Friday, 3 March 2017

Body Identity and Emotion

Body Identity and Emotion
This is part of my series on Feelings versus Emotions. Let’s consider how we protect our body identity through emotion.
We’ll use an illustration of an encounter with a lion or bear in the wilderness. You likely will cycle through:
1. Awareness. You must first be aware of an object's presence. Your awareness of the lion or bear is an emotional eliciting stimulus.
2. Body Change. These changes are in the form of innate body signals. In the example, it is fight or flight. Adrenaline begins coursing throughout your blood stream, your muscles ready for action. Your heart rate and breathing also increases.
3. Interpretation. You must interpret the correct reaction in order to preserve your identity. Based upon all the available information in your surroundings, plus any previously learned knowledge or skills, will you take flight, or will you stay and fight?
4. Action. Now you execute your decision.
Now, consider how a change of context will result in a change of emotion. Imagine the same scenario, only now, you are in a zoo. There are bars between you and the lion or bear. Your sensations now may range anywhere from curiosity, to appreciation or admiration over the beauty of the animal. Likely, fear will not be present.
Your new awareness now includes the bars, which provide the emotional idea of separation and protection.
[Image: 3-D lion from]

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