What are your body’s emotional signals?

Emotions are signals, guideposts, and responses from our body that help to regulate our responses to external, internal and perceived events. Many researchers suggest  that there are 4-7 basic emotions. Here we examine several foundational ones.

Happiness – A state of contentment, satisfaction or wellbeing when experiences are positive and there is no threat. We smile broadly, the corners of our eyes squint and our spine elongates and opens.

Sadness – It is a negative response to the environment (internal or external), metabolism slows down, physically we withdraw, the body folds inward and lethargy occurs. The lower lip pushes outward and eyes are downcast.

Fear – The function of fear is to help us retreat from danger. Our heart beats faster, breath is sped up and we are primed for movement.

Disgust – Our body’s way of informing us of disapproval, repulsive or unpleasant experiences. Our upper lip curls and our nostrils close constricting our smell.

Anger – when we perceive a threat, our bodies respond with self- protection. We want something to be different. We are primed for combat and defense. Our eyes narrow, our lips purse, our fists ball, our shoulders hunch together, and blood pressure rises. Often our response is fight or flight. Our self-monitoring abilities diminish as we prepare to stop the threat.

Surprise – when an unusual or unexpected event occurs we prepare to deal with it. Our eyes widen, eyebrows raise while our jaw releases. We prepare to deal with it. Our eyes widen, eyebrows raise while our jaw releases.

Often we may not feel safe to express how we truly feel. Knowing when it is safe to express ourselves is important. Our conscious awareness of the safety is crucial. The skill is knowing how you feel in the moment and then selecting when it is best for you to speak authentically.

How to harness the information:

It is critical to PAUSE, STOP, REST IN STILLNESS, as it is the most optimum time to slow down enough to FEEL the physical sensations in the moment they are happening. This critical conversation with the self allows for you to assess what is happening and make an informed decision for the best outcome.