If you understand the magnificent machinery that is the human brain, you’ll better understand why some of us bounce around with great joy and others slouch through life like Eeyore (of Winnie-the-Pooh fame).
Every day, we’re pummeled with thousands upon thousands of pieces of information. It’s not just straight up information, like the kind you’d read in a newspaper, but also informational stimuli that are part of your everyday routines, like traffic lights or coffee shop menus.
Your brain is pretty adept at inputting all this info (red equals stop, a Venti coffee is extra large), but because of the influx of sensory information, our brain has a prioritizing system to manage the flow.
Enter the amygdala, your neurological gatekeeper. It instantly assigns emotional meaning to the information and informational stimuli you take in each day. Often, you suppress those emotions, even though they're automatic.
Your goal shouldn't be to ignore emotions when they come up—whether you're reacting painfully to a loss of a loved one or getting angry with your boss.
You're biologically hardwired to pay attention to emotions and use them intelligently. For example, you can use empathy to help harness anger—i.e. thinking that maybe the jerk at work has some home stresses that are causing her to be a jerk. Your goal should be to observe emotions and even learn to think with these emotions to help give your life even deeper meaning.
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