will cover:
- Brain facts throughout.
- How the brain creates our emotions.
- How these emotions impact our mental state.
- Emotional Language.
- How our emotional triggers are stored and create ‘mental illness’.
Our feelings are formed by our emotions, meaning, the brain is constantly generating and receiving signals from the body, in order to establish what is happening within us.
The brain will process all of these signals into neural maps which is a sheet of neurons made up of properties relating to our external world and what actions we are taking in systematic order, which is then compiled into the somatosensory system;
The somatosensory system is part of the sensory system concerned with the conscious perception of touch, pressure, pain, temperature, position, movement and vibration, which arise fromE Medicine
the muscles, joints, skin, and fascia.
How we feel, is determined by how the brain reads our neural maps and can, therefore, establish if any emotional changes have been recorded. However, these emotions do not result solely from the body’s reaction to our external environment but also, the changes created by our neural maps and has the ability to ignore, extreme emotional reactions such as fear, physical pain and stress in order to protect itself.
Scientists now know, without doubt, that emotional disorders are at the root of most psychological illnesses such as depression and anxiety, however, current medication such as SSRI’s – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – are mostly ineffective because they are unable to target distinct, cellular and molecular systems that would influence the changes necessary to combat the emotional disorder.
How the brain creates emotions:
We are born with instinctive feelings thanks to our reptilian brain, nevertheless, as we age, our concept and definition of those feelings can be changed, influenced and redefined by our environment, who we are most influenced by and what we observe. As children, we learn our world through feeling, resulting in the expansion of our emotional definitions, which in turn, create our habitual programming in the subconscious mind.
Furthermore, whilst our range of emotions is determined by our childhood experiences and environment, we can only establish emotions that we are aware of, which is dependant on where in the world we were raised.
Interestingly, there is not a universally defined set of emotions. For example, in some parts of the western world, we have the emotion ‘sadness‘ whereas, in Tahitian culture, they do not. Instead, they would define that emotion as ‘feelings of fatigue‘; particular tiredness experienced when someone feels sick with the flu or cold.
There are also plenty of emotions that do not even translate into English; the people of Micronesia have an emotion known as ‘fago‘, meaning, love, empathy, pity, sadness, or compassion which is solely dependent on the context.
Some cultures even define emotional expressions, such as laughter, in its literal form and do not distinguish the emotion in mental terms.
In the German language they have four distinct terms for ‘anger’; ‘Ärger‘ – masculine – a fit of anger ‘
When we understand our brains basic functions we are able to influence the development of emotional habitual patterns of behaviour, which creates a deeper awareness of how our past experiences influence our future reactions.
In broadening our emotional language, we can form a wider range of reactions and responses to future experiences and through this, begin altering what emotional patterns are of service to us and what is not; both of which can be learned and unlearned and is a technique often used when developing emotional intelligence.
How our emotional triggers are stored and create ‘mental illness’.
Thanks to recent scientific breakthroughs, we now know that the brain thinks, feels and percieves its surrounding which provides insight into how we make our emotions.
60-80% of our brains energy is spent on prediction, which influences what emotional reaction we experience. Which prediction wins, is the one most fitting to our circumstances at the time.
For example, and I use this analogy throughout most of my other articles, if you were to walk into a kitchen and unexpectedly slip and fall, leaving you injured, feeling extreme pain and shock, the brain will automatically store the exact sensory perceptions of your environment into the subconscious mind, as triggers. Everything from what we taste, smell, see and hear is stored due to the strong emotional reaction of what happened, which is translated to the brain as something we need to be protected from in the future.
Therefore, if we were to walk into any kitchen in the world, and see, smell, taste, touch or hear anything that aligns with those stored triggers, we would experience ‘fight or flight‘ mode that tells us we are in danger.
Of course, the brains incredible skill is a double-edged sword, as we may become triggered by situations and environments that are not dangerous to us.
In other words, we could experience anxiety, depression and or panic attacks due to our emotionally stored triggers, formed by our past experiences, that are not appropriate to our new environments.
Having experienced anxiety, depression, PTSD and panic attacks myself, I understand at first hand how hard it is to implement this information and combat these issues. Nevertheless, I developed this website and continue to research both spiritual and scientific beliefs in order to conquer my own mental illness and share this throughout the site and via my social media accounts.
Now a therapist and EFT practitioner, I have furthered my understanding of the topic and continue to study neuroscience based courses in order to create a route to cure rather than ‘cope’. All of which, is listed on this site.
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Sending you love and light,