Emotions, we all have them. Like limitations, we should embrace the positive and negative ones. A wonderful connection I made during 2019 is with Sarah of Omni-Mind Coaching. In below video, Sarah explains the function of emotions and for those who rather read, I transposed her perspectives in an article.
Emotions, the good and bad, have function!
I am Sarah Roos from Omni-Mind Coaching and excited to tell you about something that causes me to ROARRRRRR. Literally, I can get really stressed (as you can see in the video). And you know when that is? When I hear people; gurus, counsellors, acologists, motivational speakers say this:
“We have negative emotions, we have positive emotions. We have good emotions, we have bad emotions. We need to try and get rid of all the bad emotions, like angry, fear, anxiety, sorrow, disgust and focus on the good emotions, like happiness, joy, etc.”
Well, those people probably haven’t done much research, cause if they had, they might have picked up that emotions are not good or bad. Emotions are functional. They have a functional purpose. And I agree, that sometimes emotions are inappropriate for the situation. However:
Emotions values lie in their function, in their purpose.
Imagine you were in a car and you had tons of people moving around you. It was raining really hard, you couldn’t see in front of you. Now, if you were feeling really chilled out and relaxed, your brain wouldn’t be focussed and giving full attention to the environment. And as a result, you would probably end up having a car-accident, injuring yourself or someone else.
The anxiety and stress you feel in such situation has a very important function.
Think of people who… Animal abuse. You are walking down the road and you see a man beating a horse today. If you didn’t get angry about it, you would walk away and you would let it go. You wouldn’t think about it. When we see abuse and we see it, we feel anger.
Anger has a function; to motivate us to approach the situation and deal with it.
When we’re walking on a cliff path over an ocean, if we had no fear… We would walk on careless, not looking where we walk. We would just talk to our friends, fall down that cliff and…die.
Emotions have a function.
Their function is linked to a software system in your brain. Sometimes the emotions that are made to be linked to a specific stimuli get looped, because of your brain software.
Per example, my kitty cat, Koko, when she came to live with us… she was terrified and when she heard a noise, she got really scared. That emotional fear was protecting her. The difference between Koko and me, is that I can hold that fear in mind. The emotion is not the problem. The problem is that I can hold the image in mind.
So, what I disagree with is when people tell me there are good emotions, there are bad emotions and to get rid of the bad emotions. People, if you get rid of the bad emotions, the human race will be extinct within 100 years. Think about it. If we didn’t have the fear of a nuclear war, guess what our politicians would do; “Ooh, I’m a bit peeved…BOOM”.
How we deal with emotions and how we can manage emotions… how we can manage this ability we have to ruminate about things and trigger the same emotions, that is another story.
There is no such thing as a bad emotion.
There IS a thing that is a stressing emotion, because it is meant to serve a purpose. And maybe it’s the wrong emotion for that situation, but don’t label them as good or bad. Label them as functional. When you label them as functional, you have control of them.