Feelings are Coming to Get You!

I tried for a long time to logic away my feelings, I was ashamed of them, I tried to force them out of existence with cold rationale. Feelings are crafty feckers though, they persist, sometimes bubbling up out of nowhere and out of place. It takes a lot of energy to keep burying something you can’t kill, so, one day, you get a little tired or stressed, and up they pop, all mucky and disorientated and pissed off!

The (sometimes unfortunate) fact is that the human brain contains a part that produces emotions, it’s there, we have evolved with it. Humans (and other mammals) need to feel connected, relatively secure and loved to be physically well, otherwise our emotions can cause all kinds of havoc by spouting out various stress hormones. When we feel more peaceful, as a result of serotonin, oxytocin, etc, our bodies run smoother and we’re fuelled up for creativity.

As humans we tend to be more imaginative, innovative and passionate than cold and logical. More fiery than binary “if, then” thinking allows (the scope of that if can’t really be measured after all). Don’t get me wrong, we have a great faculty for reasoning but perhaps it’s unreasonable to pretend feelings can simply be overridden and they don’t have a valid function. It’s like planners and engineers thinking they could just build over floodplains and nature would just comply. If anything, the part of the brain that produces feeling overrides the reasoning part because it’s too slow and that seems to have given us the evolutionary advantage to still be extant today with our fight, flight, freeze or appease responses.

Feelings/emotions are part of who we are and we need to respect them in ourselves and others, work with them as part of life, stop teaching young people to suppress them and start teaching instead how to listen to them, understand and balance them. Criticising yourself or someone else for feeling a certain way won’t achieve anything. Engage and address the feeling – What is it telling you? What do you need? Trying to logic away something that just is – senseless really.

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