The Physics of Emotions

I learned a couple things about emotions from this video by Big Think.

First, emotion is contagious, we can catch the emotional energy of another person. I was at NCUR 23' and this dude had insane energy talking about his research, I could feel his energy pulsating from him. I could feel his high lingering on me afterwards.

Second, emotion travels faster than rational thought. And when we experience big changes (layoffs, breakups, death), 5 signal emotions of change arise: fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, and grief.

First law of thermodynamics tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Rather it can be transferred, transformed, or conserved. Let's apply this to emotional energy.

Converting energy means bottling it all up inside, which then manifests in stress and burnout. Transferring energy is venting out to a friend. The problem with this is you're just moving energy around from one person to another.

The power comes in transforming energy, turning signal emotions into positive ones. You can take anxiety and turn it into anticipation, fear into motivation, grief into growth, all of which becomes fuel for growth and action.

How can you do this? You need self-awareness to know these negative emotions exist, then acknowledge it, and then choosing to transform them.

That means treating your mental state like a garden. A good gardener tends to their garden, and that means doing things like self-reflection, meditation, and journalling.

They know what's festering and what needs nurturing. That means remove negative thoughts from your mind like weeds from soil. And nurturing the positive emotions, so you can reap the crop, and be who you want to be.