Can you control your emotions?

Emotions are produced by the amygdala, a small almond-shaped structure in your brain. They are responsible for activation of fight or flight response, that’s why you may experience physiological changes in your body, which prepare you for stress response.

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Before you understand that your brain thinks you are in danger, your body is all ready!

Then comes your consciousness and you assign a meaning to the emotion. Hence, feelings can be controlled (unlike emotions).

Feelings are your response, which can be impulsive, or conscious and controlled. The latter mindfulness can help you to achieve.

Emotions developed to protect us from danger. The amygdala activates the infamous flight-or-fight response in response to a stressor. The problem here is that amygdala does not distinguish between the stressors – be it a wild animal or an irritating email. A danger is a danger for the amygdala, and since we experience more irritants in modern life, our almond-shaped friend becomes overreactive.

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When you develop mindfulness, you can create a pause between body’s reaction to emotion and your impulsive response (a feeling).

You may start noticing how emotion affects you already on the body level (e.g. heart beat) and capture it before it hits your consciousness.

To be able to do this, you should work on your body awareness, which is the topic of this course. When you hear your body talking to you, you can be more in charge of your mind’s reaction.

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