Neuroscientist, psychologist, and author, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D., believes that we have more control over our emotions than we think. For 25 years, Dr. Barrett has been scanning brains, analyzing psychology tests, and mapping facial expressions in order to study emotions.
Dr. Barrett believes that when we can change the way in which we view our emotional reactions... and can change some of the ingredients that make up our emotional states, then we can have more control over our emotions and can temper our emotional suffering. It takes time and intentional focus.
An example is that we may awaken in the morning dehydrated or with a stomach ache, but, many times, our minds may project that physical problem into a mental feeling and project ourselves into a 'mental fog forecast' for the day... "I feel old... I'm not very good at my job... I have a yicky meeting this afternoon... going to burn my dinner..." But, the reality is that the situation in the morning was from a physical cause and NOT a mental one. When we can learn to recognize these situations for what they are, we can alter our emotional reactions and their consequences.
Watch this interesting Ted Talk by Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D., the Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University: