Emotional Context

In emotions, the context is all that matters. The mind and body feel stress and rest, to different degrees and in different places, but that is it. The mind and body do not feel angry, that is an interpretation of a feeling of mental stress, based on what you remember about your current situation.

Let’s say you don’t feel good. You’re just down. There could be a ton of different reasons that you feel this way, but what I didn’t tell you, was that you haven’t slept in two nights. So you probably just feel tired.

Let’s say that you wake up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp. The pain is real. If you finished a marathon the previous day, the pain is expected, and almost a glorious wound of battle. But if you’re older, and the leg cramps are related to some awful disease that you’re fighting, or some medicine used to treat that disease, you may feel sad or hopeless. The cramps are the same, but the context changes everything.

Think about getting punched in a crowded bar. Once you get hit, your mind will rush into fight or flight mode, and it’s your job to interpret the context of the situation. Was it a friend just playing around? Or are you in imminent danger? Are you angry, surprised, or fearful? Or some combination of the three. I would say that you are stressed, and your interpretation of that context determines whether you’re mad about it, or angry about it.

So emotions do exist, but we just create them about our perception of reality. If our perception changes or the context changes, the feeling can be exactly the same but can be interpreted differently. So if you can’t control the feeling, control the context, find the light at the end of your tunnel, and shift your narrative to the positive.