Humans are plagued by things like love, anger, fear, sarcasm, happiness, excitement, etc. These are emotions. But, where do they come from? Are there scientific explanations for emotions? Are they good? Are they bad? There are several questions that often go unanswered. We are often told not to express our emotions but is that really a good idea? Let us find out the answers to these questions with our list of 25 interesting emotion facts.
Weird Emotion Facts: 1-12
1. Bad is Good! Bad feelings are necessary and are actually good. Negative emotions help to strike a balance and help people evaluate those experiences with a positive mind set. Experiencing only positive emotions is not really good because when that happens, a person simply starts ignoring issues that are really important for shaping one’s life. Negative emotions include things like anger, fear etc.
2. Sarcasm Improves Creativity! Weird but true! Studies have revealed that sarcasm improves creativity and smartness. People who receive sarcastic comments need to process different layers of information like biasness, viewpoint, experience etc. This improves problem solving ability and creativity. Thus, regular exposure to sarcasm is good.
3. Emotions are Physical Too! While we are accustomed to think that emotions are pretty much psychological by nature, we barely know that they are physical too. Different types of emotions stimulate different parts of the body. Upper half of the body responds to positive emotions and negative emotions usually lead to numbness.
4. Predict Future! That’s almost unbelievable but it is true. Emotions can help a person to predict future. Columbia University calls this the ‘Emotional Oracle Effect (EOE)’. In a nutshell, the EOE is actually a phenomenon where people who have a habit of trusting emotions can predict future. Studies show that people trusting their emotions get access to what is referred to as ‘Privileged Window’ to their subconscious state of mind which is actually a storehouse of information. Emotional experiences allow people to access and process higher level of information and thus, allow them to make more precise decisions. This happens because people trusting their gut are capable of better organizing information.
5. Emotions are Extremely Contagious! Time and again it has been proved that human emotions are contagious by nature. People have been caught mimicking the emotional experiences of others unconsciously.
6. Microexpressions! So what are microeexpressions? You may be darn good at concealing your emotional experiences and the resulting expressions. However, no matter how hard you try, you will always involuntarily express your emotions for a very brief time frame. These brief expressions are called microexpressions. These are so quick that they go unnoticed in real time but when recorded and watched in slo-mo, they will reveal your true emotional state.
7. Force a Smile! Okay, there are times when smiling literally becomes difficult. However, studies show that if you can force a smile on your face, you will feel happy. But, you need to force this smile for at least 30 seconds.
8. Colors Spark Emotions: Different colors spark different emotions in us. Yellow for instance is associated with joy and blue helps to calm down a person. So, next time you are restless, you need to get some blue!
9. Faking is Not Easy! You can easily fake positive emotions but when it comes to negative emotions, they are very difficult to fake. Emotions like fear, sadness anger etc. have several physical indications that cannot be produced on demand.
10. Sleeping Eases Emotional Distress: REM sleep has been found to help people to recover from emotional distress, especially those related to traumatic experiences. This happens because production of stress-related hormones are significantly reduced during REM stage of sleep. Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist says that during REM stage of sleep, brain is capable of lessening the sting of painful memories because process those memories in absence of those chemicals. Hence, memories become less immediate and thus, less painful. Now. REM stage of sleep is when brain produces mind-movies known as dreams.
11. Our Emotions Shape Our Morals! We usually think that our morals trigger our emotions. For instance, a person with a good heart will either feel angry or sad when he or she sees a person hurting someone else. This however is not true. Studies have revealed that when a person is shown an image of a person hurting another, three parts of the brain are lit up. The first one is the TPJ area responsible for evaluating where the act of hurting was intentional or not. The next part that is activated is the amygdala which controls our emotions. These two part of the brain process the image within 250 milliseconds. Only after that the morality section of the brain becomes active. So, emotions shape morals and not the other way round.
12. Our Notion of Love is Wrong! From University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson spent a significant amount of her time studying love and came to conclusion that love is nothing but a micro-moment of positivity resonance. This is nothing but a scientific way of saying that love is not everlasting. According to Barbara, every human being experiences love on a day-to-day basis. Thus, our very notion that love is actually a large-scale everlasting emotion is actually wrong and that love is experienced in smaller ways, which she calls ‘micro-moments’. These are actually moments when brain-wave patterns of a person sync up with that of another person and this another person can be just anyone. Barbara explains that what we refer to as romantic love is primarily because of chemicals known as oxytocin and vasopressin which are released in greater amounts during sex. Brain has more receptors for these two chemicals. The greater the number of these receptors, the more likely the individuals are to exhibit what is known as monogamy.