The world is full of communication. From sparrows chirping and talk radio in the morning to owls hooting and The Tonight Show at night, people and animals are constantly exchanging information through a wide variety of channels. However, there are some key differences between how humans and animals communicate. Specifically, human language is unique on the planet because it has the qualities of generativity, recursion, and displacement.
Here are some highlights of humans unique responses :
- Research shows us that the 8 primary emotions cause a common reaction in all human beings, and in monkeys too. In some ways, all human beings are primates are the same in the way they feel and show these basic emotions.
- However, every person is also unique. When you feel an emption, say, anger, you have tension in part of your body. Have you ever noticed that? Where you feel the most tension and exactly how you express that tension is unique to you. Some people feel anger in their chest, others in their stomachs.
- Urges to do something are a natural part of having any emotion. For instance, if you are bored (which is a lot like being anxious), you may restlessly seek out something to interest you (perhaps hanging out at the nurses station in hopes something entertaining will happen).
- Your urges when you have a particular emotion may or may not be the same as someone else’s urges. For instance, one person may want to avoid people when they feel shame, another may have an urge to attack.
- Slow down your emotional reaction. Be detectives, find out what you feel in your body when you have each emotion, what your face tells others when you feel an emotion, and what your urges are when strong emotions arise.
- Some emotions you will have to learn to honour by “just noticing” them. Other emotions you will have to learn to reduce or change.
This is a journey that takes courage, because some emotions are hard to feel. Most of us try to avoid painful or uncomfortable emotions. We will be asking you to feel these uncomfortable emotions, sometimes without doing anything to change them.