Master Your Emotions
Understanding how our emotions work and overcoming negativity
Master Your Emotions is the ultimate practical manual for the management of emotions that everyone should be handed at birth, to understand how to juggle the complexities of being human. Thibaut Meurisse teaches us to see that our emotions are in fact transitory, and as such, destined to disappear. He also invites us to pay attention to the power they have to either enrich or inhibit our lives. By understanding how our emotions work, we can use them to our advantage, like a sort of compass which can show us whether we are moving in the right direction, or if we need to correct our course.
Many useful tips to:
- Understand how our emotions work and learn to use them for personal growth.
- Help us to learn to accept the highs and lows of our emotions as a normal part of the human experience.
- Understand that positive thoughts and emotions have a sort of magnetic power to further attract positive thoughts and emotions.
The survival mechanism in human beings naturally tends to look for and remove all risks and threats
To fully understand what emotions are, we need to take a step back, and understand that if we have made it this far in the history of human evolution, it is because an innate survival mechanism has enabled us to continue to populate this planet we call earth.
The men and women who came before us had to face daily challenges that put their lives at risk. Despite the fact that our current situation differs greatly from the way things were, the way our brain works has not changed: it is still programmed to be on the look-out for possible danger, always ready to detect anything that can go wrong, and to ignore everything that is positive.
Way back when, being rejected by one’s own tribe could have proven to be a threat to a person’s survival; today our fear of being rejected causes us pain and suffering, even though the consequences of that happening are in no way comparable to what would have happened to someone ousted from their tribe years ago.
All this is to say that we have a natural bias towards negative events and our brain does not know how to distinguish imaginary threats from real ones. The truth is that our brains were not programmed to make us happy, but to ensure our survival.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that activates our pleasure centre; everything that gives us pleasure increases its levels, and this increase gives us a sense of fulfilment. The primary function of a dopamine release is again, survival, because it pushes us to do things such as satisfy our hunger and find a mate, it helps keep us alive and ensures the survival of the human race.
Our society sells us a version of dopamine which, in the long term, leaves us feeling unhappy, because we become addicted to it. Marketers have perfectly understood how this pay-off and pleasure mechanism works, and they use it to get us hooked on social networks, our digital devices and food or other material objects. In addition, our mind gets used to new conditions easily, and that is the mechanism behind our belief that “when I have *insert object here*, I will be happy”. Once we obtain that thing that we had dreamt would make us forever happy, it should, in theory, leave us eternally satisfied, but what actually happens after a short while, is that we find ourselves down in the dumps again, and dreaming of the next object or experience that is going to make our lives better. In the long term, it is not external events that determine our level of happiness, but our attitude to life itself that influences our ability to be happy.
The key ideas of "Master Your Emotions"
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