Promoting student centred emotional well-being
Emotions, Mind, & Brain
It can be very distressing to experience intense feelings such as sadness, depression, or anxiety, or to have symptoms that interfere with your ability to enjoy life. If one has been distressed for a long time in life, just facing each day can feel overwhelming. Before being able to understand what the problems that you're encountering, it is important to understand that your body and mind may actually be working properly.
The human brain is very complex, and has evolved over eons to be high functioning and adaptable. Part of what this means, is that your brain learns from experience. We are also wired to have certain innate emotional needs. Some of these are the need for love, security, reasonable autonomy, intimacy, social connections and creativity. If a significant number of these needs are not met for an extended period of time, then our brains will likely give us signals that we need to be more emotionally attentive to ourselves. Our brains also learn from past experience, and very smartly, use these experiences to predict future events and to know how to respond to new situations. Thus, if one has had difficult experiences in life, then one will respond to new situations based on these past experiences. This may, for example, lead someone to be mistrustful or pessimistic. This may not feel good, but it is an example of our brains being smart and protective, and not dysfunctional. Most emotional symptoms are cause by your brain acting exactly the way it was meant to. Problems are most frequently caused by a combination of past experiences and present situations that do not meet one's basic needs.
It is therefore crucial in assessing how one is feeling presently in life to have an understanding of the various influences that may lead to particular symptoms. The first truism that all individuals and therapists need to keep in mind is that whatever symptoms or feelings people have, their minds are trying their best to survive.