Are Emotions Really That Important?

Emotions really are so important.

The answer to the question in the title is “absolutely yes.” Let’s see why.

Let’s try to go back in time and visualize ourselves at school, where they told us that the human being is the “only rational animal”, indicating that we are at the highest point of the evolutionary scale. Why? Because we have consciousness and a cerebral cortex exclusive to people that allows us to think.

Yes, all this is true: our cortex or cerebral cortex, which is characteristic of the human being, is what allows us to analyze, plan, deduce, anticipate and, ultimately, have intellectual abilities that have allowed us to reach, evolutionarily speaking, up to where we find ourselves today.

But… what about the other word that defines our species: “animal”? Indeed: whether we like it or not, we are animals, specifically mammals and, even more specifically, those mammals whose young need more care, protection and time for development to occur until adulthood.

AND This is where we find our emotional component, to which we apparently do not give much importance: “This thing about emotions is something for psychologists!” And you also hear things like… “This thing about emotions is a woman’s thing!” And what can we say about the terrible “norm” of “men don’t cry”?

But we say apparently because there are professions (Marketing, Advertising or Sales) in which human emotions are known extraordinarily well and the mechanisms that move us in our most daily lives are studied, to use them and sell us what is necessary at that moment: a brand of car, a trip, a brand of clothing, a mobile phone… a specific lifestyle and even some vital values ​​and priorities.

We underestimate the emotional

This reflection about the great weight that the emotional component represents for the human being is not exaggerated.. It is true that in our Westernized society (ours, where we live and, therefore, the one that influences us daily) they are not talked about much, at least in an obvious way. This gives the impression that, although in some environments, situations, gatherings and media they may be the object of attention, we must recognize that they are normally neither considered essential for life nor important.

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What consequences does this distancing entail, this “not paying attention” to our emotional aspect? Let’s see it:

By not talking about them (as if they did not exist or were not so important) it is difficult to attend to them and, therefore, be aware that we experience them.

By not attending to them, It is even more difficult to identify them, to give them a name. when we experience them.

By not identifying them we cannot understand them nor, of course, manage or channel.

And, therefore, when they become intense (or directly annoying, even disabling), It is really difficult to “live” them..

And, now, we already have the blockage, anxiety, discomfort or more or less intense suffering on a psychological level….

The importance of emotions

Of course It is not necessary to go to extreme discomfort or psychological disorders to demonstrate the importance of our emotional life.. What’s more, we just have to review our daily life, what is happening to us at the moment, to realize what our emotional state weighs to “value” it as something good or something bad, which causes us discomfort. or well-being (to a greater or lesser extent, of course).

Could examples like the following sound?: “I don’t know how to tell my boss… I can’t stop thinking about it and it makes me overwhelmed”; “It makes me nervous to go to my parents’ house to eat and I don’t know what’s going on, because they behave very well with me…”; “I don’t feel like going with Sara, but I can’t do anything else, because it would make her feel very bad if I didn’t go”; “I feel bad about Pablo but I don’t even know what’s wrong with him”; “Everyone tells me that I have everything and I notice a kind of dissatisfaction…”

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The emotions we experience in those moments decisively influence the positive or negative assessment of the event or situation in which we are involvedgiving it a greater or lesser degree of severity…. And, of course, emotions influence a very high percentage (without wanting to put a number, but let’s say more, much more than 50%…) in the way of solving those problems, to respond to them.

Some recommendations

Definitely, Emotion is an inevitable human component or dimension, fortunately, without which we would not be able to react to any event in everyday life. Hence the extraordinary importance of taking care of it so that it accompanies us in our favor and does not go against us.

With what we have seen, it has already been demonstrated that we are emotional beings. Now what? Without attempting to offer a manual on emotional management, and being very simplistic, I allow myself to make some recommendations:

1. Identify what is happening

At moment one, as soon as you begin to feel a certain discomfort, a certain feeling of displeasure, Stop for a second to try to identify what you are feeling.: Is it rage, is it anger, is it discomfort, is it anguish, is it sadness,…are they all together?

2. Take your time

Wait until you do or say anything! Hold, Don’t react immediately to whatever caused what you’re feeling. (I know it costs…).

3. Try to find out what has bothered you

Has it hurt you because you interpret it as a lack of respect? Do you think there is no solution to what you have been asked? Do you consider it an irrecoverable loss? There are thousands of reasons, as many as there are people…. Based on what you have found, you can develop a response that is adaptive to the situation experienced.

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How easy it seems, right? Well not really, it’s not. We are used to reacting immediately to what happens to us, because, because of everything we have seen before, we neither realize what we are experiencing nor, much less, do we know how to handle it…. Hence the importance of searching It helps to learn to direct our emotional world so that it does not govern us.

Let’s take care of our emotions. As? Identifying them, welcoming them (they are all functional, you just have to know how to treat them), making friends with them and, either through contact with people who have gone through similar experiences, through psychological advice, emotional or personal development courses, bibliography or, if necessary, psychological therapy, let us channel and manage that fundamental component of our being that makes it easier for us to live.