If you have watched the 2015 Disney animated film Inside Out, then you know how emotions can have a powerful influence over the thoughts and actions of an individual. The movie illustrates just that — demonstrating how humans are both rational and emotional beings. Our emotions, though often underestimated or ignored, play a very crucial role in our lives.
Understanding the powerful functions of your emotions is necessary to know how it affects your way of thinking, decision-making, relationships, and personal improvement.
Here are the top three important functions of emotions:
Emotions Motivate Action
Emotions help motivate you to take the necessary actions and adapt to circumstances to meet your goals. They steer you towards what you need and desire, and away from what you find unpleasant. They can greatly influence your decisions. As different emotions bring about different physical and mental reactions, being familiar with them – and how your body and mind respond to them – will help you make better decisions.
Emotions Help in Understanding Needs
Emotions help you understand both your own needs and the needs of others. It is easier for you to recognize your needs when you are aware of your own emotions. Also, it will be easy for you to recognize the needs of other people when you are aware of how they feel.
When trying to understand needs, emotions function as a form of information. While rational information gives you a logical perspective of a person’s needs, emotions alternatively provide an equally valid form of data that will help you understand better. By tuning in to this information, you become emotionally aware, and you can perceive and react more competently to the events of your internal and external environment.
Emotions Make Connections and Build Relationships
If you are aware of your own emotions and how they affect you, it would be easier to tune in to other people’s emotions too. This helps you to connect better and build strong relationships with them. Recognizing other people’s emotions makes it easier for you to understand what they need, creating a mutually beneficial bond with your peers, friends, and loved ones.
While your emotions are generally beneficial to your mental, social, and personal well-being, not knowing how to properly manage them can do you more harm than good.
Emotions can be destructive too.
Despite the positive powerful functions of emotions, they too can be destructive, especially when you do not know how to make them work for your own good. Failure to recognize and manage emotions properly may result in taking actions that are more harmful than beneficial.
Expressing emotions inappropriately can have serious consequences. This is why it is important to make intellect and emotion work together. Likewise, failure to express emotions can do just as much harm.
Unfocused, suppressed, or unrecognized emotions can interfere with your natural brain chemistry, and this can cause several side effects, which include fatigue, damaged concentration, stress, and other physical and mental health problems. And because uncontrolled emotions can cloud your understanding of yourself and of others, they can also cause damage to your relationships.
Your emotional state affects everything.
Your emotional state, or your mood, affects almost everything you do. Strong emotions can override rational logic, and it can lead you to either a positive or negative direction. It can affect your decisions and actions, your interactions with others, your views and understanding, your performance at work, and so much more.
Even if you don’t realize it, emotions like joy, sorrow, anger, excitement, and boredom play a vital role in whatever you do. They can affect the way you perceive and react to the world, and most importantly, they can greatly influence the decisions that you make.
Develop Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient
Whatever the causes of your emotions and however they arise can have both external and internal effects on your entire well-being. This is the reason why it is crucial to be aware of and in tune with your emotions.
If you are aware of your own emotions, you will be able to understand where your reactions are coming from. This helps you control your way of thinking and address the real issues rather than allowing yourself to make a decision based on how you feel at the moment. This emotional awareness is your emotional intelligence quotient – also known as EQ. A strongly developed EQ helps you to function better, live a more fulfilling life, and harmoniously co-exist with others.