• janellegsheen

Choosing Emotions Reality Bite I: The Importance of Our Environment.




One of the trending theories related to our self-discipline and emotional regulation is the idea that we always chose our emotions. That no one can make us feel a certain way. That by not claiming our right to chose our emotions; we are giving away our power to others. Being truly committed to autonomy, self-determination and authenticity I see great value in this theory. At the same time it is disastrously simplistic and can be profoundly harmful in that simplicity.


This undermines the significant impact

our environment has on our emotions.


The simplicity is the implication that our choice in the moment is the only contributing factor in the process of emotional selection. This undermines the significant impact our environment has on our emotions. The truth is that our physiology is designed to respond or react to our environment. This is part of our survival mechanism and where our emotions are created. Importantly each of us has a refined response to our environment, due to our lived experiences and understanding of those experiences, our individuality. For effective emotional selection this reality cannot be ignored.


When we understand each emotion, listen to its message and act on the message effectively

then we are taking responsibility for our life and

living it with honour.


A critical step in building our ability to consciously choose our emotions is to understand our physiology related to how our emotions occur and their purpose. Each of our emotions has a specific purpose and from that stance there is no such thing as a ‘negative’ emotion.


Rather we have emotions we do not understand adequately, to consciously listen to and as a result effectively handle. I believe many of us simply do not know how to act on our emotions for effective outcomes. This is a result of the undervaluing of our emotional reality. Fortunately this perspective is turning around and our emotions are being accepted as important aspects of our life.


At the core, our emotions are part of our physiology that allows us to understand how our physiology experiences our sense of safety, belonging, worth, and effectiveness in the world. Are things working for us or not and how?


When we understand each emotion, listen to its message and act on the message effectively then we are taking responsibility for our life and live it respectfully with honour.


Choosing our environment is a critical step in

enhancing our ability to

monitor and regulate our emotions effectively.


The issue is many of us do not have the awareness, understanding and skills to enact this. We lack Personal Power due to ineffective emotional intelligence, decision-making, and perceived choice, especially around our environment. Yet it is the interaction between our self and our environment that creates our emotions. While developing the ability to regulate our emotions is an important skill, to simply attempt to ‘control’ our emotions in the moment, is simplistic and an unrealistic approach to emotional regulation.


Choosing our environment is a critical step in enhancing our ability to monitor and regulate our emotions effectively. At the same time unexpected events do occur and can throw any of us off, because of the design of our physiology. Each of us can be triggered into being ‘hijacked’ emotionally by our environment.


Yes please do, take responsibility for you emotions, and develop your awareness to make appropriate supportive choice for your emotional health. BUT do not fall for the idea it is as simple as deciding to always feel this or that, we all influenced by our environment and can be hijacked. The environment does have an impact on your emotional status and as a consequence choosing a supportive environment is a critical step for enhancing your emotional regulation respectfully.


It is by respecting our physiology that you take a humane stance, develop respectfulness and reduce the controlling quality of objectification in your life. And as a consequence reduce disrespectfulness and objectification in our society. Consider the impact of your environment on your emotional wellbeing and if it is supportive. If it is not, what will you choose to do to empower your emotional wellbeing and Personal Power?

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