General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

Why don't I feel emotions in my head?

Asked by SergeantQueen (7402points) March 13th, 2018

I feel them in my stomach/chest area. When I’m really upset and sobbing or having a panic attack I feel my stomach hurt. Not like normal stomach pain just… This empty feeling but it hurts (I’m having a hard time explaining). When I’m happy and hyper I feel like all bouncy in my chest, like a ball of happiness.

Why am I not feeling these feelings in my head? Like physically feeling I mean.

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15 Answers

thisismyusername's avatar

Emotions manifest in the body. But it’s important to remember that the relationship also goes the other way. Since there is no clear distinction between mind/body, you can affect mind states via the body as well.

Focusing on tightness in your body and doing progressive relaxation can generate emotional relaxation. And there is evidence that even fake smiling can trigger actual happiness.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Emotions are not in your head. They are in your body, chest, stomach . . .

SergeantQueen's avatar

Why is that exactly though? Is it just because your brain doesn’t know why it’s feeling that way, so it just assigns the emotion to a part of the body like @thisismyusername says?

funkdaddy's avatar

It might sound silly, but your brain doesn’t move. It also doesn’t feel much, so there’s not a lot a lot physically happening there.

Your emotions cause changes throughout your body, things like increased heart rate and tightening of your muscles can be felt in your chest and stomach as true physical feelings. After a while you associate the little differences with the emotions also going on in your head.

Nervousness might be a really distinct example. Sweaty palms, feeling agitated, the need to fidget, tightening of your stomach, and general stress all become associated with that nervous feeling that is caused mostly by your thoughts.

rojo's avatar

Just guessing but maybe along the same lines as people who see numbers as colors?

LornaLove's avatar

This is a bit of a scientific question and many have debated it, especially with the mind and body connection. I think it is because when we are upset we release certain stress hormones and also pull our muscles into certain shapes. For e.g. when I am tense I think I scrunch my shoulders up a bit. It kind of works that way, well that is my theory anyway. It’s a physiological response. Some illness kind of proves this like psycho-symptomatic symptoms. I suppose the good news is, if we respond so vigorously physically to thought then we can assume positive thoughts will have a beneficial effect.

LostInParadise's avatar

The ancient Egyptians thought we used our hearts for thinking. I believe they discarded brains as useless material when they created mummies.

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kritiper's avatar

Because your brain has no muscle.

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snowberry's avatar

Good for you if you feel emotions anywhere in your body. I can’t say I ever have, and I don’t understand what people mean when they talk about such things.

I mean, if I were to cry long enough and hard enough, my eyes would be puffy and I’d get a headache and my nose would be stuffed up and I’d generally feel miserable. But that isn’t feeling the emotion there. That’s just the side effects of crying so long and so hard.

Sometimes I have laughed so hard my stomach ached, but that’s from tightening my stomach muscles for so long. not from feeling emotion there.

So, I just don’t get it, and I suppose I never will.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I found this which is kind of interesting…
Especially this image in particular Thoughts?

LostInParadise's avatar

The philosopher William James had an interesting take on emotions. He believed that the emotion came after the bodily reaction, that the emotion was in fact triggered by the body. I don’t go along with this idea. There can be tears of joy as well as sadness, and laughing in response to being tickled is not the same as laughing at a joke. Still there may be some truth to the theory.

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