Self Help: Understanding the emotions

Going through counselling made me realise how unknown my mental illness actually was to me, like granted i knew what it was and the effect it had on me but i never knew why it existed, what in the body made me think the way i did. I feel like the first step to self help is to understand yourself fully, from every single aspect of your mental illness.

As you are aware the body has many emotions which are all very different depending on the situation we are in at that point in time. These different groups of emotion are the primary/universal emotions, secondary/social emotions, background emotions and moods, drives and motivation. The two emotions that are key to self help and that i will focus on in this blog post however are Primary/universal emotions and Secondary/social emotions.

Now the primary/universal emotions are pretty easy to understand as they are the everyday emotions we experience such as sadness, happiness, anger, fear, surprise etc.These are the emotions we feel first in the situation we are in. Primary emotions appearance is usually very short and sweet, almost appearing and disappearing before we even have enough time to register that they are there

Secondary/social emotions are what follow, so the after effect of the primary emotions. These can be pride, jealousy, guilt, embarrassment. Overthinking can also be a contributor to the appearance of a secondary emotion. Unfortunately their appearance isnt as short and sweet as we would like and they can be present for days on end, depending on you as a person and the situation you have gone through.

What do these emotions do?

You see these emotions are a main factor in our chain of worrying as the thinking side of our brain sends signals to our emotional side of our brain which then sends messages back and in this process can cause us to feel the panic we feel. This is where many people go wrong as they seem to assume that only either the emotional or thinking side of their brain is the problem and focus solely on changing just one instead both. When in fact they both work together to create such a reaction from us, so in order to make a difference we have to focus on changing both and not just one. It would be silly for me to sit here and say that you’re able to completely stop the emotions when in fact that is almost impossible you see emotions are a natural occurrence in the body so if we stop them we stop the natural way our body should function, we almost become a robot within ourselves. Instead we have to focus on how we handle the chemical message that is sent from the thinking section of the brain to the emotional section.

However this is easier said then done as our body is too busy preparing ourselves for what it may deem the appropriate action and as this happens we momentarily think differently, our heart rate, blood flow, hormones, the way we think and often our memory is effected so we cant think straight, we become almost overtaken by this second force of nature. This could also be a positive as it provides us with information in the future on how a situation should be assessed and whether our reaction to it was inappropriate to the current circumstances. Emotions are also able to send out messages to others, this may be in body language, facial expressions, anyway your body feels is a way of expression. In turn this helps others understand you as it sends a signal out to them by the way you’re acting on how a situation should be handled.

I wish this post could end in a way where im describing how to understand your feelings abit more when if im honest, im still unsure on how too. Im more aware of my emotions now, more aware of everything around me and more aware of how to solve these issues however theres a lot more obstacles involved so to overcome one is to face another. I believe every person is different so some may understand their emotions and how to control them quicker than others, that doesn’t make the people who take longer any weaker its just how you are, so if you’re still trying then keep going because one day it will come to you and you will realise all the things you once thought you never would.

Have a good day

Sky x


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