What are emotions and why are they so significant?

We see emotions as certain intangible feelings that run in the back of our minds while we do certain things. When we are with someone we love, we feel happy. When we fail, we feel sad and disappointed. Now have you stepped back and wondered what happiness and sadness really is and why we feel that way?

To understand why we feel the way we feel in certain situations, we must first regress to the original definition of “emotion”. “Emotion”, as defined by my effortful google search (excuse my laziness), is “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” If we ride this train of thought based off of this definition, we will end up quite simply back at the superficial level of perception. Let’s take a more holistic approach to viewing emotion, however without disregarding the denotation of the word.

Quite simply, the word “emotion” describes an intangible concept that alters our state of existence. We can track emotion to see a physiological manifestation. For example, happiness makes us feel excited, free of stress and tension, excited for the future, and if you pay close enough attention, brightens our perspective on everything. Sadness, on the other hand, makes us slouch, feel energy-less, and purposeless. It also darkens our perspectives on life. A “circumstance, mood, or relationship with others” can cause us to have a physiological reaction that makes us feel a certain way. This “certain way” that we feel generally drives our actions as well. Therefore, if seen holistically, emotions are so powerful that they drive human behavior and lead us to the intricate system of human interaction that we have today.

Throughout this thought process of mine, I’ve learned a useful method. If I can boil emotion down to simply a neurological and chemical reaction in the brain causing us to feel and act a certain way, we should be able to control it. Emotion is nothing but what we put on ourselves. With that approach, emotion should be controllable with self-awareness and motivation. This allows me to better control how I feel and ensure that I maintain a somewhat stable psychological and physiological state of existence.

And after all, isn’t that what comfort is? Through a thorough analysis of emotion, one can reach great heights in discovering oneself’s peace and stability.