Emotion or Mood?





Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion.
by Paul Ekman Ph.D., Dalai Lama

“Emotions also filter the knowledge that is available to us.

When we are in the grip of an emotion, I have proposed that we are in a “refractory period,” during which we can only remember information that fits the emotion; we can only interpret others in a way that fits the emotion.

Often a refractory period is very short-lived, and when that is so, it can be helpful, by focusing our attention.

For moods, a refractory period can last a whole day, and all of that time we are misperceiving the world.

We do not have access to everything we know, only to what fits our mood.

That is why, as a Darwinian, I believe that moods must be a byproduct of something else.

They are a plague for us, distorting how we see the world and respond to others.

People have heard me say I want to banish moods and have asked me, What about a good mood?

But in a good mood, we are not sensitive to potential problems; we are in a deluded state.

We enjoy it, but just because we enjoy it does not mean it is really useful.”

3 responses to this post.

  1. Firstly
    what an interesting post.
    I was not sure I agreed whole heartily with you but in researching my knowledge and lack or I read quite a few scholarly writings and find I do.

    Secondly googling refractory period brings some rather interesting definitions..lol

    In a child development article Emotions are a subset of feelings, and moods are the enduring aspects or emotions. and yes I know I should have a reference
    Moods tend to act like filters and interpret the world for us. When you are in a bad mood, you are therefore more likely to place situations and intentions in a negative light, which can lead to misinterpretations and unnecessary conflicts. Understanding that your anger at someone is caused by a pre-existing mood rather than their actions allows you to deal with a situation in a way fairer to yourself and others, and can save you a lot of emotional energy and upset, not to mention that it will foster better interpersonal relationships in all areas of your life.http://overcomingsocialanxiety.com/mood-versus-emotion/

  2. Interesting article

    I see that we can change a mood and without attention an emotion can fade in seconds

    We have a choice where we place our attention

  3. Yes

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