How We Think About Emotions
Here's the first of a two-part podcast about emotions (I'll leave you to track down the second if you like it) -- how we consider them, how they shape us, and perhaps more interestingly, how we can shape them.
There's a concept in there I adored: that of "interroception" (which is a term to describe the way your body internally monitors all of its systems). Given the complexity of how much happens within us, our body doesn't offer great detail about what specifically is happening; rather, as an example, when something goes wrong (or right), we fell general senses of pleasantness or unpleasantness. Our task, then, is to figure out what to do with those emotions. Are they linked to a recent conversation? Difficulty at work? Concern over a relationship? This deciphering can be a real challenge.
The second piece I enjoyed here was the discussion about the relative levels of "control" we have over our emotions. Quite simply, if our emotions are reactions to "concepts" that we create, then we will perpetually be reacting to those concepts. More concretely, if a concept you hold is that true, fervent love will lead to happiness -- that undying love will always be enough -- then your emotions will be distressingly unpleasant when you discover that not to be the case. The argument, therefore, is that if we want to control our emotions, we might first want to reshape our concepts.