Saturday, February 11, 2006

Emotions

A couple of years ago, I came across on article about the scientific basis behind emotions and feelings. I read the article with interest but didn't really know what to make of it. Here was the sentence that stuck in my mind:
"In other words, feelings do not cause bodily symptoms but are caused by them: we do not tremble because we feel afraid; we feel afraid because we tremble."
Things clicked when I went for a ten mile run one day. I had awaken feeling as stressed as I've ever felt in my life, but after running ten miles, I no longer felt any stress whatsoever. I felt relaxed and content. I recalled the sentence from the article, and it suddenly made sense. All of the underlying causes of my stress were still there, but the physical sensations of stress were gone, and thus the stress itself was gone.

Of course, the stress came back a few hours later, but only after I had learned from the experience.

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