USERS GUIDE TO EMOTIONS
As neuroscience researchers work to unravel the inner workings of the brain, we know more than ever before about the mysteries of where emotions originate in the brain and the connections between instinct, intelligence and emotion.
THIS WORK IS YIELDING FASCINATING INSIGHTS THAT WE CAN USE TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE React TO SITUATIONS AND PEOPLE.
The brain, which is a much more flexible organ that previously thought, can be consciously retrained to be more emotionally flexible, understanding and sensitive.
THE EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONS OF THE BRAIN ARE INTERWOVEN AT MANY LEVELS.
THESE MAPS PROVIDE AN OVERVIEW OF THE MAJOR AREAS OF THE BRAIN INVOLVED IN PROCESSING EMOTIONS.
VIEW FROM ABOVE THE BRAIN
RIGHT HEMISPHERE Responsible for emotional and artistic expression, as well as most functions on the left side of the body.
CEREBRUM Houses the parts of the brain that control and relate to emotions.
'LIMBIC SYSTEM' Controls primitive, survival-based emotions.
'FRONTAL LOBE' Masterminds complex mental processes including emotions.
TEMPORAL LOB Processes sounds and emotional responses, provides visual perception and maintains certain functions associated with memo, PREFRONTAL CORTEX Responsible for abstract analysis, argnitive analysis and the
exercise of Judgment.
NEURONS Conduct electrochemical messages throughout the brain via a network of trillions of nerve fibers.
THALAMUS Receives and distributes sensory information from throughout the body to various parts of the brain, HYPOTHALAMUS influences emotional as a part of limbic hormone secretion.
HIPPOCAMPUS Stores and retrieves memories; processes stimuli, provides context to those situations and relays that information to the amygdale.
INSULA Provides emotional context to experience and inteprets bodily states such as hungers and cravings.
AMYGDALA Acts as the emotional processing center of the brain, responding to stimuli, especially danger, like a built-in alarm system. Aids in perception of emotions in others.
PITUITARY GLANDS Work with the hypothalamus in the production and distribution of hormones controlling hunger, growth and sex drive.
HOW TO RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
SIX EMOTIONAL DIMENSIONS THAT SHAPE OUR LIVES AND DETERMINE HOW WE RESPOND TO OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THE PEOPLE AROUND US, BASED ON ACTIVITY IN THE BRAIN.
- HOW TO RETRAIN
Signals between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala.
OUTLOOK THE ABILITY TO SUSTAIN A POSITIVE 1:11 EMOTIONAL VIEWPOINT.
Engage regularly in mindfulness meditation, focusing on your breathing and the sensations in your body.
THE ABILITY TO DETERMINE THE PHYSICAL SIGNALS THAT REFL ECT EMOTIONS.
Signals between visceral organs and the insula.
For the overly self-aware and critical, practice non-judgmentally observing thoughts and feelings; for those who want to develop more self-awareness, tune in frequently to your body and determine how you feel and where those
SENSITIVITY TO CONTEXT
List behaviors or events that trigger responses and consider why they did so. Think about your behaviors in those situations, meditating and breathing deeply until you feel more relaxed.
Fill your workstation and home with positive reminders of happy times, such as vacations or photos of friends and family; change those photos every few weeks. Express gratitude frequently by thanking people and keeping a gratitude
SOCIAL INTERACTIONS THE ABILITY To SOCIAL CUES. INTERPRET
Activity levels in the hippocampus.
Watch the body language Of strangers and try to guess what emotions they are expressing. Work up to doing the same with family, friends and colleagues, monitoring how their body language matches with their tone of voice.
interplay between the amygdala and fusiform.
THE SHARPNESS AND CLARITY OF FOCUS.
Regulated by the prefrontal cortex.
Spend 10 minutes a day sitting in a quiet room and focusing on one object, refocusing when your attention wanders.