There are different types of emotion that show up to serve us on a daily basis.
In this module of the Master Your Emotions course we are going to consider where or how positive and negative emotions might be showing up and impacting in your relationships.
Watch out for more opportunities to be your own life coach with real life coaching questions. This will need a notepad and pen or tablet because the notes you make now will be used again later.
This will help you build a bigger picture on not only the emotional response but also the physical response. before we look at how many emotions there are and how they form the wheel of emotions. Those topics will be coming up in module 3 and 4.
But first here are your quick links for Types of Emotion:
Now that you understand why we have emotions you might argue that all types of emotion could be considered positive because they serve a purpose. As we covered in module 1 the purpose was originally to either protect us or support us and contribute to the continued evolution of the species.
Here's the thing you must first understand about the types of emotion: Your experience of reality is only a second hand reflection of sensory information. It is completely unique to you. My experience of realty is unique to me. In NLP terms "Perception is Projection."
Let me give you an extreme example of what this means.
If you aren't already familiar with "The Iceman" Wim Hof, I highly recommend you check out his material. He has conditioned himself with the incredible ability to lower himself under ice covered open water and meditate. Do you think Wim Hoff experiences cold water differently to you and I? Absolutely.
By the way, have you tried cold showers yet? I love cold showers. There are loads of benefits for the mind and body. In the early days I used cold showers as a form of challenge that I get to overcome every day and I feel great afterwards. In fact I feel great now just stepping in to the cubicle. I am already in state!
The purpose of the positive types of emotion is to add colour, depth and context to your experience of reality. Which suggests that these types of emotion arouse positive internal responses to the external sensory cue's, or stimulus. That is to say, they provide some level of reward attributed to the stimulus.
Much of the processing of emotion is completely unconscious.
Think of a piece of music you love that you haven't heard in a while. Does it trigger positive memories or positive feelings? Did you go there consciously, or does it just sort of happen?
How about the smell of baking bread or a certain perfume?
Positive emotions enhance the experience and your unconscious mind will begin to catalogue the experience as positive. Energy flows through neurotransmitters. It is like lighting up embedded pathways we call memory. Then the magic happens inside the brain.
Your brain knows to reward you with these positive types of emotion by firing the attraction signals. Chemicals and hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins are released literally for your pleasure.
Dopamine is the “feel-good” hormone, and neurotransmitter associated with your brain’s reward system. Dopamine enhances the state of pleasure but it also helps with learning, and memory. Hence the power of using imagery in mind mapping.
Serotonin helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep. You may have heard that melatonin is what our body produces to help us go to sleep, but serotonin helps us maintain a sleep state. This hormone (and neurotransmitter) is also associated with learning ability, and memory. Take a big deep breath now and let it go with a big audible relaxing sigh. Ahh, thats what serotonin feels like. Do it once more, if you like positive emotions.
Oxytocin is the “love hormone.” It is why mothers love their babies at childbirth. It is critical for initial breastfeeding the newborn, and strong mother-child bonding. Oxytocin is believed to promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships too.
Oxytocin levels generally increase with physical affection like kissing, touching, hugging, and intimacy. Studies have shown that couples who are more physically affectionate with each other are more likely to stay together.
Give someone a quick hug for five seconds. It's ok.
Give someone a big hug for twenty seconds or more and its transformed. Why? You just delivered a dose of Oxytocin. Do you see why many cultures see hugs as an natural way to comfort someone who is feeling down? But remember you don't have to be down to enjoy a rush of these types of emotion!
There is a caveat here though. Not all individuals value touch in the same way. One person might value their personal space whilst their partner might value being close to their partner.
If you can compromise or balance each individuals needs, the relationship will do fine and there will be enough oxytocin for everybody. On the other hand you might begin to associate your partner as either cold or clingy depending which side of the fence you are on.
Endorphins created in your pituitary glands. Your brains neural pharmacy response to excitement, stress or discomfort. Not only are endorphins released to inhibit the communication of pain signals, but levels increase when you engage in positive emotion activities, such as eating a meal, exercise, or having sex. Some studies also suggest endorphins may also produce a feeling of euphoria.
