I am told that the neurological lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds. That is to say, the chemical part of it is, well, rather short-lived. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Joy. Fear. Love.
Think, driving a car and being cut off. Adrenalin rush. The brain, rightfully so, releases chemicals that are intended to give our bodies the ability to protect ourselves, react, and adapt. I don’t know the detail of those chemicals. I’m glad I have friends that are learning that (Teresa Posakony in particular). I do know the chemicals help us to survive. We may get angry, or tense when cut off on the road, but the chemical part of that is highly purposeful.
That’s the cool part, the adaptiveness.
I am also told that if that emotion, the 90 second experience, if fed by a source — an external experience, a person, a thought about the experience, a story, a judgement — can live for a lifetime. Protectiveness from a road experience can create the perceived need for protectiveness throughout a life in all of the unrelated places.
Fascinating, right? The body tricks us into believing that the 90 second experience is one to maintain hyper vigilantly is so many non-related places. Chemical, chemical, chemical.
I have my favorites. Well, not so favorite, but often present emotions. Fear of loss. Fear of an aloneness. To be clear, I’ve done plenty to become more aware of these. But to be honest, they are still there. This is common in us humans.
I don’t think the point is to be emotionless. But there is an awfully big point in becoming more…, updated…, about how emotions work us and how release is possible.
Perhaps, with some discipline, emotions are a temporary sensation. Perhaps, with some discipline, a gateway to keen and needed awareness in a well-rounded individual spiritual being having a human experience.
Just from 90 seconds.