3 Fundamentals of the Human Emotional System

3 Fundamentals of the Human Emotional System


What is the Human Emotional System?  Did you know that it is at work all the time in your life?

It has an important function just like other systems in the body like the cardiovascular system, except we haven’t been taught about this in school.

The function of the emotional system is to deliver messages. When it functions healthfully, emotions come and go like wind through the trees or waves breaking onto the shore.

There are three basic things you need to know about the Human Emotional System:

  1. Emotions are designed to pass through.

    Sometimes the wind is strong or the waves are big and it is uncomfortable. Sometimes the swell builds for a while or the wind travels long distances, but it will always pass as long as the feelings are acknowledged, messages are received and acted upon, if there is a need for action.

    If the feeling is asking you to do something and you choose not to, it‘s OK. But know that the feeling will be back again.

  2. Health in the Human Emotional System means tolerating the entire range of emotion.

    Yes, health is the freedom to be able to allow pleasant and unpleasant feelings and to be able to regulate (manage the flow) of emotion.  When emotions are able to flow through, you are free from the grip of depression and anxiety.  You are connected to your internal world and the wisdom within.

    Painful emotions are the ones that call our attention most and they are designed that way.  Pain is a powerful motivator.  It helps us pay attention or make change.  It will never stop being this way.

  3. Emotions are Attention Seekers, they need to be acknowledged.

    One of the most powerful things you can do with an unpleasant emotion is to recognize it and allow it, at least briefly.  That means not trying to fix it right away, trying to resist it or making yourself wrong for feeling it in the first place.

    Mostly, this is easy to say, but challenging to do.  Some emotions are hard to be with and we are generally taught that unpleasant feelings are “not good”.

The most important thing you can do is re-train yourself to respect the painful emotions as important messengers. The sooner you are able to acknowledge and listen to them, the sooner they go away. That is the way you can “move through” rather than trying to get around or away.

What have you tried to help yourself move through emotions?

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