Why Emotions Matter

"They ensure our survival. They make us smarter. If we didn't need them, they wouldn't exist." -Marc Brackett, "Permission to Feel."

Emotions influence

  • Our attention and memory which determine our ability to learn.
  • Whether we rely on our gut instinct or carefully weigh facts when making important decisions.
  • Every aspect of the social relationships that are the most important element of our lives.
  • The choices we make and the way our body functions that influence our health - from poor diet, excessive drinking, and inactivity to blood pressure, and healing time.
  • Our ability to be creative in the ways that advance society and humanity through innovation and our ability to be creative in the ways that build resilience, like finding a way to get through hard times.

This is the tiniest snippet of the decades of research that clearly demonstrate the importance of emotion in our lives.

 

Sharing this with you, and you with others, is my effort to get people to give a damn about...

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Emotional Strength

Too often, "emotional" and "strength" are seen as opposites.

 

There is an evolutionary component to this belief. We are instinctually wary of those who seem unpredictable - it feels threatening and dangerous. So if our inability to self-regulate makes us unpredictable to others, then we have a problem.

 

The bigger problem, though, is we have also come to believe that emotional suppression is the solution. The solution to appearing predictable. The solution to appearing strong.

 

It's not. Suppressing emotion makes us weaker - both mentally and physically.

 

I'll be adding content on emotional strength. I hope it challenges some of your beliefs about emotions and strength - and I hope you take the time to reconcile and work with those beliefs…changing them if necessary. I hope this series motivates you to assess your personal emotional strength. And I hope this series provides you with a few tangible strategies to adjust as needed.

 

Because the...

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Stress & meaning

People who experienced the highest number of stressful events in the last year were most likely to consider their lives meaningful.

So how can stress be good for you?

 

Well it has to do with how you think about stress. When we believe stress is bad for us, the normal and expected parts of life can start to feel like an imposition, keeping our lives from how they really should be.

 

When we step back and examine the things in life that cause us the most stress, we may find that in fact they are also the things that bring us the most meaning or are deeply important to us.

 

Try this for yourself. Make a list of the things that cause you the most stress. Then make a list of your most meaningful roles, relationships, activities, goals, or causes.

 

How much overlap is there between the two lists? Why are those things important to you? How would you feel if some of those areas of meaning were no longer in your life?

 

 The same experiences that give rise to...

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The stress paradox

High levels of stress are associated with both distress and well-being

Have you heard that stress is bad for you? Bad for your health? And should be avoided or reduced? Most people have - it's a common belief.

 

Unfortunately, that is neither the complete nor the most accurate picture. More recent research is showing that stress can actually be good for you. Every time I teach about stress I am reminded how few people know this critical new information.

 

 

Even though most people view stress as harmful, higher levels of stress seem to go along with things we want: love, health, and satisfaction with life.

 

People: "I just wish I was less stressed."

Me: "Are you sure?"

 

Here's a glimpse of some of the new(ish) science that's not getting enough attention:

 

Researchers asked more than 125,000 people ages 15+ from 121 countries one question: "did you feel a great deal of stress yesterday?" Then computed an index of national stress.

 

The...

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Welcome

Hi, I'm Piers. 

I am a human performance professional with 10+ years' experience providing coaching, training, and consulting to improve resilience, leadership, performance, and culture. I have diverse experience working with people in sport, military, and other high-risk occupations and want to use this blog to share the individual skills and concepts that can change lives as well as the lessons I've learned along the way. I hope this space adds value to your day, enjoy!

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