Emotions are felt by all. We universally have the capacity to experience the full spectrum of emotions, but the experience of those emotions is subjective and culturally indicated.
Research shows that our vision and hearing are greatly influenced by our emotional state. For example, things look harder or more intense to a person who is sad or exhausted. The path looks longer, the hill looks steeper, the mountain looks higher.
The nervous system is a process, between us and us. Our whole being is in a state of response to our senses and to our environment. Modern neuroscience reveals that our emotions greatly define our lives. Decisions we think are rational are actually based on our emotions.
When we’re overwhelmed by emotion, this is an opportunity to move towards self regulation. In other words, it is a chance to state shift. How do we shift our state? We do this by connecting with ourselves, using attention and breath. This helps shift the ongoing dialogue of emotion-based signals between heart and brain.
One way to do this is through restorative gestures. Any time you move toward comfort, you create the ability to shift emotions. Comfort is a microempowerment, which is an act of receptivity.
When we make a commitment to tend to ourselves, we are working with our nervous system. We can change the state of our emotions and become receptive to the connection of our heart and brain.