SO, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
It would be easy to assume that Emotions, Feelings and Moods are just synonyms for the same thing.
But they’re not, they come from a different part of the brain and serve a different purpose.
Let’s dive in and find out what the differences are and also look at how Tantra can help to process our feelings and emotions. More importantly, let’s look at how Tantra can help keep us on an even keel emotionally…
There are 3 main parts to the Human Brain.
- Reptilian Brain – this is the very core and most ancient part of our brain responsible for survival – it controls heart rate, breathing, body temperature, balance, eating and sex
- Limbic Brain – this is the instinctive part of our brain responsible for raw reactions to stimulus – it controls our fight, flight, freeze response and also our raw emotions, memory and learning
- NeoCortex – this is our rational thinking brain responsible for our thought processes as well as our senses, perception and attention
Emotions come from the Limbic brain – these are the very basic reactions which stem from deep within our instinctive brain.
Emotions are the Raw Data and are the starting point of our whole emotional life.
Essentially, an event or stimulus occurs and our limbic brain reacts to the stimulus. These reactions only last a few seconds. We can’t control these reactions because these are actual chemical reactions.
Our emotions are an important part of our brain function. Emotions serve to protect us and need to be processed and understood, not suppressed or ignored. And if we can master how to tune into our emotions, we can master ourselves
There are 6 primary emotions…
These 6 emotions are expressed quite clearly on our faces – it’s easy to recognise anger, disgust, surprise, sadness, happiness and fear because they all look distinctly different on the human face.
Our feelings on the other hand, are how our mind interprets the emotions and how our brain attaches a meaning to it.
Our feelings come from our NeoCortex – the thinking brain.
There are hundreds of feelings – including curiosity, bitterness, admiration, comfortable, worry, shame, guilt, joy, satisfaction, contentment, resilience, fulfillment, ecstasy, bliss, aggravation, adoring, confused, doubtful, hurt, vigilance, apprehension, terror, serenity, boredom, trust, resentment, rejection, disappointment, anxiety, anticipation, entrapment, freedom, awkward, astonished, concerned, cautious, disinterested, excited, flustered, grumpy, humbled, listless, panicked, playful, serious, shy, uneasy, vibrant and many more…
Emotions and feelings are tightly interlinked.
Here’s an example…
You experience the loss of a beloved after a relationship breakup. So you experience sadness. The sadness is triggered from within your body – you may want to slump over your desk, sleep in, cry, sigh, slow down and not see people. These are real reactions – let them be there…
The underlying emotion here is sadness and this comes from deep within your body – it’s involuntary. And it’s important to let the emotion of sadness be there so that you can process it.
On top of this emotion of sadness might also sit the feelings of guilt (for taking time out from your normal activities), shame (that things didn’t work out), resentment (that you may need to start all over again in a new relationship at some point), terror (that you may never meet another suitable partner) and hurt (that negative things were said and done before the relationship ended).
You may also be feeling apprehension about entering into another relationship – this might be based on fear of another loss – thus the emotion sitting beneath the apprehension is fear.
The importance of understanding feelings versus emotions is that knowing this distinction can help you to improve your relationship with yourself and your partner
For example, if your partner is angry, it’s helpful to understand that the anger may be sitting on top of fear or sadness. Knowing this can help you feel more compassion towards your partner.
I like to process emotional events the following way…
Look at the ACTION or REACTION –> Identify the FEELINGS –> Understand the EMOTIONS sitting beneath it all
BEHAVIOUR –> THINKING (NeoCortex) BRAIN –> INSTINCTIVE (Limbic) BRAIN
Why does this awareness help?
Because if we can understand what’s happening emotionally within ourselves and with our partner, we can have more stable and happier relationships, with clearer communication and a safer haven for both partners to flourish
Another example is if you are feeling resentful, it would be helpful to get underneath this layer and understand what this resentment is being triggered by? Is it fear of loss? Is it anger about some trust which has been broken between you at some point in the past? Is it anger that things are not travelling within the timeframe you expected within the relationship?
