Last updated on November 27th, 2023.
Emotions and feelings can quickly get the best of you. Anger, fear, resentment, and hatred can cloud your judgment and transform your life into the misery of your own making. At this point, you can either continue to behave blindly from the effects of such strong emotions, or you can consciously engage with and manage them for personal growth.
It isn’t always easy, but the choice is yours.
Humans exist in an environment created by emotions. We experience life through these feelings, ranging from our deepest, darkest fears to the purest light of unconditional love. As babies, we learn about our world through the emotions modeled to us, and we learn how to control our environment through the display of our own emotions. As we grow, we attempt to recognize and manage our feelings and emotional responses so that we may progress in a happy, healthy manner.
But sometimes, we allow our emotions to control our lives. They dictate how we treat family members, romantic partners, and friends. They dictate our satisfaction with employment and purpose. What’s worse? They dictate our health, wreaking havoc on every body system, creating an internal crisis that leads to illness and dis-ease. Although it may seem impossible to control the strength of such unavoidable emotions, it is, and it is worth your time to assess your emotional energy and make a plan to elevate your frequency.
What are Emotions and Why are They Important?
Emotions are natural, biological responses to external stimuli that help people adapt to and navigate their environments. When an event occurs, it is emotions that tell us whether the experience is positive or negative. The related emotions invoke autonomic responses, along with activating the limbic system. The limbic system is the brain’s main emotional regulation center.
The hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus all work together to determine how we feel about an event and what we should do about it. If it’s a life-threatening event, emotions activate the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).
If it’s not, the limbic system helps to assimilate this information into memories, and we learn from such responses.
The reticular activating system is responsible for conscious processing of sensory stimuli and goal setting based on the reactions.
For example, if seeing a spider invokes terror, then this emotion becomes a protective factor. Protection comes in many forms, though: A person can either go to great lengths to avoid spiders (running away, using chemicals in the home, limiting outdoor activities), or a person can protect themselves from the terror by working to eliminate the degree of fear they feel.
The latter response to emotion is the healthier option. The person can learn to be comfortable with spiders on the outside of their house, leaving them be, as natural parts of the environment. Or the person can learn to catch them and remove them from the home in a calm manner.
How have Emotions Evolved?
The reactions that all animals, including human beings, have are a result of many neurological evaluations of sensory stimuli. These evaluations arouse automatic and voluntary responses. At one point, the reactions were primitive and unrefined. As human brains evolved, executive functioning created new levels of responses that are more complex and require greater cognitive evaluation. Today, people are less concerned with protecting their families from wild animals and more concerned with the behavioral effects of too much screen time.
According to the psychoevolutionary theory of emotions, developed by psychologist Robert Plutchik, humans experience life through eight basic reactions to their environments:
The eight core reactions are at the root of all others, which are expressed and experienced in varying degrees. For example, the most primitive and intense is rage, followed by anger, then annoyance.
- Rage ⇾ Anger ⇾ Annoyance
- Vigilance ⇾ Anticipation ⇾ Interest
- Ecstasy ⇾ Joy ⇾ Serenity
- Admiration ⇾ Trust ⇾ Acceptance
- Terror ⇾ Fear ⇾ Apprehension
- Amazement ⇾ Surprise ⇾ Distraction
- Grief ⇾ Sadness ⇾ Pensiveness
- Loathing ⇾ Disgust ⇾ Boredom
The core emotional responses are also related, laterally. For example, on the outermost fringe, rage and vigilance share aggressiveness, while rage and loathing share contempt. Alternatively, ecstasy and admiration share love, which is begotten out of a relationship among joy, serenity, trust, and acceptance (see above).
In order to demonstrate his theory, Plutchik placed these eight core reactions on a color wheel of emotions, along with more evolved responses. As in the color wheel of pigments, the color wheel of emotions displays opposites: sadness and joy; disgust and trust; anticipation and surprise; and fear and anger. The point to this theory is that all humans experience these basic emotions and respond in a general way to instigating stimuli (although some mental disorders, like psychopathy and sociopathy, derive from a lack of emotional recognition and intelligence).
As humans evolved, and continue to do so, their emotions help navigate intrapersonal (the self) and interpersonal (others) relationships. Since normally developed brains experience the above list of emotions, it is also important to recognize, accept, and move throug these feelings. Such coping skills are the foundation of emotional intelligence—our ability to read and respond to emotions in ourselves and others.
What is Emotional Energy?
Just as we physically feel the effects of the body’s autonomic response to stimuli, we also emit energy from emotional responses that can affect our environment. All matter contains energy, and at the most subatomic level, all energy vibrates at its own frequency. Since everything is energy and energy vibrates, that means that humans are comprised of energy and emit their own frequencies.
A healthy human body will resonate between 62 and 72 megahertz (MHz). It has been known that color and sound emit frequencies, and these frequencies can affect mood; however, scientific research has also determined that food, herbs, and essential oils have frequencies that affect our health.
The higher the healing frequency of these supplements (fresh produce, medicinal herbs, etc.) the better their chances of supporting health. Disease causing bacteria, fungi, and bacteria cannot live in an environment which resonates at such high frequencies. When a person is ill or suffering from a long-term disease, they will emit lower frequencies.
As with all energetic matter, humans will also emit different frequencies depending on their emotional responses to stimuli. Emotions like shame, guilt, and apathy will resonate at 20, 30, and 50 Hertz (Hz), respectively. Emotions like love, joy, and peace will resonate at 500, 540, and 600 Hz. For every negative or positive reaction, a person’s energy field may fluctuate 10 to 12 Hz, higher or lower.
