When we talk about self-isolation and quarantine, we assume that a home is a safe place, however, for a lot of people who are struggling with mental health issues, it becomes difficult to sustain.
People often call me and ask why they are feeling emotionally imbalanced even when everything is going good around them- their work, family, friends – yet they are not happy, which is making the home environment toxic. This experience has become very common nowadays.
A lot of us are going through a similar situation, but we are not able to figure out the reason behind this.
Now let me tell you something. It is totally fine to feel this. Trust me, it is!
Emotions are something which we tend to ignore and therefore they are not accepted universally. In the last 4 years, I have been working with people who have faced a lot of discrete emotional imbalances. They feel emotions are triggered and post which the situation just spirals out of their control.
Because of all these non-existential phenomena happening around, sometimes it leads to an understanding that we all are entitled to an emotion which denotes our personality at large. For example, when you are going through a lot of emotional outbursts, we generally tend to react differently with people around us. Some people become angry, some go into depression, others tend to express their emotions with tears and that’s how people around us tag their personality.
This makes us believe that we are acquired within an emotional parameter, but the fact is that no such emotional parameter exist in our brain…so what really are emotions?
Can you ignore emotions? No, right?
Let me explain this to you technically – emotions are complex mechanisms that are uncontrollable hardwired brain reactions. Emotions are just vapours. This volatile substance is constructed by us, the environment we live in and the social situations we experience.
Recall your childhood and the school days. I am sure every one of us went through a different sort of feeling when results were to be announced? Remember those days, when in the classroom, the teacher used to declare our marks in the test, or when we used to get our answer sheets. Can you tell me what you felt then? It was a different kind of stomach pain caused by nervousness and anxiety of knowing your marks. Once you knew the result, it vanished in seconds suddenly, right?
In such situations, billions of brain cells work together, and you do not have control over volatile substances called emotions.
The fact is, emotions are eventually built with the experiences we go through and the situations we indulge in. Believe me or not, there is a core area near your stomach, which is the powerhouse of our emotions. The sudden stomach pain we experience is nothing but STRESS!! The emotion that resides in the core.
Why does this happen?
Just like reflex action, our system also reacts to the external stimulus provided. The external stimulus is the kind of environment or the social situation we are prone to and because of this social conditioning, our core experiences an emotional trajectory which may be in the form of excitement, happiness, sadness, anger and many more. Once we develop the emotion because of our social experience, we tend to react or respond to this stimulus, eventually coming out in the form of actions like crying, laughing, fighting, lethargy, unstable moods, etc.
We as human beings are unable to recognize and acknowledge what is going inside us due to which emotions get built up to an extent that at some point it takes the shape of depression, anxiety or any other psychological issues. However, it isn’t under our control how to respond to such emotional imbalance and so, we don’t acknowledge the same.
This unconscious response predominantly depends on our experience in a similar situation or a similar situation that has been faced by someone near to us.
When we start thinking, ‘how did I react in the past when this situation came’, our brain starts working like crazy. Our neurons start firing trying to make meaning out of the emotion that we experienced. At that particular moment, our brain also starts evaluating lifetime experiences, building the probabilities and trying to figure out what you relate it to rather than what it actually is. Moreover, this whole process is happening within a blink of an eye.
Such a state is called experiential blindness, which leads to predictions of reactions; they make sense in a quick and abstract way.
HENCE, OUR REACTION TO THE WORLD IS NOT A MERE REACTION, IT IS A PREDICTION THAT WE CONSTRUCT USING OUR EXPERIENCES OF THE WORLD.
Now, let me give you a solution to this. Like we take care of our physical health, we should also take care of our mental health.
It is very important to acknowledge our emotions and regulate them to live a healthy lifestyle. We should be aware of social situations that act as a trigger for elevating emotions within us. Once we identify them and acknowledge them, we will be aware enough to manage our emotional arousal and henceforth our reactions to such a situation will be in our own hands. To put it simply, start identifying the situations that trigger such feelings, accept your reaction to such situations instead of ignoring and start dealing with them. Once you accept your behavioural change and your pattern of reaction in any sort of condition, you will be more open to yourself and know that this is how I will react, this will not only make you more condensed but also, you’ll become the boss of your reaction.
Remember, we must learn to accept and deal with our brain, which is the most complex part of our body.
Psychotherapist and Rehabilitation Psychologist
CRR NO: A65497