EMOTIONS: An embodied experience

Think about a recent positive experience and try to recall everything about it. Who were there, what did it feel like, and what were you thinking? How did your body feel? What did you look like? And what did it make you want to do?

Did this positive feeling make you want to tell somebody? Did it make you want to dream and consider endless possibility? How did you want to spend the rest of your day? And who did you want to share this feeling with?

Emotions, according to Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, are an embodied feeling state. How we feel about something has a direct effect on our facial expressions, our heart rate, posture, voice, and action urges. And whether we express it or not, all our emotions are broadcast in our subtle body language. Therefore, Fredrickson says, the way we feel is never completely personal; the way we feel projects itself and is shared with the community around us. 

Do you ever notice how powerful a smile can be? That when a stranger greets you on the street, you tend to smile with them? It becomes a shared and embodied experience wherein two people now share this positive feeling, also known as positivity resonance. 

Positive emotions have such a subtle impact that we hardly notice how these tiny engines change us. Did you notice that when you imagined your last positive experience it may have made you want to explore, share, and create? I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling good, I can feel the little arms in my heart stretch out ready to give out a few random hugs. It’s such a good feeling that you wish everyone else could feel it with you. 

It is these little emotional connections that are our nutrients for LIFE. 

Emotions are so powerful that we often neglect how it projects itself through us. Next time you have an experience - be it positive or negative - learn to pay attention to the way your body feels when you are filled with this emotion. How does your heart feel? How does your head feel? What is your facial expression? And what does it make you want to do?