Therefore, the emotions we experience literally give us good or bad vibes. Just as highly processed foods and exposure to chronic stress can lower the body’s frequency, low-level emotional energy makes us vibrate at a lower and slower rate. Illness and disease thrive in this environment. But, as with the aforementioned spider analogy, it’s not always possible or healthy to avoid low-frequency emotions.
What Happens When Emotions are Suppressed?
Over time, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle can cause toxins to accumulate in the body. The effect is poor health and possibly disease. Poor emotional regulation can work the same way in the body.
Have you ever noticed the tension in your jaw, hands, or shoulders after being stressed or angry? Our physical bodies react to the emotions we experience. In the same way, chronic emotional suppression can build up in various parts of our bodies, causing discomfort and tightness. When the body is in a consistent state of responding to an emotion that has been left to fester, the brain constantly sends signals to the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, and muscles to manage those feelings. The constant flow of hormones associated with emotions can cause damage over time:
- Stomach discomfort and ulcers
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension and pain
- Inflammation of cells
- Unwanted weight gain or loss
- Bowel issues
- Sexual difficulty or disinterest
When emotions are not expressed in a healthy way, they can build up in certain areas of the body. Humans typically experience this issue through neck, shoulder, and back pain. However, emotions are stored in the hips, as well. It is a common practice in yoga to perform hip openers to release sedentary emotions that cause tightness in the hips and lower abdomen. In this way, emotions can be released through the movement of the body.
How to Raise Your Vibration
The key to emotional wellness is learning how to transmute difficult feelings and raise your emotional frequency. You can improve your emotional intelligence by learning how to better identify emotions, actively experiencing those feelings, and moving through the situation using healthy options.
First, learn about your emotional cues. It is not uncommon to be ignorant of your own emotional cues. It can become a habit to feel an emotion and then suppress it in order to complete a task at work or make someone else happy.
When emotions become suppressed consistently, it can become difficult to recognize the ways in which our bodies are telling us to react. For example, if your hands are always tense, if your mood is always defensive, and if your breath is always shallow, then how would you know that you are experiencing anger?
Here is a six-step process, based on the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) model developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, for individuals who may have become overly attached or detached from their emotional responses:
- Describe the factual circumstances of an event (what happened?)
- Examine the root causes of the event (why did this happen?)
- Make a list of the physical and emotional feelings associated with the event (how did this make you feel?)
- How did you want to react to the event? (what are your impulses?)
- What was your actual reaction to the event? (how did you behave while emotions were running high?)
- How did your actions affect the situation? (how do your emotions affect your life?)
This process requires honesty and objectivity. If you have a difficult time assessing your emotional responses, there are healthy ways to improve your internal emotional intelligence:
- Eliminate alcohol assumption and drug use
- Regularly meditate
- Limit behaviors that mask your emotions, like emotional eating or walking away from confrontation
- Keep an emotion journal
- Talk to a licensed therapist
Sit with your emotions. Sensory perception of stimuli is neutral until consciousness creates an opinion about it . Grief, worry, and anger don’t feel good, but they are important aspects of being human:
- Difficult emotions allow us to empathize with and understand others.
- Experiencing discomfort and pain helps us develop essential coping skills.
- Low-frequency emotions can clue us into alternative life choices.
If we hide from our emotions or try to cover them up, we don’t learn from them, and we can experience the issues described above. It is not only important to avoid suppressing emotions, but it is healthy to fully experience them. When you first feel an emotion, try and name it. Become adept at being specific with names; a difference exists between anger and frustration. The more you practice identifying your emotional cues, the easier this action will become. Once you’ve identified the emotion, experience it:
- Cry when you are sad. During a time of grief, it is okay to look at pictures or listen to songs that remind you of someone you’ve lost.
- Exercise when you are angry. Running, boxing, and swimming are excellent methods of releasing anger. Everyone releases emotions differently, so find what works best for you.
- Celebrate when you are happy. It is appropriate to actively celebrate an accomplishment or milestone. Give yourself and others credit by participating in an enjoyable activity.
Raise your vibration. While it is important to fully experience and express your emotions, it is not healthy to remain in them. Wellness and living an overall happy life begins with taking control of your emotions. There are many ways to elevate your energetic frequency. (there are those you can do or you can work with an energy healer and the many benefits that provides!)
Immediate actions include putting your mind and body in an emotion that vibrates at a higher frequency than where you currently reside.
- Participate in breathing exercises
- Increase your vibration by increasing your targeted heart rate
- Imagine or write about situations that bring joy, love, and peace into your life
Long-term practice and lifestyle changes are equally important in raising your vibration and consistently staying in a frequency that supports health and wellness. The following are great ways to give you a chronic dose of good vibes:
- Consistent yoga (physical) and meditation (mental/spiritual) practice
- Keep your heart healthy
- Practice gratitude by keeping a journal or through other expressions
- Be generous. You will get what you put out into the world (Law of Attraction)
- Monitor your thoughts and actions
- Pray and practice other rituals that connect you to higher frequencies
- Go out in nature and physically connect to the earth
- Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated
- Limit alcohol and drug consumption
- Rest often and get plenty of sleep
- Laugh and find ways to be silly
The list of ways to live a life of high-frequency emotions is long. A lifelong shift occurs when you get escape emotional patterns and participate in activities that bring you out of low-frequency emotions. Even residing at contentment, acceptance, and reason can help shift you out of draining and damaging emotional patterns and into life-sustaining frequencies. Above all, accept yourself and constantly strive toward growth. Life is a wheel of emotions, and it is quite the ride.
If you found this article helpful check out others in these series covering topics like increasing your emotional energy, the benefits of yogic breathing and so much more. Look in the “Well Being” category under the Health and Wellness menu item. We even cover Reiki and Energy Healing.