Hi, folks. So this evening, I am going to walk you through what we call a model for describing emotions.
The intent of this as a skill is to really enhance your ability to understand how emotions work and how they exist within a system, other physical, cognitive and behavioral happenings, for lack of a better word.
So I'm going to go through this model.
I'm going to try to talk through two things as we do this.
So the first is going to be just an example. And the example that I'm going to use is your baby has woken up for the third time, and a given night. Okay. And I'm hoping that's going to help illustrate what's happening here. The other thing that I'm going to try and do is highlight just the fact that there are all different types of skills that you can learn at each stage in this model, I do not expect you to know what all of these skills are, I just want to illustrate how we can approach regulating emotions and lots of different ways.
So the prompting event here is it is four o'clock in the morning, and your baby has just woken up for the third time this evening. Now, you'll notice that there's this little arrow here, which is a prompting event doesn't actually enact this whole system of emotions unless you have attention or awareness of it.
If, for example, you your partner woke up and attended to the baby, before you ever even realized that they had a woken, then this whole system of emotions would not have occurred, right. So a prompting event requires attention and awareness. So this is gonna go a little out of order here. Soon, this whole screen is going to be lit up.
When when a box is white, that means it's required.
When the boxes green here, that means that this is an optional thing that could happen. So the idea here is that depending on whether the idea here is that different vulnerability factors can affect your perception of a prompting, event, even just your basic awareness of it. Whoops, going back.
So for example, if this if your baby had been sleeping like a champ, and hadn't woken up in weeks and weeks and weeks, chances are you might be attending to or reacting to this environment, this prompting event differently than if this is the ninth day in a row that the baby has woken up over and over again.
Similarly, you might react very differently if you had had like a four hour nap that day versus if you hadn't mapped for many days, you might react differently. If you and your partner had been fighting all evening prior to this, you might react differently if you were hungry.
If you were experiencing some type of major work stress, the idea here is that all types of different things can impact our how vulnerable that we are to experiencing intense emotions, okay.
Now, the rad thing here is that we also have skills that can help decrease common vulnerability factors.
So helping you stay sort of more steady by eliminating some of those.
So next step here, this is another optional part is this idea of an interpretation.
An interpretation is any thoughts, assumptions, beliefs that you have, that might then shape a given emotional reaction that you have. So for example, baby wakes up is the third time that night. If your first thought is, oh, this poor thing, she's so sick today, I ust feel so bad for her. I just want to go and cuddle her.
That's gonna produce a very different emotional response, if that's your assumption, versus if the first thought that comes across your mind is something like this child is never going to sleep. This is never going to end I can't handle this right?
Two totally different sets of emotions, even though the prompting event didn't change.
One of the other things, rewind, will also note that these vulnerability factors can impact how we interpret events. And that, again, here to our interpretation can affect what we're about to see here. So what happens is, once we have this prompting event, we can, and here's where the white our arrow is moved directly into what we call biological changes and expressions.
The idea here is that as soon as this event happens, you are starting to experiencing some differences in your body.
Some of these you're going to be aware of so nervous system changes, like if your heart rate is starting to be faster, or if your breathing is changing, you might be able to tell that other things like the fact that certain parts of your brain are going to be firing off more so than others, you won't be able to detect when that's occurring.
However, as these biological changes happen, you will start to have different experiences within your body. So different sensations, and also along with that different action urges. So I'm going to pause here and point out that the nice part about this is that we have a solid chunk of skills that help with biological changes. So not an emotion regulation.
But in the in distress tolerance skills, we talked about tip skills. We also have opposite action as a skill for action urges and mindfulness of body sensations for some of these experiences, pieces. With the interpretation piece over here, since I forgot to mention that you can use things like why is mine You can use skills like check the facts, to help figure out to help sort of change the emotional system as your PI skills, all of these places where arrows are happening had the ability to then be impacted, and the intensity of emotions can go down.
Okay, so while all these biological changes and experiences are happening, you are then also starting to express them in different ways. This can be through various body language, body language, and sort of facial expressions. This can be also through words and actions. And so we have skills here to like half smile and willing hands, we have interpersonal effectiveness skills that we'll be going over in the next module.
We know that actually how we express a given emotion can then influence our experience of those emotions and the biological changes that occur. Similarly, it gets really gnarly, because if we're already having some biological changes, this can actually influence our interpretation of a given event.
So completely different. example here, there's been all these really cool studies, where, if a, for example, if a couple is told to do something that's really like risk taking on a first date together, that they will by default, rate each other as being more attractive and exciting than if they go on just sort of a normal dinner and a movie type date.
This is because stuff that's happening in our body influences our interpretations of given events.
Okay. So depending on what's happening here, some biological changes that are happening or just that you are becoming awake.
If you're frustrated by having to get up again, you might notice for example, that your muscles tense up that you start noticing like this tightness in your chest and a sort of a heat that comes along with frustration. So there, you're starting to get into the body sensations. You might have the action urge to do something like I don't know, refuse to get out of bed, slap your partner and say you it's your turn this time, you might have, alternatively if you're having a different set of biological changes, the urge to sort of rush to and protect your child right now, and this gives an example if we are sorry, I thought we were having problems with recording but we are not.
In this case, an example, you might actually notice, even if you've ever felt really frustrated towards your baby for a late night, wake up, that when you actually go in and are talking with the baby and are holding and soothing and rocking them, that your emotions actually go down. And so this is an example of how face and body language and words and actions can actually change what's happening inside of our body, right.
So even if we're feeling really frustrated initially, when we go in and are being intentionally really gentle and calm with our baby, this actually changes our experience internally. Alright, so after these two things have interacted with each other, we then can potentially name an emotion.
In this situation, it might be frustration, it might be love, it might be any number of things, you then need awareness, that that is the emotion in order to go forward from here and the system, right. Some people actually end up stopping at this expressions piece and never going on to figure out what is actually happening for them.
So from there, also point out, so if you stop at the expressions piece, you might then immediately go into the secondary emotions and After Effects. Either way, what's happening now is that different after effects that are associated with sets of emotions are happening. This could be like narrowed attention. This could be some physiological responses.
This might be increased connectivity, all different types of stuff, which you can also read about, in the ways to describe emotions, handouts that come along in this packet. From that point, you might notice that you start experiencing secondary emotions. So if you're in with the baby, you might notice that you're feeling love towards the baby, you might notice that you're feeling fear that the baby is not going to fall back asleep, you might notice any other number of emotions.
This can in turn, create a second prompting event, and then the cycle can potentially start all over again. So the remaining skills that we haven't talked about here are emotion labeling.
So we know that that in and of itself can help regulate emotions. And we also know that understanding what is happening for you physiologically, and what the after effects of different emotions are, can help you sort of understand your experience at a greater depth so that you are more likely to have a more regulated experience of emotions in general.
Okay, we'll stop there.