On a daily basis, I find myself sifting through a handful of varying emotions and thoughts. As these emotions and thoughts collide with each other, I find myself wondering if any of them are truly cohesive in nature. Some days when time slows down, my mind is full of energy. On other days, I feel distracted and easily irritated by the littlest things. Nevertheless, no matter what my state of mind entails, I’m always able to gather my thoughts to write.
In my life as a human, I find myself inundated with an extraordinary amount of information. There are whispers in the corners of my cells, there are thoughts that dance across synapses, and ideas that flicker just beyond memory. It’s been said that a person doesn’t so much live their life as live the ideas of others. I suppose this is partly true for me, for I am humbly attempting to escape the idea that I am merely a host for many ideas floating about.
We have wonderfully complex minds and equally complex perceptions. Thoughts run through our heads continuously and our perception of the world shapes how we feel about incoming information. I have always been interested in the workings of the mind. Whether I’m standing in line at the grocery store or walking through a museum, I’m constantly thinking about what goes on in my head as well as seeing how other people perceive the world around them. We are constantly bombarded with information from the moment we wake up to the time we lay down to sleep.
Each individual’s “perception” is based on their own experiences, upbringing, environment, and more. It affects how we treat others around us and ultimately controls our personality. As humans, perception is the foundation of how we judge and make choices — some good, some bad — that impact the world around us. I believe that in order to reach deep introspective levels of consciousness, one needs to deeply understand their perception. If we can understand how our brain perceives information and emotions, then it’ll be easier for us to create lasting change in our lives (the kind that lasts forever).
These thoughts are constant and what usually keeps me up at night and it brings me to question how the brain goes from a thought to an emotion. I pondered that maybe if I can figure it out I can also figure out a way to turn them off as well.
What I learned along the years from trying to wreck my brain with all this is that our feelings rule our behavior and influence how we see the world. We all experience a wide range of emotions that arise from thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and physiological changes. Emotions are not just about hormonal responses from our body, but they are also complex mental states. For example, when you lose someone you love, you are faced with five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and later on acceptance. This is because we try to understand our circumstances that are sometimes beyond our control that lead to that loss.
When my dad died recently this year, I was in denial. I kept telling myself and others, “he’ll get better; he’ll be back home soon.” I tried to convince myself for days that the news was false, that something was going to happen to change the reality of his death. Everything felt like a blur yet I could still remember how it felt till this very day.
Everyone deals with grief differently. There are no blueprints for coping with loss. These are thoughts and emotions that can’t be easily perceived or explained. There’s no physiologic mechanism in our bodies that can easily turn them off. They are what they are, and it is what it is. This is true for each and every one of us as we grieve. Grief is a wide-eyed, open-mouthed howler monkey that sits on your chest and steals the breath from your body, lifts you from the ground with each sob, coughs up dust from the depths of your soul, then slams you into the ground.
Most of us reach a point in our lives where emotions become more prominent and more important to how we make decisions. Emotions are incredibly powerful. When we let them overshadow our minds, they can cause us to make choices that aren’t always in our best interest. It’s hard to deal with your emotions when they take over, but it’s even harder to hide from them since they’re part of what makes us who we are.
At the end of the day, it’s always up to you and how you deal with it and how you perceive it. Whether you wallow in sadness or overcome it, there’s never a right answer. The only right advice would be just to take your time…
* * *
Jessy Mallo, 23, is a nursing graduate and currently working as a content developer in Wazile.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.