What does it mean to suffer an emotional abduction?

If you have ever heard of emotional intelligence, you probably already know the terms emotion, feeling and mood. It is important to know how they differ from each other, as they have different durations. Emotion lasts from seconds to a number of minutes, feeling can last a few hours or even a couple of days. Finally, the duration of mood is much longer.

Another difference between concepts is the area of the brain where it is stimulated. The limbic brain is the part that is most stimulated when we are feeling an emotion. The neocortex is the one that is stimulated when we are feeling a feeling.

To summarize:

  • Feelings are reactions you choose to have.
  • Emotion always comes first, without emotion there will be no feeling.
  • An emotion is felt, a feeling is thought.

A good way to start getting to know our emotional intelligence better is to identify our emotions.

Emotional abduction

This concept is a hyperstimulation of the amygdala and to understand what it causes in our brain we will use the simile of a barrier. Let’s imagine a barrier between the limbic brain (in charge of our emotions) and the neocortex (in charge of cognitive skills which allow us to reason). This barrier prevents them from communicating and thus from thinking rationally and acting according to our emotions.

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This, among other effects, can cause memory loss, not remembering details as the hippocampus is affected since, as we have said, communication is impeded. Hence, when we are asked “and what did he say?” or “how was he dressed?” we may say “I don’t remember”.

As a result of this disconnection, until the “storm passes” we are not able to analyze it. This can be synonymous with: when emotion is high, intelligence is low. So, a first TIP that we propose and helps to regulate ourselves is: stop, breathe and count to 10.

Stand up, breathe and count to 10.

You’ve probably heard it throughout your life, and like most sayings, it has some truth to it. It takes between 4 and 8 seconds to dismantle this “barrier” between the limbic brain and the neocortex. In other words, this is precisely a very intelligent strategy because, when you start counting, you activate the neocortex and the logic of your brain. So stop, take a breath, have a glass of water and analyze the situation.

How to manage my emotions before this moment. The first step to manage is to know how to interpret. According to Mayer and Salovey’s ability model, emotional intelligence is a set of 4 skills: identifying, using, understanding and managing emotions appropriately.

To know how to identify what you are feeling, focus on paying attention to yourself and ask yourself:

  • How energetic I am from 0 to 10.
  • From 0 to 10 how pleasant is what I am feeling right now (unlabeled).
  • Where am I feeling in my body (e.g., am I feeling hot or cold, how is my breathing, am I tense or maybe my body posture is slouching).
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The six basic emotions: anger, joy, surprise, disgust, sadness and fear.

Paul Ekman conducted research in which he proved that there are a series of expressions that are universal and cross-cultural and help us when interpreting emotional intelligence (the six basic emotions represented in the center of the image).

  • Anger. Feeling of anger, irritability or indignation when offended or offended.
  • Joy. Pleasant feeling of satisfaction and well-being.
  • Surprise. Discomfort or astonishment at something unexpected.
  • Disgust. Condemnation or intense dislike of something repulsive or repugnant.
  • Sadness. Feeling of unhappiness or unhappiness.
  • Fear. Apprehension generally provoked by a sensation of threat, danger, or pain.

As a result of the combination of these there are a multitude of secondary emotions.

How to use my emotions?

When we are going to face any situation, we must be aware of what we are feeling and what it is useful for us in what we want to do.

We are aware that emotions affect our cognitive abilities. That is why it is key to identify which are the most important cognitive skills we have to bring into play and to realize how some of the emotions we mostly feel affect us.

For example, if we are in a business meeting and we want to present our product we will need sales and negotiation skills. Which emotion would bring me more benefit in achieving my goal: fear or pride?

Ask yourself: Is this the right time to feel this, am I feeling it with the right person, am I feeling it in the right way, am I feeling it in the right way, or am I expressing it in the right way? Or Am I expressing it in the right way? Once you have answered these questions, try to understand what is happening, what you are thinking and how you are feeling it.

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Our own emotional state is conditioned by how we interpret reality.

In different studies with eye-tracking methodology where different positive, negative and neutral images were shown, two effects have been clearly observed: an early vigilance towards threatening stimuli in subjects with high anxiety scores; and an attentional bias towards negative stimuli as well as a difficult disconnection from these in subjects with high depression scores.

This becomes a vicious circle: I feel sad and pay attention to sad stimuli, so I will hardly stop being sad.

So, one way is to improve our self-control. To achieve this, it is important to learn to detect what things and situations generate very intense emotions. Between stimulus and response lies our ability to decide. Finally, another important aspect is to work on our assertiveness.