#86 Emotions & Thinking Energy
01:06 Music Intro
02:00 What is Thinking Energy
07:55 Emotion on Cognitive Function
22:25 How Emotions Evolve
27:55 Positive Outcomes of High EQ
What is Thinking Energy?
"Thinking energy" refers to the mental resources or cognitive capacity required to engage in various cognitive processes, such as attention, perception, memory, problem-solving, decision-making, and reasoning.
- When thinking energy is high, individuals tend to be more alert, focused, and able to sustain attention on tasks.
- When thinking energy is low or depleted, cognitive processes can be compromised.
- Fatigue, multitasking, or overwhelming demands can deplete thinking energy and lead to decreased cognitive performance.
Emotions and Thinking Energy
Emotions can have both positive and negative effects on cognitive functioning and the allocation of thinking energy.
- Attentional Focus: Emotions can influence the allocation of attention, diverting cognitive resources towards the emotion-inducing stimuli or thoughts. For example, when experiencing strong emotions such as anger or fear, attention may become more focused on the source of those emotions.
- Cognitive Load: Intense or prolonged emotional states can increase cognitive load, requiring more mental effort and resources to manage and process emotions.
- Interference with Working Memory: Emotions can interfere with working memory, which is responsible for temporarily storing and manipulating information.
- Emotional Regulation: The effort required to regulate and manage emotions can consume thinking energy. Engaging in strategies to regulate emotions, such as reappraisal or suppression, may require cognitive resources and impact cognitive performance in other domains.
- Emotional Influence on Decision-Making: Emotions can significantly influence decision-making processes. Research suggests that emotions can bias judgment and decision-making, potentially leading to suboptimal choices.
- Emotional Enhancement of Thinking: While emotions can sometimes consume thinking energy, they can also enhance certain cognitive processes. Positive emotions, such as joy or enthusiasm, have been linked to increased creativity, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities.
When we Learned to Process Emotions?
- Emotional Modeling Through Mirror Neurons: learn about emotions by observing and imitating their parents or caregivers.
- Emotional Contagion: Babies can "catch" the emotions they observe in others… they may become more likely to experience positive emotions themselves.
- Social Referencing: As babies grow and develop, they start to rely on social referencing to understand ambiguous or uncertain situations. They look to their parents or caregivers for cues on how to respond emotionally to unfamiliar people, objects, or events.
- Emotional Regulation: Babies also learn about emotional regulation through emotional modeling. When caregivers consistently provide comfort and soothing in response to a baby's distress, the baby begins to learn how to self-soothe and regulate their own emotions.
- Emotional Responsiveness: When parents consistently respond to their baby's emotions with sensitivity and empathy, it helps the baby feel understood, validated, and secure. This, in turn, contributes to the development of healthy emotional regulation skills.
For many of us, we never learned or were taught how to regulate our emotions.