20140927_091750_1_bestshot.jpg "That was an emotional movie" is often said if a movie makes us cry. But a movie could also be emotional if it makes us mad, bored, or fearful.

Did you know that emotions are contagious like a cold? Recent reserach has shown a room full of negative grumpy emotions or a room full of happy, upbeat and positive emotions can have a "contagious" effect on us. So if you want grumpy emotions, stay in that room. Or if you want upbeat emotions, stay in that room.

Should we use emotions to make decisions? Or should we totally use our reasoning and leave out emotions? Neither are totally true because emotions will enter into almost any decision. However, we should not make decisions based on emotions alone. Our reasoning capacity should be the main decision maker.

What about our past emotions in tragedies or overwhelming, difficult emotions in current circumstances? Yes, these emotions do influence us. We can try to begin to let go of these powerful emotions by writing about the events and the corresponding emotions.

Some ways of not letting emotions control us is to name the emotion out loud, anticipate feelings, or to ask ourselves, "what is the purpose of this emotion?"

What about the power of emotions in marriage to destroy or to heal? Dr. Sue Johnson has written a book on emotions in marriage called, "Hold Me Tight." If emotions build us inside, they tend to "blow up" and be destructive. If emotions can be taught to be expressed early in a gentle way, then the couple tends to rescue each other and be drawn close to each other.

Can emotions be changed? Yes, there is research that shows that there is a quick way to turn around many (not all) emotions.

My personal favorite emotion is celebration. There is so much sadness in the world and we must care about this. But also we need to learn how to celebrate in a positive way when awesome amazement happens in our lives.

My challenge to the men is you can't use the excuse that I am not emotional. We all have emotions. Some of us hide these emotions (I used to be the world's worst at this) and some of us are good at expressing emotions. We all could do better and learn better skills in handling our emotions. Need any help? You are not alone. Emotions are a great mystery. So, if you have found yourself struggling with emotions, it is often helpful to seek professional help so that you can make sense of all the "crazy" emotions we often feel.

Kent R. Brand, MSW, LCSW, PIP, Psychotherapist A Family Matter Florence, Alabama

Posted in Mental Health on Sep 11, 2019

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