Emotions what are they?

Emotions: Precede feelings, they are physical (biological), basic and instinctual. They result in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behaviour. Because they are physical, they can be objectively measured by blood flow, brain activity, facial micro-expressions, and body language. Example: You smile, laugh or get a fright.

Ekman proposed seven basic emotions: fear, anger, joy, sadness, contempt, disgust, and surprise; but he changed it to six basic emotions: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, and surprise. Emotions are neuro-physiological reactions unleashed by an external or internal stimulus (emotions are physical).

What are feelings then? 

Feelings: Are a self-perception of specific emotions, being a subjective expression of emotions (feelings are mental).

This means we naturally experience an emotion first, then our thinking process creates a feeling.

One of the ways that you can make your emotions work for you is by changing the way you think about your emotions. A counselling technique that can assist with this is called BWRT (Brainworking Recursive Therapy) letting your brain do the work, changing thought patterns, read more about BWRT on another blog on my website: https://thewellsamaria.co.za/what-is-brainworking-recursive-therapy-or-bwrt/, or we will use another technique depending on your unique needs.

Another way that you can process your feelings and emotions is by following the ABC model.

The ABC Model helps us understand the meaning of our reactions to adversity and life’s challenges.

Remember our reactions are based on our thoughts.

The ABC Model can be used to process emotions and discover feelings about activating events. To change your emotions and feelings you need to change your belief/thoughts about a situation, to do this you need to examine your thought life.

Focus on the thoughts that come before your emotions and you’ll find that you can control your feelings and your mood.

When you process your feelings and emotions by examining your thought life using the ABC model, you will need to use the below questions.

Activating event – What is the Activating event?—What happened? What did I do? What did others do? What idea occurred to me? What emotions was I feeling?

Beliefs – Beliefs (dysfunctional)—What do I believe about the Activating event? Which of my beliefs are my helpful/self-enhancing beliefs and which are my dysfunctional/self-defeating beliefs?

Consequences- Am I feeling anger, depression, anxiety, frustration, self-pity, etc.? Am I behaving in a way that doesn’t work for me? (drinking, attacking, moping, etc.)

Dispute- Dispute the Beliefs to find which are dysfunctional—What is the evidence that my belief is true? In what ways is my belief helpful or unhelpful? What helpful/self-enhancing belief can I use to replace each self-defeating or dysfunctional belief?

Effective new belief and emotional consequence- What helpful/self-enhancing new belief can I use to replace each self-defeating or dysfunctional belief? What are my new feelings?

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