How Does Feeling And Perception Arises – A Psychological Analysis

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There isn’t one theory about how or when the soul enters the body. The consensus suggests that this phenomenon happens at the time of conception. Others believe that it enters the fetus’s tiny body later on. Regardless of when and how every human being enters this realm with a soul. Some make it, some don’t. The very first thing doctors look for after a mother is done giving birth is the child’s cry. We could get into the medical explanation of why it is important, but what about the “how”? How does a newborn go from being peacefully asleep in his womb to a crying creature within seconds? How does he know that the environment around him has changed? The differences are obvious, warm versus cold. Is it the sensors found throughout the body that observes and analyzes the conditions in which we are placed? And as soon as there is a sudden shift, they realize, and they pound the panic alarm leading to a cry. Or maybe it’s confusion and distress, but how can a baby even know what it feels like without having a single bit of knowledge after a mere couple of minutes of age?

The Scientific Origin of Feelings

There is an entity in our brain called the brain-stem. Within the latter are located sensory neurons; they send the signal to our brain that something is wrong, that we are experiencing pain. Sensory experiences are both physical and mental. When a kid is running around and falls, scraping his knee, he will cry out of pain. However, we wonder about the source of pain. Is the cry a reaction to the fear he felt after hurting himself? Was it triggered by the sight of blood? There are many ways of explaining or hypothesizing how one feels.

Fear: A Feeling Behind Every Other One?

First, fear. The concept of fear, to be afraid of something, is to dread experiencing a specific context. The issue with fear is that it is easily influence-able as it is our biggest enemy as a species. Our fear of the unknown, of those around us, of ourselves, and of the world we’ve created has rendered us weak in the face of reality. And weakness is easily manipulated. Procrastination, for example, is a day-to-day example that can be used; postponing work till the last second is a sign of fear. You might be thinking that you’re too good or not good enough which is what’s stopping you from accomplishing your work; either way, you’re afraid. Unfortunately, this sensation spreads to all levels, it is felt both mentally and physically. It can almost be described as a “joker” card, almost always replaced by a more straightforward emotion like anger or sadness. Fear is instability, and instability can only be felt if one can feel emotions. Interestingly, we could argue that it stems from the inside, and is felt physically once it reaches a certain limit. For example, hearing about a crime that occurred can trigger someone to the point where they feel physically sick. So we wonder, are emotions translated through physical sensations?

Perception: How Does It Alter Our Sensations?

We need our bodies and brains to express our thoughts and emotions. Communication, regardless of its format, is how we transform abstract ideas into concrete concepts. However, we mustn’t forget that we are each a mosaic made up of millions of pieces that we gathered throughout our lives, and so our perception of certain things varies accordingly. The sensors previously mentioned, located all around the body, are subject to our perception. Pain, happiness, anger, and heartbreak…are all sensations that were accorded a tag: “good” and “bad”. Yet, not everyone has the same understanding of what is pleasant and what isn’t. Even with this inner indicator that suggests and alarms the system in case of an attack, perception, and understanding play a big part in how pain is expressed and communicated. Take the playing kid who injures himself as an example; if his guardian does not react to him hurting his knee, the child who has not yet developed a sense of knowledge will not think that anything is wrong. He won’t be afraid, as previously mentioned, and would not identify pain with his scrapes. This might be a double-edged sword, however. Because pain is a sensory feeling that we recognize thanks to an innate indicator if one doesn’t perceive it as a negative thing it can be problematic. Because, as their ideologies and opinions form around these painful things, if they believe that this is not a bad feeling then they might harm others. But what does that mean? Is there one way of understanding emotions and their variations? Isn’t this too theoretical for the complexity that is humankind?

Reactions: A Generalisation of Everything We Do

Most, if not all, of our interactions, are reactions to micro-events happening around us. A conversation is one person reacting to what the other is saying. A fight is one person reacting to the other person’s attack. A child crying is a reaction to being hungry or needing a diaper change. In short, everything we do is a reaction to something that has happened sometime in the past. There’s a concept called the “Black Swan” that describes the peek of any relevant moment in our lives; every single one of these moments has a buildup somewhere we might not know, but it has a source and has gone through several steps to eventually become the said black swan. In simpler words, there are no coincidences, just “bound to happen” moments. With this being said, we wonder if we are the cause of any pain or happiness we feel. What if an action done weeks ago led to trouble today? The same could be applied to sensations; this innate sensor might just be a narrator in the plot, creating this sense of fear or happiness to conclude the black swan. Or maybe it’s just reacting to an external force causing either damage or improving our state. Receiving a surprise check – although the Black Swan theory contradicts any form of surprise – is bound to trigger some form of happiness stemming from within your chest. You can physically feel the happiness as your insides are swarmed with butterflies and lightness. However, nothing touched the being, it was just a piece of information received. Getting a phone call about a devastating loss is bound to trigger what feels like a wave of sadness; you can feel it all around your body, taking a toll on how you feel. 

