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The BODY Emotions (Part 1)

Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God's Word. Since 1998, he has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck's listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs in major Christian radio markets around the world, reaching people groups in languages they can understand. Chuck's extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

The BODY Emotions (Part 1)


Your brain is the core of your emotions. This is true for men and women. Emotion originates in the area of the brain called the limbic system and is monitored and regulated by the front of the brain, called the cortex. I did my last internship in neuropsychology, studying the brain, and let me tell you: the brain, in general, is incredible. But the female brain is simply fascinating. Research shows that even as babies females are wired for empathy, hearing others, being heard, observation and reading emotion. In other words, females are born for connection. This makes us want to get to know, nurture, tend, and love others and is arguably one of the best qualities of women overall.

One important aspect about mental health that I have learned over the years is that -- it's imperative to process our emotions healthily. We all process emotions uniquely, and it's difficult to judge whether it's right or wrong.

When we have our boundaries In place, we would be aware as to where the emotion is arising from and the action that we have to take. Or else we may find ourselves expressing unprocessed emotions from our personal life at our professional life. For example, you may have fought with your spouse before leaving for the office, and if you haven't processed it, you may yell or be rude to your colleagues while working.

In my understanding, emotion is always accompanied by a physiological change in response to stimuli. For example, in a team meeting, when your colleague cracks a joke, you find yourself laughing as your eyes start to tear up, and you may feel relaxed afterward. This is your body's physiological response to your emotion of being happy.

Now if you're as curious as I was, you'd already be wondering as to how many feelings and emotions are there. Well, there are 4 basic emotions, and there are multiple feelings that surround those emotions.

Thanks to Dr. Gloria Willcox, we now have a wonderful resource called the feeling wheel that helps us to identify our feelings and the core emotion behind them. To strike a balance between comfortable and uncomfortable emotions, she expanded "glad" into three emotions: joyful, powerful, and peaceful.

A common trend that I observe in the work culture nowadays is hustle without emotional regulation, an emotion-free zone in the workspace, low tolerance for emotions, and a total disregard for emotions in the decision-making process.

Our relationship with one another is a vital aspect of our existence as a whole, and I get reminded of a phrase that my mentor shared back during my training, ''we are all relational beings." I truly believe that communication and emotions play a significant role in how well we work with each other.

That brings an end to this first part. I hope you had some valuable takeaways. In the next second part of this emotion series, I will be talking about how we mask our emotions and the obstacle it plays in our professional life. Until then, stay safe and take care.

The more I know about the human psyche and its neurobiology, the more interested I am in emotions. They are the commanders of our actions as well as the cause behind mental issues. Resentment is especially intriguing because of its secretive quality, its connection to violent acts and trauma, and its large role in interpersonal relationships.

The most important theories of emotion have been trying to figure out the basic emotions, meaning, those that can be distinguished universally. Resentment has not made the list on any of them, except on Warren D. TenHoutens, in part because resentment may look different across cultures. TenHouten, however, includes resentment on the list as a tertiary emotion.

According to Plutchik, primary emotions are those experienced the same way by every person and are recognized across cultures, like sadness, joy, surprise, disgust, trust, fear, anticipation, and anger. He then expanded the classification of emotions to a second level and called them secondary emotions. Resentment doesnt fit there.

Secondary emotions are emotional reactions we have to other emotions. Secondary emotions are often caused by the beliefs behind experiencing certain emotions. Some people may believe that experiencing specific emotions like anger say something negative about them.Therefore, whenever the primary emotions are experienced with judgment, these thoughts come up, which trigger secondary emotions (Braniecka et al, 2014).

Rage is the emotion pointed out as the secondary emotion of anger, which is in itself debatable. Rage seems much more like an action than an emotion. Once one is enraged, there is nothing but destroying energy that puts the person in a frenzy or madness. Secondary emotions might be broken down further into what is known as tertiary emotions.

Tertiary emotions are emotions experienced as a consequence of experiencing a secondary emotion. Resentment as a tertiary emotion comes after rage (secondary) that comes after experiencing anger (primary). Therefore, its understanding requires even more depth than basic emotions. I even suspect that it goes beyond the concept of emotion, since it also includes some moral injury.

Resentment doesnt show in our facial expression in a generalizable way (like primary or basic emotions do) even when it is rooted in angers strong facial emotions, which are universally experienced . I have observed many people manifest resentment in an almost imperceptible way as if they are hiding what they feel. I wonder if resentment is really an emotion or an emotional process in its own right, since it needs to be uncovered and dissected before it can be dissolved.

To feel again is likely what the body experiences when an individual carries resentment. From the experiences I have heard from many people, itd not be far off to say that resentment could be a tertiary emotion not only of rage but also of, at least: neglect, disappointment, envy, disgust, exasperation, and irritation.

The brain is a very complex organ. It controls and coordinates everything from the movement of your fingers to your heart rate. The brain also plays a crucial role in how you control and process your emotions.

Anger starts with the amygdala stimulating the hypothalamus, much like in the fear response. In addition, parts of the prefrontal cortex may also play a role in anger. People with damage to this area often have trouble controlling their emotions, especially anger and aggression.

Parts of the prefrontal cortex of the brain may also contribute to the regulation of an anger response. People with damage to this area of the brain sometimes have difficulty controlling their emotions, particularly anger and aggression.

Body posture and configuration provide important visual cues about the emotion states of other people. We know that bodily form is processed holistically, however, emotion recognition may depend on different mechanisms; certain body parts, such as the hands, may be especially important for perceiving emotion. This study therefore compared participants' emotion recognition performance when shown images of full bodies, or of isolated hands, arms, heads and torsos. Across three experiments, emotion recognition accuracy was above chance for all body parts. While emotions were recognized most accurately from full bodies, recognition performance from the hands was more accurate than for other body parts. Representational similarity analysis further showed that the pattern of errors for the hands was related to that for full bodies. Performance was reduced when stimuli were inverted, showing a clear body inversion effect. The high performance for hands was not due only to the fact that there are two hands, as performance remained well above chance even when just one hand was shown. These results demonstrate that emotions can be decoded from body parts. Furthermore, certain features, such as the hands, are more important to emotion perception than others. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Successful social interaction relies on accurately perceiving emotional information from others. Bodies provide an abundance of emotion cues; however, the way in which emotional bodies and body parts are perceived is unclear. We investigated this perceptual process by comparing emotion recognition for body parts with that for full bodies. Crucially, we found that while emotions were most accurately recognized from full bodies, emotions were also classified accurately when images of isolated hands, arms, heads and torsos were seen. Of the body parts shown, emotion recognition from the hands was most accurate. Furthermore, shared patterns of emotion classification for hands and full bodies suggested that emotion recognition mechanisms are shared for full bodies and body parts. That the hands are key to emotion perception is important evidence in its own right. It could also be applied to interventions for individuals who find it difficult to read emotions from faces and bodies.

In this concluding module of Medical Neuroscience, we will consider the neurobiology of sleep and the neurobiology of emotion, including addiction. Both topics involve explorations of complex, widely distributed systems in the forebrain and brainstem that modulate states of body and brain.


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