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Our society lives to the rhythm of a world “directed” according to emotions. The latter has spawned many emotional turmoil that eat away at the fundamental foundations on which we are supposed to rest in peace. Through an emotional shambles, the majority of ordinary people try in vain to control their emotions... by repressing them. However, “it is not emotion that represents an obstacle but our inability to control it”. But what do we know of them? Are we able to provide clear and concise answers to the following questions? What is emotion? Why do we experience emotions and what are they for? Can we control them? How do you react to other people's emotions?

The biggest error of man is to consider emotions as enemies to be fought when they are (by nature reactive) synonymous with survival and this, since the dawn of humanity. As Yves-Alexandre THALMANN (scientific psychologist, holder of a doctorate in physics, trainer and lecturer) points out in his book ("The emotion decoder"): "It is a response to an event  internal (thought) or external trigger while understanding that the majority of our emotions come to life in our brain... The four fundamental emotions (joy, fear, anger, sadness, to which surprise and disgust are sometimes added ) are the ferments of our social life. They make us alive, allow us to evolve and live together, serve to communicate. All in all, they are crucial for our balance and without them, our survival would be greatly jeopardized”. Therefore, emotion, synonymous with a normal reaction to a trigger, turns out to be "a real alarm bell, mobilizing energy to facilitate our actions (flight or fight - reptilian brain) and generating various physical upheavals to prepare for action”.


Rehabilitate emotions to better understand and fully live the present moment

The realm of emotions responds to a well-honed logic put in place by Mother Nature. Their mechanisms remain enigmatic for a large majority of us. Yet today, it is now possible to live in perfect intelligence with our emotions by learning to explore them, then to tame them. Indeed, living in peace requires changing our behavior towards our emotions (essential for our body to function optimally), through the idea that it is better to use them rather than to suffer them. They originate within us and not outside.


How do we react to emotion?

“They are reactions to events  or thoughts that induce changes inside our body, but also visible behaviors. Thus the happy person jumps for joy or the frightened one runs away. Many of these reactions do not pass through the decision-making centers of our brain because they are registered in us as reflexes (for example being paralyzed with fear or clenching our fists in the grip of anger) or are the result of conditioning (scream when angry)”. The main reactions are: Disinhibition, withdrawal, fear, anger, disgust, surprise. One of the main characteristics of emotion is that it “lives in the body and upsets the body…. The feeling is not only a psychic process, hence the reason for the difficulty of controlling it » says Mr THALMANN. Indeed, our emotions are accompanied by various physiological changes such as: increased BPM (heartbeats per minute – sensory, motor and cognitive disturbances – tachycardia),
increased breathing, increased blood pressure and body temperature, altered blood flow, decreased peripheral temperature, decreased appetite, slowed gastrointestinal transit, increased blood clotting, display of a particular expression on the face (fear, sadness, anger, etc.).


So is it possible to master our emotions?

Very difficult but not nothing is impossible… It should be known that the vast majority of the aforementioned manifestations are not under our control, therefore impossible to influence by will. Why ? Simply because "they are driven by the autonomic nervous system, managing vital body functions". In addition, through voluntary breathing (and again), it is possible to contain them, hide them, make up for them, or even control them, but we must not hide our face, suppressing the manifestations of emotion is unachievable. . Nevertheless, according to Mr. THALMANN, “if we are not able to control the physical manifestations of emotions, we have control over the behaviors we adopt in response to them. We don't choose to turn red with anger, but it is up to us whether or not to insult the motorist who has just cut us off. Clearly, we can choose our reactions, as long as we become aware of what is going on inside us.

Breath control, the real keystone  relaxation, slows down the breathing rate. Thus, thanks to voluntary breathing, “the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for releasing tension and returning to balance is activated and therefore produces a relaxation of other vital functions (temperature, heart rate)”. Some disciplines related to breathing can help us find an appropriate heart rate such as yoga, Qigong, tai chi chuan, meditation, certain martial arts, Jacobson's progressive relaxation, sophrology, ACT (a method recent psychotherapy that proposes the acceptance of emotion (ACT = Therapy of Acceptance and Commitment), music, nature recreation, Nordic walking, archery and any sports activity that is part of a project linked to the desire to tame emotions. There are no miracle recipes. It is important to learn to relax, to relativize, to decenter oneself, to rediscover the taste for the essential and to eliminate cognitive distortions, to tame anger and to reconcile with emotions and our feelings.

EPICTETE said: “What troubles men are not things but the opinions they have of them. So before any painful imagination, be ready to tell yourself: you are only imagination and not what you seem. Then, examine it well, deepen it…”. Decoding our emotions goes through their rehabilitation because “they have a message to give us, as long as we listen to them”.

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