Feelings are the subjective experience of your Emotions. What you Feel is the conscious awareness of your increase in heart rate, sweat rate and breathing. These can be readily trained to be most effective for your needs, to control your Feelings rather than have your Feelings control you.
Speaker 1: Do you always know what you are feeling? Can training allow you to nudge your feelings to be how you want them to be? In the next ten minutes I will show you some ways that neuroscience helps us answer these questions and I’ll suggest a pathway for you to know and train your feelings.
Know how your brain creates feelings. So what are feelings? Normally, we associate feelings with emotions and they are often talked about synonymously. Neuroscience, however, has now shown the chain of events that lead from our brains generating an emotion reaction and how that is experienced in our body as feelings. Brain generated emotions and body feelings are they far very different, but complimentary processes. So think about an instance where you had a strong body feeling and then you only later realized what the emotional cue was that caused it. For example, a sudden loud sound, like a door banging, that’s a cue, that could cause you to jump—an emotion reaction to jump, you could be fearful, maybe someone’s in your house, and then a few seconds later you can sense that feeling of body fear. If you realize the dead door banging was just the door blowing shut from the wind, that feeling of fear goes away, your heart rate slows down and you relax.
So feelings are the way you consciously experience in a body sense, in the way that your body, heart and sweat rate changes and they’re triggered by your emotion reactions automatically to cues. As I outlined in the webinar boosting your emotional awareness, these emotion reactions happen in a fifth of a second and the resulting feelings occur in about half a second and they can last for tens of seconds. Another example maybe a totally different one, maybe speaking in public, this is often quite stressful and can be quite formal, your heart can be raising, you feel, but sweaty, you feel—I know I do sometimes a bit on the edge, but in like that automatic mode, and just somebody acknowledges you, agrees with something that you say, smiles, that’s more positive nudge that can generate a contagion in you and in everyone becoming more relaxed, open informal, your heart slows down and you feel less anxious. This chain of events from emotion reactions to experiencing feelings involve changes in the balance of your brains chemicals and brain circuit, the connections. Changes in brain chemicals, which are also called neurotransmitters that have been associated with different feelings include Norepinephrine, which activates feelings or stress and fear, Cortisol is the homerun for feeling stressed. Dopamine triggers feeling pleasure, reward and being motivated, GABA is associated with feelings of calmness and relaxation, serotonin generates feelings of a positive mood and reward behaviors like increased appetite. There are some more complex feelings and they are linked to chemical combinations, the ultimate example of course being love, elation and pleasure in love is associated with Dopamine, Adrenaline with the heightened energy, Phenylethylamine speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells and Oxytocin nudges attachment, bonding, trust, that we feel in love. These brain chemicals are activated within brain circuits that generate feelings. Is it possible to change the way your brain works? Yes, nudging helps you regulate your feelings because your brains, 85 billion neurons, are so highly interconnected. Even small amounts of nudging, daily feeling training can have big flow and benefits and this is because a positive nudge can generate an openness, allow you to be more in the moment, immersed in the experience and be open to connect to newer opportunities. These small positive nudges can result in a cascade of positivity.
Training new brain habits. Knowing is in the doing. Just like training and strengthening a muscle delivers you physical in neurons, you can also train to nudge your feelings in a positive and more effective direction. The three brain training feeling games that I will now show you are from mybrainsolutions.com. The one site that integrates all brain solution backed by science. So let’s get started with the first game, e-Catch the feeling. It nudges your positive feelings. In e-catch the feeling, you train your brain to prefer actually tune in to positive feelings and it does so by responding to bubbles, the pops of bubbles that contain positive words but you refrain from responding to those bubbles that contain negative words. Once you start triggering these positive word feelings, you will notice just how easily you can nudge an upward spiral of positivity, of positive feelings and these positive feelings have a flowing effect that make you feel better and you notice positive things around you more, they create a kind of contagious cycle of positivity. Negative feelings have a similar reverse effect like dropping ink into water and they make you and those around you feel more negative and more stressed.
The second exercise is expressions of gratitude. While e-Catch the feeling allows you to rapidly train your ability to tune in to positive over negative feelings, other games help you cultivate an awareness and an activation of broader feelings like gratitude. Expressing gratitude has been correlated with significant positive nudging benefits in relationships and even in well being. In expressions of gratitude you select a star for something that you’re grateful for and keep that star in your personal constellation and share that star with others. Sharing that gratitude with someone else significantly boosts the brain chemistry, personal and quality connection to others.
The third exercise I’m going to show you to train to nudge your feelings is called the relaxation room. The relaxation room trains skills that you can use to help stay relaxed and it provides a space for you to relax regularly and build up a reservoir that can be tapped into during times of stress or in building resilience for critical moments to be performed. Your brain and body are highly interconnected and the relaxation room uses established relaxation techniques to calm your brain and body and uses visual scenes, music, guided calmness to train your whole being. You select the visual scenes, you select the sound and you choose your best breathing rate that you’ve calculated from MyCalmBeat that works best for you.
Before using the room for the first time, watch the tutorial videos and discover how these different techniques can be used best. The relaxation room allows you to create your own simulations space to develop skills that allow you to nudge yourself into calm feeling states or a feeling that you want to be in a critical moment. It’s a brain, body training simulator.
The key takeaway message today is that you can train your brain to nudge the feelings that work best for you in every situation. “People will not remember what you said, people will not remember what you do, but people will always remember how you make them feel.”
It’s now over to you. Know your brain 1-2-4, this one organizing principle for all your brain functions and that is to minimize danger and maximize reward. There are two modes of processing, conscious verbal and non conscious intuition. And four key processes, thinking, emotions, feelings, and self regulation to make your most adaptive and effective in everything that you do.