“Be practical, don’t be so emotional,” is a line we all have heard every now and then. We are often told that emotions hold us back but here is why it is all wrong!
Hellen Keller said it right, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
The next time anyone tells you to stop being emotional, tell them to shut up. And make them wonder that how would it be to live in a world that had completely banned emotions?
We are living in a world that is becoming robotic. Most girls look alike because they dress alike. Most people behave the same exact way even though they are very different from each other. We look like a hundred robots walking down to the street to work in the morning with a cup of coffee in our hands – just like the bots that are manufactured in the factories.
This is what happens when we start ignoring our own emotions. We become robotic. Emotions are the key to being human.
Right from childhood, we are taught how to behave. How to act in front of someone and suppress our own emotions. Don’t cry right now, don’t laugh like this, don’t get angry, don’t feel this and don’t feel that. It is hammered into our existence and we have become masters in suppressing our emotions. What is the result of that? Depressed, dull, lifeless individuals who are going about their life just because they have to. They are dead. But breathing. What saves you from this death? Emotions?
Before you read on, test yourself. Have a look at these five images and judge how each image ivokes a different emotion in you. Try to suppress it. How does that feel?
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Let’s take an example that will make all of us see that emotions are not ‘dangerous’. A woman goes for a job interview, gets her dream job and just three days into her job she is insulted by her boss just because she pointed out the right way of doing something when her boss was doing it wrong. When her boss was reprimanding her, she did exactly what she was taught to do. Suppress her anger, take the insult and think ‘practically’. So she didn’t say a word, apologised and got back to work pretending nothing had happened.
Three months into the job this woman lost her sense of self-respect, her clarity of thought and most importantly, she stopped enjoying her life. Why? Because she had succumbed to the advice her friends gave her, ‘to think practically’ as the ‘job was well-paying’ and her ‘dream job’. She burned out a year later and quit.
How do you think her life would have turned out if she would have stepped out sooner and let her emotions be where they should be?
There is a beautiful scene in the famous movie ‘Interstellar’ where the astronauts have to decide to go to a planet that has life on it and Anne Hathaway chooses one while the others choose another. They tell her that she is choosing that planet only because she is in life with the astronaut who went on that planet and after a lot of arguments, they decided not to go to that planet. She asks a question then that what if love was a sign that was directing them to a planet which is capable of supporting life. It turns out in the end, that she was absolutely right. They had done a mistake of not listening to emotion.
According to the latest findings in neuroscience, decisions that we make in our everyday life are not logical or practical – they are emotional. Being practical is also another emotion.
According to bigthink.com, “A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they seemed normal, except that they were not able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet they found it very difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat. “
Lisa Feldman Barrett, director of Northeastern University’s Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory says, “Emotions are not your reactions to your world. They are how you make sense of what’s going on inside your body in relation to the world.”
It is an undisputed fact that there is no bigger genius than the power that created mankind. And another undisputed fact is that emotions come naturally to each and every one of us. If the human brain is wired in such a way why are we trying to fight so hard against what we naturally are? You cannot ask the fish to not swim. Just like you cannot ask the brain to not feel.
Think about it. Every emotion that you feel is necessary for you to function and to be able to stay alive until you are really dead.
P.S.: Do watch the film Inside Out!