Emotions are one of the most direct ways for our body and subconscious mind to communicate with us. These emotions give us information about our environment, our experience, and what is happening around us. These emotions also give us information based on past experiences, our morals, and our values.
There are two main categories of emotions, primary emotions and secondary emotions. Primary emotions occur in response to the present situation and tell us when we are in danger, when we have been hurt, when we are doing something that we enjoy, when someone has crossed our boundaries, or when we are motivated to achieve something or obtain something for ourselves. Secondary emotions may be present when the primary emotion feels too scary or painful for us to face. Anger and anxiety tend to be common secondary emotions people experience. These emotions show up and can lead people to feeling that they are “anxious people” or “angry people”. Anxiety can be experienced on an ongoing basis when a person has been in dangerous situations in the past or believes to be in danger if they do certain activities. Anger may show up on a regular basis for people who are afraid to admit or accept that they feel sad or scared. Anger may also show up when people have had their boundaries violated in the past and now they are acutely aware and guarded against people violating their boundaries again in the present.
Through using an emotions graph people can work towards identifying their emotions, figuring out what emotion may make sense in a given situation, and figuring out how to change their emotion if it is uncomfortable for them, decrease the intensity of an emotion, or increase the intensity of an emotion. On the Links and Resources page of this website an emotions chart will be available to you so that you can begin to get a better understanding of emotions and begin to gain some control over your emotions and feel more comfortable with the emotions you are experiencing. Working in partnership with your emotions will also allow you to make choices that incorporate both logical and emotion allowing you to make choices that are in line with your goals and priorities leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle.