The Significance of Emotions

We’re all aware that humans have emotions and so sometimes we may take them for granted. You might be thinking “What’s so special about emotions?” We all have them, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.” Even though everybody has emotions, understanding their significance may contribute to viewing them through a more appreciative lens. Perhaps these three functions below may make you think of emotions differently the next time you have them.

Emotions Motivate our Behaviours and Decision-Making

The behaviours that we perform today are largely a reflection of our emotions. For example, when we feel hungry we eat and when we feel thirsty, we drink. Additionally, emotions help us in decision making. You may not have noticed this, but without our emotions, we would likely struggle with making basic choices, such as what to buy at the grocery store or what to wear for work. Thanks to our emotions, we are able to make these basic decisions in order to fulfill our daily tasks.

Emotions Communicate Messages to Others

Even though you may have tried to hide your emotions in the past, emotions cannot be hidden. When you feel sad, you may be able to hide the expression of sadness, but you cannot hide the feeling of sadness when you are sad. Rather than hiding your emotional expressions, try to make use of this precious function: Emotions communicate messages to others. When you’re experiencing an emotional reaction, whether it be sadness, anger, guilt, or shame, try to express it in whichever way is beneficial for you. This may include letting others know how you feel. On the flip side, you may prefer to spend some time alone to reflect on what your emotions are telling you, which links to the next function of emotions.

Emotions Communicate Messages to Ourselves

Thanks to our emotions we are able to notice whether we are in danger, whether we are being treated fairly, and whether we are making the right choices. Being in danger may be linked to feeling afraid or uncomfortable. Being treated unfairly may be associated with feeling angry, and making decisions that aren’t beneficial for us may be linked with feelings of regret or guilt. The messages that our emotions send us are vital in helping us move toward a path that is consistent with our beliefs and values. Therefore, make sure to listen to your emotions by focusing on their meaning.

Nina Hopmeier

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