Emotions: How we Feel our Feelings

We all let our emotions run away with us from time to time, but how do they actually work? What creates them and why do we need them?

Besides those crazy outbursts that make us think emotions are completely useless and irrational, there is sense behind them. When they are not making us feel crazy, emotions are actually the driving force behind us meeting our goals and needs, continuously pushing us to improve our performance by shaping how we think and behave. It is how thinking and feeling interact with one another.

There are many different theories as to why we feel what we do; the James-Lange theory states that ‘our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli’. The Cannon-Bard theory states that ‘an emotion arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological responses and the subjective experience of emotion.

We know emotion is mobilised through our autonomic nervous system, but what we still don’t get is why people react differently to different emotional stimuli, and that’s what psychologists have been working to figure out.