Are Emotions Critical To Rational Thinking?
The words, “You’re just being emotional,” are often seen in a negative light. It is common for this statement to be made when someone is acting or thinking in an irrational fashion.
Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer even noted, “Where we have strong emotions, we are liable to fool ourselves.” Employees (especially women) are strongly advised not to display emotions in the workplace because it could undermine how others rate their competence.
Demonstrating (and experiencing) emotions is seen as weak and irrational.
In reality, emotions (both positive and negative) serve a crucial purpose.
It’s time we understood the proper place and function of our emotions and how they actually are critical to rational thinking.
We Are Motivated By Our Emotions
Charles Darwin believed that emotions evolved and developed over time to help humans solve a wide range of problems. He argued that emotions were important to motivate people to engage in actions that are crucial for survival.
Actions such as scouring for food, seeking potential mates, and perceiving the behavior of others were all important for survival. When faced with a new situation (or a predator), the emotion of excitement motivates us by providing us extra energy and initiative.
Jealousy increased the chances of a partner’s genes being passed on to the next generation rather than a rival’s. Anger allowed people to stand up for their rights when they were being abused by someone in power. It also serves as a warning to others not to violate our boundaries.
So don’t discount what others perceive as negative emotions. Your emotions are a signal for a deeper problem. Developing a mindfulness practice will help you discover the real reasons behind the emotions that you are experiencing.
Sheevaun Moran is a business advisor, master coach, quantum energy thought leader and the founder of Energetic Solutions. She uses business principles with energetic techniques to help more than 25,000 entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders bring instant focus and shifts to clarity, purpose, and profits.
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