Thursday, February 6, 2014

How are you feeling?

S.S. made the point, " You can't feel anger and guilt at the same time" in our lunch discussion today.  I wondered if this applied to all feelings? Are we single threaded emotional machines?

There was a recent study that involved trying to distinguish your state of mind.  How often and how specific could individuals differentiate various emotions. The psychologists had a group of 106 people record seven negative emotions (sad, anxious, angry, frustrated, ashamed, disgusted, and guilty) and four positive emotions (happy, excited, alert, and active) on a scale from one to four at 56 random times daily over the course of one week. 

Here is there conclusion:  "The ability to identify and distinguish between negative emotions helps us address the problem that led to those emotions in the first place. But while some people can tell the difference between feeling angry and guilty, others may not be able to separate the two. Distinguishing between anger and frustration is even harder."

This study implies that we mix emotions regularly but the ability to step outside yourself and analyze the specific feeling can help you circumvent the feeling and improve your life.

Mom always taught me that the emotion of anger only hurts yourself.  I suspect this might apply to all the negative emotions.  That does not mean you can avoid these feelings.  However it does mean the earlier you can distinguish you are having the specific feeling, the sooner you will be able to cope with the cause.

Maybe it is the cause that is single threaded.

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