Jun 11, 2014

What if You Consciously Chose Your Emotions?

When you consider the question, “What if You Consciously Chose Your Emotions?” you may be thinking, “I do choose to display the emotions that come from me!” But, consider, when you get angry over the eggs not frying up correctly at breakfast, did you say to yourself, “OK, this is a time I should be angry, so I’m going to behave in an angry manner”? Or, is it really just the opposite and you have to tell yourself to not get upset because it’s really not a big deal? It’s usually the second scenario, isn’t it?

Here’s why our emotions are unconsciously driven:

When you look at the human brain, there are some parts that are older than others. The most primal parts of the brain are the Brain Stem, the Basal Ganglia, and the Amygdala. These parts of the brain are designed for survival and what have kept mankind alive for millions of years. In fact, they still function very well. For instance, the human mind is wired to look for danger before anything else. Imagine that you’re sitting in a room and someone walks in. Instantly, your mind goes on alert and searches for potential danger. Once it’s determined that no danger is present, then it searches for what potential benefit might exist. But, in that first brief moment, the chemicals in the mind and body prepared for survival. They were ready for fight-or-flight. You have no control over those emotional responses. They are “hardwired” in us.

What does this “hardwiring” look like? The two components that are involved in strategy and emotion are the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. What neuroscience has discovered about these components is that there is a one-way connection that runs between them. That connection is from the amygdala (the brain’s emotional center) and to the prefrontal cortex (the brain’s Executive Function center where strategy is created). What this means is that the amygdala (emotions) always win because they get the opportunity to “fire” before the prefrontal cortex receives any information. Now you understand why, no matter how hard you try to remain strategically under control, you still have to fight the emotional reaction to situations.

What if there was a way that you could choose to see situations without emotion? How would that make your life different? When you search your mind for situations that you wish you could redo because you had an adverse emotional reaction at the time, which ones come to your mind first? Maybe you know someone who has “Anger Management” issues. Maybe they have issues with making poor decisions and choices because they are always made with emotion. And, the list goes on. Feel free to contact me to find out how making these changes is within your grasp. Now, doesn’t that just make you angry that I ended the article like that…?