Labelling Emotions Reduces Their Impact

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When your emotions take over and you react, your thinking brain is temporarily disconnected and impulse rules!

Labelling Emotions - Forward Steps image 1500pxI’m sure you’ve experienced moments like that in your life.

It is not a great frame of mind in which to make life changing decisions.

To help steer your life in the direction you want to be going, (ad) learning to manage your emotions and building that muscle, is an important skill to learn.

It’s too easy to “blame” external factors on why we did or did not respond to a situation in a way that would have supported our life direction better.

“Emotions often lead to coping activities. When we feel something, we consequently respond to that feeling.

This can be both in the immediate (and often subconscious) response to the feeling and also in the more thoughtful handling of the aftermath.

Where this has been a negative feeling, the response may range from vigorous justification of our actions to conciliatory apologies and other ‘making up’.

A common response to the repression of unwanted emotions is displacement, where we act out our frustration in other ways. Thus a reprimanded child, knowing they cannot answer back, may go and ‘punish’ their toys.

In negotiations, the person gets their way is often the person who has greatest emotional control.” Source:

Emotions affect and are a part of our mood, which is usually a more sustained emotional state.

If you have done any reading about the laws of attraction or how to attract desired circumstances into your experience of life, then you will also know about the power of positive emotions.

Learn to recognize emotions at increasing levels of detail. When you can see the emotion, you can “respond” appropriately to it, rather than “reacting” to a situation and taking an action that you might later regret.

Mood affects our judgment and changes how we process decisions Click To Tweet

You increase your power by feeling dynamic rather than fine, energetic rather than OK, and sensational rather than simply good.

“A brain scanning study has found that naming emotions reduces the intensity of emotion processing in the brain, possibly outlining a brain network responsible for the old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.

Emotion Matters ebook - Forward Steps imageA team led by psychologist Dr Matthew Lieberman brain-scammed participants while they looked at pictures of faces that had different emotional expressions.

Earlier studies have found that naming an emotion seems to reduce its impact but this study went to particular lengths to make sure it was actually naming the emotion that helped, rather than just naming something, or identifying the emotion in other ways.

Participants were also scanned while having to name a face with a proper name, like Jane or Peter, or while matching the face to one with a similar emotional expression. This last task involved identifying the emotion but not naming it.

It turned out that when naming an emotion, and not for the other tasks, activity in a frontal lobe area called the the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (right VLPFC) significantly increased while activity in the amygdala decreased.

The amygdala is known to be heavily involved in processing emotions and seems to be regulated, at least in part, by the VLPFC.

These findings are consistent with this idea. The VLPFC increases its activity to dampen down the emotions triggered by the amygdala.

However, it’s not clear whether this happens equally for both positive and negative emotions, as 80% of the faces in the study had expressions of anger or fear, while only 20% displayed happiness or surprise, so this data only really tells us about unpleasant feelings.

Labelling Emotions - Forward Steps image 1500px_2We know that observing emotion in others makes us more likely to feel the same thing ourselves, but it’s not the same as experiencing an emotion ‘first-hand’, so we need to be a bit careful in assuming that this study fully represents the more everyday experience of talking about our emotions.”


When it comes to feeling different emotions, you really do have a say and absolute choice. How we respond to scenarios in life is within our power to change.

Positive feelings open up possibilities, raise our sense of hope and increase our ability to keep stepping forward.

“Growing” positive emotions by being more focused on them, tends to produce even more good feelings, it’s exponential in its effect.

Make use of this free pdf list of positive emotions to help increase your emotional I.Q.

Create the positive emotions you desire and learn to name your emotions Click To Tweet

You could call this a teaching list, it can be used to train yourself in experiencing some emotions with which you might not often be in touch.

Scroll through the list and with each emotion, ask yourself, “When was the last time I recall fully experiencing this emotion? How could I feel this emotion more often?”

Practice using these emotions by choosing one to focus on, each day. Notice where and how it shows up in your life, and include it in your day when you see opportunity for doing that.

Practicing with these will strengthen your “emotional muscles” and you’ll gain some insight into how much choice you truly do have, regarding how you feel.

Plus, get yourself (ad) a copy of the Emotion Matters ebook.

Expand your awareness of the emotions you feel in this life.

Become more skilled at creating the positive emotions you desire, as you grow and learn to name your emotions.

PLUS check out a few free gifts from my friends…CHECK out the following great resources as well…Forward Steps Personal Development » Labelling Emotions

Labelling Emotions Reduces Their ImpactLabelling Emotions Reduces Their Impact