Understanding our feelings and the emotions which sit underneath them can help us to navigate our relationships more effectively so that we can enjoy a healthier partnership
By acknowledging how you feel, and the emotions sitting beneath your feelings, helps you to be more vulnerable with yourself and with your partner. This open-ness helps you to feel closer to yourself and closer as a couple
In fact, the main difference between emotions and feelings is time.
Emotions come first. These are the knee jerk reactions which come from our Limbic brain and last for a few seconds only.
Thus emotions are fleeting.
Fear and anger for example are instant.
How we then feel about the event which made us angry or fearful in the first place – resentment, mistrust, abandonment, apprehension, doubt – all these feelings come afterwards.
These latter feelings are secondary. The feeling is what happens when we let the emotion “sink in” – once our NeoCortex decides what our secondary reaction is going to be to the raw which came from the Limbic brain.
Feelings therefore are the meanings (from the thinking NeoCortex brain) which we attach to the emotion (from the raw, instinctive Limbic brain).
Essentially, Emotions are the bottom layer, Feelings sit on top
Emotions are the primary reaction, Feelings are the secondary interpretation
Limbic brain first, NeoCortex second
Our Limbic reaction is involuntary, but we can control how our NeoCortex processes the emotional reaction and the meaning which we attach to the emotional response
We can then sometimes carry these feelings around for hours, days or weeks.
In fact, a collection of feelings which hang around for a longer period of time are called ‘moods’.
This could be a positive moood or a negative mood – either way – a mood consists of multiple feelings which persist for a prolonged period of time.
Understanding our own emotions and feelings, as well as our partner’s, all adds up to Emotional Intelligence, and a higher Emotional Intelligence gives us healthier, happier relationships
The key is to acknowledge the Limbic reaction, and to adopt some skills to help us process our NeoCortex reaction to the emotion in a healthier way – this is where Tantra can support you
SO HOW CAN TANTRA HELP?
Emotions, Feelings and Moods come up all the time within a relationship and also within ourselves, whether we are single or have a partner. The key is to develop some awareness around the feelings and to understand the emotions sitting beneath the feelings. We also want some tools to help us prolong the positive moods and to dissolve the negative ones.
This is where Tantra can help. Tantra provides tools to help us identify both emotions and feelings and help us put these into context within ourselves and within our relationship. The steps of Tantra help to develop your Emotional Intelligence so that you can be a better single, a better partner and enjoy healthier interactions on all levels.
Tantra is not just about Tantric Sex. Tantra also embodies a series of very potent, tried and trusted steps which help you to become more aware of how you or your partner may be feeling. Tantra is a connected and deeply emotional approach to intimacy – not just sexual intimacy but also emotional closeness
With the steps of Tantra you can peel the onion layers of feelings, get underneath them, understand the raw emotions at the core, and minimise any unresolved feelings which could bank up as a negative long term mood.
And because Tantra is all about deepening your emotional connection, not just sexual, Tantra can also help you to prolong the positive moods by helping you feel limitless as a couple and helping you to sparkle together.
The process of Tantra is thus a very powerful way to become more deeply connected with your partner emotionally so that you can also have a more deeply fulfilling physical and sexual relationship
Tantra is not just about Tantric Sex, it’s also about the 4 C’s – Care, Clarity, Contact and Communication
So if you’re ready for a deeper connection with yourself and your partner, both inside and outside the bedroom, then jump into Tantra to discover some easy steps which are natural as well as fun.
At Sparkle Tantra, we offer the trusted wisdom of Tantra two ways…
- At Home… try our “Tantra for Couples & Singles Beginner’s Webinar” which is suitable for both Couples and Singles with no prior experience necessary. This step-by-step online course allows you to discover the skills and a pathway for more intimacy in the privacy of your own home. This webinar is a series of pre-recorded videos which you can stop and start at any time and watch on your phone, TV or laptop.
- 1-on-1… if you would prefer your own private sessions, work with Francesca one-on-one as either a Couple or a Single and she will guide you with customised sessions to suit your own personal needs. These one-on-one sessions are available over Skype, over the phone or in person. Reach out to Francesca for a chat about how she can help you at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to connecting with you at Sparkle Tantra soon