Once you’ve learned to identify your emotions, you can start looking at how particular emotional states impact you—and subsequently impact others based on your reactions to those emotions.
“Both positive and negative emotions can cause the body to react in different ways, like restlessness, jitteriness, headaches, muscle tension, and stomachaches,” explains licensed mental health counselor, GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC.
For example, adds Fedrick, if the amygdala processes an event as exciting or enjoyable, there will be a release of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, etc., that will influence how the body reacts to this event. “If the amygdala senses something as scary, shameful, irritating, worrisome, etc., there will be a release of epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol, which are all responsible for our fight-or-flight response that is designed to keep us safe.”
The more you get into the habit of identifying your emotions and staying present with what they evoke in you, the easier it will be to notice when emotions are spiraling out of control—and further, reel them in so they don’t explode onto someone else.