How Language Shapes Emotional Reality

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practicaldictionary

The language we use to describe situations in our life affects how we experience those situations. In the field of cognitive psychology, several theories have been advanced as to the role our thinking and evaluations of situations plays in determining how we feel. According to the James-Lange and Schachter-Singer Theories, events happen to us and our bodies are physiologically stimulated by those events. Then, after understanding the reason for this arousal, we experience an emotion. This process can take place instantaneously and often without our conscious awareness.

Event–>Bodily Arousal–>Interpretation/Reasoning–>Emotion

Another theory, put forth by Richard Lazarus, says that events happen to us, we think about them, and then we feel emotions and bodily arousal at the same time.

Event–>Thoughts–>Emotion & Bodily Arousal

Although each of these theories has their strengths, each assumes you think and label what is happening to you before you experience emotions. Additionally, the emotions you…

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