It relies on conscious thinking.
Most emotions are habits. And habits are much faster than conscious thinking.
Before you know you’re angry, you want to put someone down.
Before you know you’re sad, you want to drink or overeat.
You won’t recall your diet or health resolutions.
You’ll forget promises to your spouse.
Mr. Hyde won’t remember what Dr. Jekyll learned in anger-management class.
Reduce Anger with
A brief exercise, 12 times a day for six weeks will prevent most anger and destructive behavior.
You’ll be more flexible.
You won’t overeat or drink too much.
You’ll have more interest and enjoyment.
By the time we’re adults, most emotions are conditioned. We feel more or less the same way when certain things happen in certain physical and mental states.
After repeated association of A with B…
When A happens, B happens automatically.
“A” can be cues in the environment (something happens or somebody does something):
The bell rings, the dog gets excited.
Your phone vibrating you reach for it.
The sound of laughter makes you feel happy, guilty, ashamed, or sad.
“A” can be physiological states:
Tired, hungry, thirsty, cold, hot, too much caffeine, sugar, nicotine, or alcohol.
“A” can be a mental state:
Certain thoughts or memories.
Emotions and Behavior
Emotions move us. (The Latin root of the word, “emotion,” means “to move.”) They prepare us to do things by sending signals to the muscles and organs of the body.
When you have an emotion, you’re moved to do something.
The emotions that motivate bad behavior are those that make us feel uncomfortable or devalued:
Guilt, shame, anxiety, sadness, sorrow.
To avoid feeling uncomfortable or devalued, many people devalue others with anger, resentment, envy, or jealousy.
Or they’ll overeat, overwork, or drink too much.
Their emotional range become narrow, rigid, and weak. They’re resentful or nervous or depressed. Very little interest and enjoyment.
It feels like other people “push your buttons.”