Emotions are able to influence many of our cognitive processes. Do we learn the same way when we are sad and when we are happy? Do we make decisions the same way when we are positive and when we are negative? The answer is no.
It is curious to know that being a positive person makes you smarter. All emotions affect our way of thinking, have an impact on our memory capacity and our intelligence. This is why negative emotions reduce memory capacity, while positive emotions increase it. Why?
Here’s why …
Mind or heart
What do we guide us by in life? From the mind or from the feelings? Who is stronger, the brain or the heart? It depends, there are decisions that we make exclusively with the heart and others that we make only with the head, without taking feelings into account.
The ideal is to maintain a balance between both, to be able to unite mind and heart in the most appropriate way. Why? Because on many occasions, feelings and emotions see things that reason cannot see. This is why it is so important to train both academic and emotional intelligence.
Does this mean that we must be guided only by our instincts? No. We have to find a balance. A part of us must let our hearts speak, but we must also give space to reason and then make the best decision.
Negative or positive emotions
Negative emotions reduce our ability to reason. This happens because the brain is more attentive and focused on the mood of sadness or anger, which reduces the attention towards decisions to be made and in finding creative ideas.
Positive thinking improves creativity and clarity of ideas when we are most enthusiastic. It does not mean that you have to be very happy, but simply in a state of balance, inner peace and optimism. When our brains are not under tension, we can see everything more clearly.
When we are well, we are calm and at peace, we are more confident. And when we’re more confident about ourselves, we usually learn a lot better. Our brain is not subjected to either tension or stress or states of fear. Staying optimistic and in a state of inner peace helps us learn and empower the mind.
Anger blocks the ability to think about anything else. We can’t think of anything other than being angry, the cause of anger, the anger we feel, what has been done to us, etc. It is impossible to think of anything other than anger, which prevents us from making other decisions and makes it difficult to learn new things.
Just like with fear, anger consumes a lot of our brain’s energy. And when the brain consumes energy in a negative emotional state, it ignores other cognitive functions. This is why, by controlling your emotions, you will be able to control your mind.
“Don’t make decisions if you’re sad, don’t make promises if you’re happy”
When we get carried away by the excess of emotions, we don’t think clearly. We only think through emotions. If we are sad, we will not be able to make the right decision, because it will be in tune with the sadness we feel. If, on the other hand, we are very happy, we can think of doing many things, of achieving certain goals, of making promises that we cannot actually keep. When we come out of that state of extreme happiness and return to a more balanced state of mind, we have to face the reality of not being able to fulfill what we promised to do.
For this reason , getting too carried away by our moods is not good for our mind. It is necessary to find a middle ground to be able to feel those emotions, but without getting too carried away. If we are not able to find this balance, because as we all know the emotions are very strong, we must adopt the point of view that best suits the situation. As we have already said, never make decisions if you are sad, and never make a promise if you are happy.
We can’t help but feel bad, out of sorts and grief. However, we need to control the duration of these feelings. We have to make sure to bring out our inner strength to overcome these bad times. We are sad, it is true, but we will stop being sad as soon as possible. This is very important. We must be aware of the fact that this state of mind will not last long.
What if we have to work or study? Should we be dominated by anger, let it deconcentrate us and not perform enough? No. Of course we have to accept that we are angry, but we cannot allow this feeling to stop us from moving on with our lives, making decisions and, most importantly, becoming smarter.