For Sama, it is the documentary that Waad al-Kateab made to tell her daughter why they decided to stay in a besieged Aleppo from the beginning of the war until they had no choice but to leave, five years later. Among the harshness it shows, where there is also room for a miracle, there is a phrase that echoed in my brain for weeks: “in Aleppo there is no time for grief.” But the penalty is there. And it stays.

Traditionally, the emotional plane had been put in second place, and if we talk about critical situations, it was not even raised. For a few years until now, the importance of affections and the intimate way in which they relate to our body and therefore to our well-being has begun to be established. We call homeostasis the state of equilibrium between all the body systems that it needs to survive and function properly. Emotions are one of the tools that our body has to maintain this harmony. They give you information in a natural way about whether things are working well or not. A simple example, when you feel good your feelings are informing you that things are working well, otherwise if you find yourself in a circumstance of danger or suffering this will shake your homeostasis and will have an impact on your life and your health , it will warn you that you have to do something to correct it. Therefore, it is important to clarify that there are no negative or positive emotions. The appropriate thing is to talk about pleasant or unpleasant responses. All are necessary and contribute to developing our way of perceiving the environment.

What are emotions?

It is a reaction to the environment that is translated into physiological changes (release of hormones, blushing, flushing, dilation of the pupils, acceleration of the pulse …). This reply is given by a subjective interpretation of a perception of change or imbalance (or both). Emotions are unconscious and immediate, so they are not reasoned. After this first phase, the feelings that appear once we become aware of what we experienced come into play, it is to give meaning to that reaction. Thus we generate emotional response patterns that are learned responses to certain stimuli and transform into habits. Its purpose is to ensure our well-being.

The problem occurs when these patterns are inappropriate and we use harmful or obsessive resources or avoid risks by ignoring them. Avoiding a negative feeling makes us think that feeling it is the obstacle when in fact their role is to help us respond appropriately to the environment. These patterns generate unpleasant side feelings such as frustration or resentment.

Can emotional response patterns be changed?

Yes, they can be changed. To change these inappropriate and static guidelines we must identify the main emotion and thus be able to manage it from the understanding. Listening to our bodies is more than just a mantra used in advertisements. If we understand what he wants to tell us, we can build an adequate feeling that allows us to respond effectively.

We have to become aware of what happens to us and learn to create situations that produce better affection for us. In this way we will be educating ourselves to react more intelligently.