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  • Writer's picturefrederique STREF

What guides our decisions?

For some, reason, for others intuition, for others infatuation, for others emotions... each one has his own perception of the world, perception conditioned by his initial structure, his personality, his character, his fantasy, his education, the environment from which he comes, a morality, a religion, a spirituality, an atheism....

I often hear "I would like to manage my emotions", let's take the verb "to manage" in its definition: to administer the business, a domain, a trade, a guardianship, a whole vocabulary linked to a function. As for "emotions": to feel, to live, to experience, to greet, to accept, to recognize, to express, to savour... a whole vocabulary linked to the Being.

So, what can I hear from this request? Of course, the meaning will be different for each person at that moment and the spectrum of interpretation is wide. So-called reasoned decision making sometimes awakens an "incoherent" or "anachronistic" reaction in some people, and yes, of course, this is what we need to explore in sessions.

The study of emotions covers the traditional fields of biology and psychology. Emotion is a conscious and personal experience. It can be assessed by its subjective aspects, as expressed, or by objective somatic (mimicry, posture or behaviour) or visceral (physiological responses) observable manifestations.

All these aspects are only an imperfect indicator of the emotion felt, since once again the singularity of each person intervenes. Many unknowns remain. A passionate controversy still agitates the different schools about the relationship between emotions and cognition. For some, the appearance of an emotion is dependent on a cognitive evaluation of the provoking situation; for others, the related information can be transformed directly into emotion, without cognitive mediation. We can also add the complexity of relations to the environment, the social influence, the level of maturity, the capacity of learning, the internal representation at a precise moment, the symbolization... certain memories can reactivate an already old emotion, or autonomous reactions can be associated to certain emotional states, so that their occurrence is enough to recreate the corresponding emotion.

The appearance of emotions and the observation of their expression is singular and indicates something very important. It is certain that after two years of deprivation of freedom, of submission to new codes, of destabilizing daily propaganda, of injunction, of binary division, as if the only model within our reach was black or white, makes the common, banal emotional disorders often uncomfortable and even disturbing. There is indeed a whole range of pathological disorders directly or indirectly involving emotions and expressed in a predominant way either at the psychic level such as mood disorders (anxiety, depression) or at the somatic level such as insomnia, diseases with a psychosomatic component, but fortunately we are still human beings capable of grasping all the shades of grey existing between black and white and the binary world is reserved for the machines

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