Sangeetha Pulapaka

From your heart? No, just kidding! As babies and young children, we’re totally in touch with our emotional core. We know what we’re feeling…and it’s very transparent. Think of a young child—their emotions are often raw, visceral, and obvious. Give a toddler candy and they experience joy! Take the candy away and they experience anger, hurt, or even fear.

Mothers of young infants know—babies can pick up on facial expressions and verbal tone right away. They are very intuitive when it comes to emotions because they’re just starting to grasp and understand them. They haven’t yet learned to “act” like adults.

In fact, in one study, mothers were given instructions to show no emotions or blankly stare at their baby for one minute. At first, the babies displayed confusion. They tried to mimic their mother’s face. They even smiled, laughed and cooed, trying to elicit a warm response from their mom. But quickly the babies sensed something was wrong and Mom’s lack of response caused them to experience fear. Unable to pick up on what Mom was communicating and feeling left them feeling very insecure and upset. Within just one minute or less, the babies in the study were all in full meltdown mode.

Then the researchers did the opposite. Mom was able to comfort the baby and the baby was quickly calmed and happy. As soon as mom could express emotion, the babies felt the connection and were sated.

Unfortunately, as we grow up, we learn to hold back our emotions. We learn that it’s not okay to be too emotional. How many of us have been told, “Don’t be so emotional” or “Don’t get so upset about it”?

This leads to the limiting belief that our emotions aren’t okay. That they’re too much. That we’re too much. That our emotions have made us hysterical or annoying. That we “need to calm down.”

You know what? Let it out!

It’s okay to feel! It’s okay to have emotions! Emotions are healthy and propel us forward. In fact, the Latin root of emotion is the same as motion and motivation—all meaning to move forward. Emotions spur us to action. What are your thoughts on this, RAB? Let me know! Bye!