The science of emotions
You might not believe it, but a large percentage of people’s actions and behaviors are “pre-programmed” reactions to the things going on around them. How they react to people and situations is often determined long before the situation comes about. Maybe you know some people like this in your life, where you avoid even talking to them about some things because you know they’ll do their emotional “thing”, whatever it might be for them.
People have lots of predictable patterns and “buttons” that, most of the time, are outside the control of their conscious decision making processes. So without even recognizing it, people are driven by inner conflicts and past experiences at a deeper subconscious level.
I’m not saying we’re robots and that the situations that you come across, like when men behave in ways that drive you nuts or hurt you aren’t important to address and react to in certain ways. But the fact is that you have freewill and you can make our own choices that can influence how you’re going to behave. You can choose how you perceive and react to the environment.
Unfortunately, we become predictable and don’t act in our own best interest in lots of situations because we have gut-level emotional reactions. And the more you start to learn and recognize these programmed behaviors, the more you can start to weed out the ones that you see aren’t useful or helpful to you in your everyday life.
Think about it. Have you ever been angry with someone for doing something and you ended up acting out with so much anger that it kind of scared you?
Why did you become so angry? Was it your conscious choice? How strong was the motivation of your anger? And was your reaction rational and useful in any way?
The point is that you probably didn’t make much of a choice to take on your behavior at that time. You didn’t sit down and reason out how reacting with anger or other negative behavior or emotions would lend any constructive results. It just happened. You simply followed your gut instincts and worked to somehow undo or get even for whatever injustice or wrong you feel you’ve suffered.
As an interesting note, people’s behavior is generally more predictable as situations become more intense or important to them because their attention is focused on interpreting every little detail and nuance. Their bodies and minds are tuned in and ready for something big to happen, and being more tuned in actually causes them to experience what’s going on in an even more intense way. It’s a snowball effect that heightens the emotional experience.
So what does this have to do with catching and keeping a man?
Maybe you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response.
Well, to put it simply, your love-life or your relationship with a man is the ultimate high intensity and high importance environment that cues your mind and body up for “fight or flight” responses. So let’s talk about love itself first because it’s such a great example of the patterns we have around our emotions and reaction.
We have fascinating psychological, chemical, and behavioral changes that take place inside of us because our reactions and emotions around love are all tied together. (Here’s where I get geeky and scientific for a second, but stick with me – I’ll let you in on some interesting stuff.)
A key element of what happens when you’re in love is an increase of “love chemicals” in your brain and your body. We have higher levels of certain chemicals at different stages. Early on, in the “honeymoon stage” when you feel love-struck and can’t stand to be away from your lover, you have higher levels of 3 chemicals in your bloodstream:
Here’s a few of the “love symptoms” that come with these chemicals:
- Heightened awareness (your senses)
- Reduced appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Increased energy level
- Increased sex drive
- Feelings of euphoria (intense happiness)
The next stage of the emotional love cycle is the “bonding stage”. Here there’s an increase in the chemicals Oxytocin and Vasopressin in our brain. These chemicals promote the behaviors and symptoms of attachment and a more parental love. The bonding stage chemicals are the “settle-down-raise-a-family-spendtime-cuddling-watch-movies-together” ones. They’re all about bonding, attachment, and comfort—long term stuff.
So there’s an emotional cycle to love that comes from the body’s chemical reactions. It starts with the “honeymoon stage” and then moves into the “bonding stage”. Basically, the chemicals in our body make the stages of our love life more intense and “real” to us by creating emotional experiences.