Definition of emotion- Merrian Webster-.
1a : a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the bodyb : a state of feelingc : the affective aspect of consciousness: feeling
Emotions are what make us more than a machine, and still, society as an entity, train us to hide them.To control our emotions at a certain level, does not mean to hide them, but no doubt society had developed in a way that the heavy manipulation of emotions is part of everyday human interaction.
The reality is that even with a “poker face” description, the expression of emotions is always present, it never disappears completely.Microexpressions might get you away because even if the dictionary definition of the word emotions talks about a conscious decision, our bodies react instinctively to the fight or flight experience.To learn to read our bodies is an incredible tool that not only can help us know ourselves better physically and mentally, but also express ourselves better to health professionals.
One of the things we have to understand is that we can not separate completely every emotion, usually, they intertwine like branches of trees in a dense jungle.Saying that, the next time you feel “sad” or “happy” or even “confuse”, try to “listen” to your body, use all your senses to analyze in some way what the reactions of your body are. Is your body hair standing up? are you more sweaty? is your body temperature hotter or colder? are you tenser? are you blushing? etc, etc, etc. Even culturally, we have the stereotypes of how expressive we are as ethnic groups across the globe, and myself as a Latino, we have been placed on the top, or almost the top of the list. One of the ways you can see these differences is for you to watch soap operas – telenovelas – from different countries. Watch one from USA, or Finland, and compare the way we act and react, in comparison to one from Mexico or other Latinoamerican countries. But, is it just about the expression of these emotions? or is it the way we read them? Of course, both have importance, and both are part of the equation.
This rambling from my heart is of huge importance to understand and comprehend especially if you are a psychologist or therapist, or social worker in a country like the United States where we have people from all over the world. Sending a HUGE hug and a BIG smile to all of you, and let’s keep making an effort to understand our backgrounds, his/herstories, and our journeys.