Normally we associate feelings with emotions, and often think of the two as being synonymous. Neuroscience has now shown the chain of events that lead from our brain’s generating emotional reactions to being experienced in our body as feelings. Brain generated Emotions and body Feelings are therefore very different but complementary processes.
Your brain reacts to all sorts of triggers in your internal thoughts and external environment. Triggers or “cues” generate rapid and automatic emotional reactions in your brain that result in the body changes that you consciously experience as feelings. For example, when you have an emotional reaction to a cue which can trigger ‘fear’, such as a dog barking or a gun shot, your heart rate speeds up, and your breathing becomes more shallow, resulting in the feeling of ‘stress’. You might notice your muscles are tense, for instance, or your stomach may seem a knotted up. Feelings are the way you consciously experience your body changes that are triggered by emotional reactions to cues.
Learn more about how to “Know your feelings and nudge them in a positive direction,” in this webinar.