Thats why having a fish tank is so pleasing. You get to experience those indoor fins daily! (Doh!) Share that one with your kids, they'll love it! Go on, laughter is a positive emotion. Even watching someone cringe over a bad dad joke!
To bring all this together, positive types of emotion are how you recognise the reward producing activities.
When you saw your partners eyes for the first time did you just see the eyes? Or did you experience more than just seeing seeing?
How would you describe the moment?
What emotions were present?
Which hormones do you think were at play?
If positive emotions are linked to reward, negative types of emotion must surely be linked to threatening situations or painful experiences.
In fact, anything generally unpleasant that we experience today could have once been experienced by our ancestors as a threat to our human existence. Isn't that the reason why we developed the sense of unpleasantness in the first place? Your brain is constantly analysing the types of emotional response your sensory inputs are triggering.
Think of a time when you were learning to drive.
Did you mess up at all?
How did that feel?
How did that type of emotion impact upon you?
I used to ride a motorcycle. I loved the freedom and ultimate responsibility it gave me. Unfortunately I was knocked off my bike when a car pulled out of a line of traffic without indicating. It literally pulled right across my path as I was filtering along the outside of the lane. In that instance several choice words flashed across my mind as I processed the imminent collision.
Fortunately for me it was low speed, and I was unharmed, but the damage to the bike was significant. It served as a warning. I wasn't afraid of getting on a bike. I had young kids at the time and it just didn't make sense for me to take the risk.
Emotions can lead to decisions which have consequences. That can lead to types of emotion about the decision itself. Can't it? How about regret, guilt, or even shame?
Did you ever get so drunk as a teenager that you were ill?
Could you stomach the drink again afterwards?
Southern Comfort played its wicked game with my. I couldn't even tolerate the smell for years afterward. The protective, negative emotional response kicked in as my body associated horrific stomach pain to the slightest aroma of the drink.
The types of emotion we may call negative emotions are the long term results of the fight or flight or panic situations faced by our ancestors. They learned the hard way and now it is hardwired into our DNA.
The difference we see now is that there is a graduating scale of negative emotions. Not all of them will produce the same level of hormone response. In fact, some negativity in our experience, pain, can have a positive motivational impact. At least in the short term.
The problems occur when the negative emotions overwhelm the system.
Adrenaline is the pump up and hulk out hormone. Anger, fear, aggression, and threat can trigger adrenaline which stimulates our blood circulation, and heart rate. For our ancestors this provided instant energy to deal with the tiger they were confronted with. Today, we don't face tigers that often but we got the same response from school when we got caught talking in class.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, which allows us to focus on the stressful situation. It helps redirect and prioritises the energy flow. For example, it can shut down your digestive system. Did you ever wonder why those first date nerves gave you butterflies?
Although a little stress is good, repetitive or constant stress is not.
Think of a time when your work didn't go to plan and you missed a deadline.
What meanings did you attach to the missed deadline?
How did that make you feel?
What emotions were present?
What was the impact within your body?
Compare your two lists of the types of emotion you have noticed in the past three days.
Where are you spending the bulk of your time and focus?
Where do you currently live in terms of your emotions?
If this is throwing up even more emotions for you as you think about it, get excited because they could be leading you to a breakthrough.
Now think of the positive outcomes your past three days is trying to serve. The positive outcomes. Which part of you are they trying to serve? What were your highest positive intentions?
What have you learned about the types of emotion that impact upon you?
How will you show up differently now you have got this?
Now you understand the different types of emotion and how they show up in your life and relationships. Was that a blast?
Why not share the Master Your Emotions Life Coaching Course with your social network? I really appreciate all the positive comments and feedback.
Get ready to be mind blown as I reveal how many emotions there are in Module 3 of the Master You Emotions course.
See you on the flip side.
The Relationship Breakthrough Coach
Relationship Breakthrough Coach provides life coaching for men, women and couples in Mossley, Tameside, Uppermill, Saddleworth, and all surrounding areas. I also work with english speaking international clients via Skype and Zoom.
Life coaching is a journey of self discovery. Your journey starts with your next step. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the next step. The power of life coaching will unlock your personal power to overcome obstacles that show up while you get to work on your dreams.
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