Emotions by Nature

How to understand and Interpret your emotions

We all go through millions of emotions in our relationship, and those emotions create brain chemicals that change the way we feel. Sometimes these emotions are positive or neutral and at other times they are negative towards our partners or even ourselves.

Understanding the nature and reason for your emotions will help unravel why we feel what we feel and what to do with the feelings. To fully understand your emotions, you’ll have to realize that:

  1. EMOTIONS ARE PRIMITIVE. It is unstable and cannot be trusted. Facts are not always as it presents itself and sometimes facts are untrue. The story always is broader than our emotions care to capture. The next time you feel a particular way, question the feeling so as to ascertain its authenticity.
  2. EMOTIONS provide information about one’s core goals and needs. It communicates information about a person’s needs and how the person should respond. It’s like an alarm that is set off each time a person is expected to react.
  3. EMOTIONS prepare an individual for action. If our emotions aren’t there, we would all probably walk into danger repeatedly.
  4. EMOTIONS can be stored in our memories. Past pain or pleasure ensure we are protected from further or future pain.Once you have an experience, that particular emotion is stored in the subconscious and it is triggered whenever such experience is about to be repeated.
  5. There are two broad systems of emotions, negative and positive. Negative emotions signal threat and energize avoidance. Positive emotions signal opportunity to meet needs and goals and energize approach.



Emotion triggers are sets of behavior, stimuli or experiences that produce certain feelings in a person. The brain perceives such stimulus and responds accordingly. It also means that each time you a confronted with those sets of behavior your emotions are triggered to either protect you from the threat or prep you to explore the opportunity. Some emotion triggers include:

  1. Past Experience: Past experiences leave their tastes in our buds. You either have positive or negative experience and its associated feelings. If you had a positive emotion after an experience, it is associated with pleasure. Our brains interpret it as an opportunity to meet needs and goals which makes us want to repeat the same experience. On the other hand if the experience is negative, then it is interpreted as a threat and usually, you avoid such experience.


  1. Background/Upbringing: The way a child is brought up determines the kind of adult he becomes. A parents’ style of parenting, temperament and the temperament of caregivers determine the perspective a child picks, which hardly chances into adulthood. An over-pampered child, for instance, may continue to seek overindulgence in people and interprets it as love. Such an individual even in adulthood may be unable to respond to tough love and may interpret it as wickedness.


  1. Judgement of emotions: The way the people a person surrounds himself with, judge the expression of emotions determines the perceptive the individual will adopt. For instance, if a 4-year-old boy and girl get into a fight and the boy goes to his parents crying to report the incidence. If they shut him up and say to him a girl beat you and you are crying, then you must be a weakling and disgrace to the male folk. What it does is that it releases a desire in him to always subdue girls. He has a valid reason and drive henceforth.


We all need to be able to deal with our negative feelings. Inability to deal with generated negative feelings is responsible for most of the problem we have in relationships and marriages today. There’s astronomical increase in communication breakdown, bottling of pain and emotional detachment from partners and spouses. The problem with not being upfront with the exact way you feel, after cross-checking its authenticity, is that it creates new sets of problems which would be addressed next week.

Know that to interpret your emotions correctly, you’ll need to step out of the intensity of the feeling and ask yourself if the emotions are real or imagined. What is influencing the feeling? Emotions are meant to be a guide, not a grave, they provide information. Make better judgment by listening to your emotions. Release negative feelings by handling your emotions more intelligently.

See you next week (Nike Adekunle)


Nike Adekunle is the president of SWiM (Sisters, Wives and Mothers} Forum. At SWiM, Nike and her team equips men, women, married and singles with all the information and strategies needed to make relationships and marriage work. In collaboration with members of SWiM, She hosts REALationship Unfeigned (an initiative that promotes healthy relationships) and Roaring Lioness (a prayer focus group). Nike is a relationship coach, marriage counselor, blogger, writer and an author. She currently has four books to her credit. To get her books, visit swimconcepts.org/shop/

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