Emotions: Why Do We Need Them?

Everyone deals with an assortment of emotions on a daily basis. Emotions can be difficult to understand, but they play a very important role in our lives. Many individuals struggle with the complexity of their feelings—and they may prefer not to have to experience them at all.

Life would be easier if we didn't have to undergo the ups and downs that that emotions cause in our lives. So why do we need them?

1. Communication: Emotions help us share our experiences with others. They can come across in verbal and non-verbal communication. When emotions are involved in the way we communicate, other people can better understand what we are trying to express. Emotions are signals that something is happening; they can serve as ways let us know that things around us are okay, or not okay.

2. Motivation: Emotions help us feel motivated and accomplish tasks. They can trigger certain behaviors or energize us to get things done. For example, if you are feeling angry about something, you may use it as an opportunity to assert yourself. The emotion motivates you to express your belief–something you may not have done otherwise. Emotions can also help us save time in how we respond to a situation, particularly if we are in danger.

3. Connecting with others: Emotions help us empathize with, appreciate and connect with others. Emotions can help people create more meaningful and authentic connections with others. By using our emotions, we can connect with others on a deeper, more personal level.

4. Wise Mind: Emotions are a very important part of our wise mind, which allows us to both feel our feelings and focus on the facts. It utilizes emotions and logic together; therefore we need emotions for wise mind in order to make the best decisions. Emotions can act as signals or alarms that tell us to pay attention to something. They cause that “gut feeling” about something, which can help us act effectively and keep ourselves safe emotionally and physically.

Clearly, emotions are essential in our lives; we need them for many different purposes. But what do you do if you are having trouble tolerating and managing your emotions? The most important thing you can do is to talk about it. Holding feelings in, repressing them, or trying to push them away can make your feelings more difficult to manage down the road. Talking with a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling can go a long way.

You could also write in a journal about what you are experiencing. Connecting with a therapist can strongly benefit you if are find you aren't getting enough relief from talking with people you trust, if you’re experiencing self destructive behaviors, or if you’re having suicidal thoughts or urges. At Mindsoother, our therapists are experts in helping people manage emotions and we would love to help you too!