Background Emotions

Thursday, February 28, 2013
When we speak of emotions we have to understand them in two levels. The most obvious level is when emotions all come triggered by visible and detectable causes.

At this time there is a clear change in our thoughts and body feelings. Then we identify the emotion we are feeling and chose the response behavior.

For example, when I'm angry because the car before mine run very slowly I may:
  1. Scream my head off to the driver and wait for the next red light stop to get out of my car and scream even more.
  2. Criticize all the bad drivers who do not drive fast enough.
  3. Put on good music on the radio and calm down and breathe quietly putting on a plastic smile.
  4. Change my way and go to speed up.
  5. Try to overtake the car in a more or less dangerous way, and so on.

For each emotion that is triggered by an external situation there is an infinite range of possible reactions, each reaction will have a different impact on what is going to happen (if I knock the driver, the impact is different than if I stay fresh and smiling) .

This is the same for internal triggers. For example, when I am anticipating a stressful situation (a job interview, for example), I feel anxiety, fear, or even a form of panic before the time of the interview, though at this moment I may be having coffee with my sweetie.

This is an anticipation mechanism. Again, from this knowledge you may have very different reactions to adapt yourself to the new challenge: putting things in the right perspective, prepare yourself and practice, seek a coach for training or read books on job interviews.

Deepest emotions

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What is it going to change the way we live and the way we handle each of these emotions?

There are many factors involved, but a very important one is background emotions. In some ways this is the emotional base of our well being.

We are not aware of these background emotions because the intensity of the emotion is low or medium on one side and on the other side because it is at such a deep level that we do not realize.

For example, people with sadness as background emotion are not even aware that most times they will react to situations automatically. If you tell them that the weather is wonderful, they will reply that it will not last.

 If you tell them that the new manager is very nice, they will talk to you about the good old days with the old Mr.. If you give them a new task, they immediately think that they will not be able to do it, etc..

Our background emotions are aligned with our psychic life and act as a filter to dampen or amplify the action triggers.

This process can be very deep inside if it were formed long time ago. If my background emotion is fear, I will filter all events through that fear to feed it and make it bigger.

It is the same thing when it comes to sadness or anger. Then it becomes a prison that inhibits creativity, commitment, change, and adaptation to external reality.

Background emotions work right when we can, at the present, be aware of the deep emotional mechanism which we are living so that we can change things right now.

Then we can choose how to get out of a situation by changing our reactions.

It is much simpler than all that: it is about working on background emotions as we work the land, to dye it with joy, satisfaction and pleasure, and internal or external triggers will have much less control over us and we can stay calm in spite of circumstances.


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