Meditation: Emotion

Emotion is a very complex feeling. It is something that has been hard to define. Looking at various dictionaries here are some of the attempts. Merriam-Webster defines emotion as a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body. Freedictionary. com states that emotion is an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness. Volitional means making a conscious choice, rather than an emotional choice. The Cambridge Dictionary simply states that it is a strong feeling like love or anger or any strong feeling in general. In most circles being “emotional” is considered a bad trait. People have a tendency to think that feelings and emotions are the same, but basically it is emotions, that lead to feelings. Emotions and feelings arise in different parts of the brain. Another way of putting it is that emotions are aroused before feelings. You could write a blog, or even a book on just trying to define and explain emotions. What is more interesting is how people and mental health experts feel about emotions.

There is a general consensus that we should try, and hide are emotions, most of the time. Crying, particularly by men, and even more so if the man is a leader, is considered a sign of weakness by some. Is there somewhere that we could see, where some part of our society has become more emotional over the last 20 to 30 years, and the effects that that may have had. You do not have to look very far to find that that has happened in the world of sports. Players today, show more emotion, than any time in history. It used to be, that teams and players would only show a lot of emotion when they scored a touchdown or even waited until the game was over. Now players are fist pumping, bat flipping, dancing, and going through extreme gyrations, just when they make a good play. It doesn’t seem to make any difference, when it takes place during the game, or what the score is, players will show their emotions when they make a good or great play. Even coaches on the sidelines are getting into the act by running up and down the field, clapping, fist pumping, exhorting the crowd, and showing every level of emotion during the game. The stoic, stone-faced coach is a dying breed. Has showing all this emotion been bad or good for all of these sports. You can find opinions on both sides of the question, on how all this emotional behavior has affected sports. If you google “being emotional” you will find sites that take a positive spin on being emotional and some trying to give advice on how to stop being so emotional. When people talk about the positive things of being so emotional, they feel that being emotional can help you be more aware of your own and other people’s feelings. The negative spin of being emotional, is that most of time, the emotional person becomes a big pain in the ass. There is no question in my mind, that people are showing more emotion in public, than they have in the past. I think it goes a long with people’s desire to discuss their dirty past, so to speak, in a public forum. Quite frankly I don’t see any good coming from that. Is there a best way of dealing with our emotions?

There is no question that emotions need to be acknowledged and treated kindly. Emotions should not be judged, or need to be justified. The feelings these emotions create need to be examined, and an attempt made to see what their root cause is. Emotions are just another sign, that the inward journey is the most important one you can take. Certain overwhelming, catastrophic, and unexpected events, may cause emotions that cannot or should not be repressed. In the normal, day to day events in life, we need to find a way to deal with the emotions, that could be detrimental to ourselves, and those around us. Relaxed deep breathing is an excellent method to deal with unwanted or detrimental emotions. This can allow you to get over the situation that is causing these emotions, and then you can express these emotions when you are alone, or with one other person. Expressing emotions when you are by yourself, should be just as effective and more positive, than expressing them in a situation where harm may be done. Caring and being emotional can seem to go hand in hand. Many times, the thing that you care about can be harmed if you become emotional in certain situations. You have to take the emotion out of the situation, if you want to make clear and precise decisions. Emotions never should be repressed. You must know when the proper time is to show them and express them. The inward journey can help.

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