Monday, December 2, 2013

Emotions and Chemistry

I had an interesting conversation with a psychiatrist a few days ago. “You can do anything you want with emotions,” he said, “it won’t matter, because it all boils down to brain chemistry, and unless you take care of that chemical balance, certain emotions will persist.” On one hand, he’s right. When some hormone is secreted in deficient or excessive amounts, a person would experience certain changes in his or her emotional state. But on the other hand, if a person doesn’t experience one persistent emotion for a long time, it means that his or her emotional state naturally switches. And if it does, then the body and mind have mechanisms to regulate them and the chemistry of the brain.

For example, suppose you feel sad. Even if this feeling persists for a month, every day, it still can’t be the only feeling you’ve been having. Whether a telephone suddenly rang or a pot fell and startled you, or you felt very worried because you were running late for work, or you saw a magic trick that really surprised you, in any case your body and mind switched your emotions. I’m sure that chemistry was involved in all these emotional shifts, but obviously there are built-in mechanisms in our bodies to regulate that chemistry. From my experience, it’s amazing what your body can naturally do, the only thing is, it often takes some practice to learn how to use these mechanisms. But it’s well worth the effort, or so I think.

Of course, if a person can no longer switch his or her emotional state, it means that there's something wrong with the mechanisms that switch emotions. If this is the case, then that person needs professional help. The methods described in the book won't help, because they work through the mechanism that naturally switch emotions.  

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