Your experience proves that your emotions cause you to behave in certain ways. This is universally true, for example, feeling happy makes us smile and feeling sad makes us frown, if we get a hug we feel warm and fuzzy inside, and if we think about something horrible it can make us shudder. This connection means that your body is a reflection of how you think, feel, and believe yourself to be.
Science Supports This
This is not airy-fairy fluff. Your emotions share some very real biochemical links with your nervous system, endocrine, immune, and digestive systems:
- Happy thoughts release endorphins.
- Sad thoughts release the stress hormone CRF (cortical releasing factor).
- A high self-esteem produces a neurotransmitter called VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide).
Until now you may not have been aware of how and why emotions such as grief, anger, fear, joy – or mental states such as mindfulness, contemplativeness, and relaxation – might impact your biochemistry.
(TIP: The relationship between emotion and behaviour is a two-way street - behaviour can cause emotion.)
When you link how your thoughts and emotions can lead directly to your physiological reactions and behaviours, you will become better able to manage or respond to the reactions that follow.
Take the introspective quiz to revisit some of your own experiences with primary emotions.