Co-Existence: Delving Deeper Into Our Essence

In the current reality we live in, there are many extremes. Some believe we are too sensitive while others argue that we have become desensitized to others around us. One of the most prominent feelings that link us to our humanity is sympathy. Being able to feel what another is going through without being at the center of it is a characteristic that makes us who we are. If everything we do stems from fear, or is a reaction, or is based on knowledge, then how are we able to feel for someone, especially when they’re going through a hard time? Thanks to our perceptive and analytical abilities, we can create an image so accurately that we begin to feel it ourselves. Looking at someone we love experiencing a form of pain is inevitably going to reflect on us. No matter how we try to avoid it, all of our lives revolve around sensation. We live to feel; everything we do is a pursuit of a positive feeling. Some might use drugs to create this sense of happiness, others might indulge in their own hobbies. Happiness does not have one definition, and nor does sadness. Assuming that both are at one end of the extreme, the plethora and range of emotions that lie between the two are endless. Interestingly, while the sensors are innate, indicating if something is not going well, most feelings can only be ‘unlocked’ or truly felt with experience. We can link this to the idea of understanding emotions and knowing the subject; feelings are acquired, or rather labeled, through experience. One cannot understand or feel heartbreak without relating to it. Without a sense of similarity, can one still feel said emotion?

Is Happiness The End Goal

It is said that the body has three centers: the brain, the heart, and the gut. Theoretically, the brain encompasses the mind that formulates thoughts. Our sense of logic stems from the latter. The heart and the gut are both feeling-based. The heart holds onto any sort of emotion, blissful or painful. We often talk about the link between the brain and heart, but we rarely ever mention the gut feeling that we get. We tend to ignore them, sometimes assuming that the feeling, usually protective and preventative, is a signal sent by another center to scare you. However, the sudden sinking feeling in your stomach and heightened anxiety, or simply the sensation that something’s wrong, is felt right at the center of your body. Your gut feeling is the only center that looks out for your safety purely based on instinct and potential unconscious analysis of the circumstances. After all, nothing is but a part of a black swan in the making. Additionally, the gut feeling we have is more often than not correct. Why do we ignore it when it’s a sensation that stems from the subconscious that is technically our mind? Why listen to the brain or to the heart, but not to the gut? We often hear about the pursuit of happiness and tend to utilize the tools we have to pave the way to our personal utopias. What if the key is to listen to one’s gut feeling? What if the “motherly instinct” we often hear about is our birth-givers’ gut feeling? Maybe they developed it as we lied in their bodies for months. We tend to ignore this inner feeling, this unconscious state, because we get carried away with the adventures of daily life, sinking in a pit of logical thinking, reputation belonging, and emotional teasing. What if we were told that today would be our last day on earth? Would we break out in total panic, chaos? Would we revel in our true nature, nurturing all three centers as the world caves in?

Exceptions: Are They Still Human?

We understand what we relate to most. Familiarity brings together belonging and relating. Without it, we are left dealing with the fruits – or poison – of our imagination. Nevertheless, there are exceptions in every situation. There is a rare condition that some people have where they are missing their sensory neurons and are unable to feel anything physically. No matter how much you cause them pain or harm, they won’t be able to feel it. However, that is very dangerous; in case of an emergency, the subject won’t know that something’s wrong because they can’t feel it. Pain is essential, even if it’s very unpleasant because it highlights some dysfunction somewhere in your body. There are also other cases of mental disturbance that alter one’s sensory receptors. Psychopaths, for example, cannot feel sympathy toward anyone. In fact, their range of emotions is completely different than that of a non-psychotic person. Depression is an abundance of negativity that is due to a chemical imbalance in one’s brain, destroying the indicator. Due to the complexity of human nature, we wonder if any of these feelings are true. Are they valid? Are they part of an equation that we’ve made sense of? Is pain truly painful or is it just our understanding of it? Is everything we do a reaction to the other? And if that’s the case, then are any of our feelings truly ours, or is it just another reflection?

Conclusion – Key Take Away

In conclusion, one of the most beautiful features of a human being is his ability to feel and express himself. Internal sensors indicate when we are happy or sad, experiencing pain or love, anger or peace…however, there are many factors to take into consideration. Fear, perception, knowledge, reactions, relating and more are to be acknowledged once we discuss how we feel. The neurotransmitters delivering the signals to the mind can get confused sometimes as there is no one way of viewing and processing emotion; there are always exceptions and differences.

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