Is self-consciousness of emotions a good thing to do?

ABSTRACT

 Most thoughts, information and visuals/audio that enter our brain ignite a first response known as emotion. But we are not always aware of these emotions and we do not always know how to handle such emotion either. So, is self-consciousness of emotions a good thing to do?  Being self-conscious will help you to get to recognize your emotions and gain some control over  them.

Self-consciousness is not the same than self-awareness. Self-awareness is when one thinks of one existence as a human being in the present time. And self-consciousness is to be aware of our surroundings, aware of our actions and the things/qualities we have.  An Emotional experience can lead to formation of feeling. However, feelings and emotions are not the same. Emotions are brief physiological responses from our bodies to a given stimulus, they usually go away quickly too but they come back if the stimulus repeats E.g., anger, embarrassment, envy, empathy, etc. While feelings are mental associations acquired through experience, and they do not go away that quick. E.g., love, resentment, compassion, depression, etc. An emotion can be the beginning of a feeling that will develop later. And feelings can sometimes be expressed through emotions like when you are smiling because you saw the person you are in love with, or when you cry because you are depressed. Therefore, it is said that emotions and feelings are two sides of the same coin. Likewise, there are 2 sides to being emotionally conscious. The good and the bad sides. The positive  side says that one will feel satisfied, happy, proud, and socially responsible of one’s actions, but the toxic side says that one will feel overwhelmed, depress, anxious and helpless. Unfortunately, there is no wall that separates one side from the other so an individual can easily shift from one side to the other while practicing self-consciousness of  emotions.

Self-consciousness of emotions develops in 2 stages. The first group is composed of embarrassment, empathy, and envy. While the second group is conformed of  guilt, shame, and pride. Self- consciousness of emotions appears in our lives around our second year of life and only after the toddler develops self-recognition. In other words, if the infant cannot even recognize himself in a picture or in the mirror, there is no way he can be self-conscious of his/her emotions. Nevertheless, such infant does experience emotions regardless of not being conscious about them. The second group of self-conscious emotions develop only after the toddler has capacity to understand some basic social rules that allow him/her to express either (1) shame (for failing a task), (2) guilt (of doing something not acceptable), or (3) pride (for successfully achieving a required chore). This develops usually after 30 months old.

Bottomline, being conscious of your emotions and having discipline (to not fall into the bad or extreme side) is a must because only when you know about the problem, you can do something about it. Therefore, in a journey of self-help, it will be necessary to practice self- consciousness of emotions but with caution to not overdo because exaggerating this habit will lead to overwhelming and not being able to move on.

 

 

CITED WORKS

Baumeister, Roy F., and Brad J. Bushman. Social Psychology and Human Nature. Cengage, 2021.

 

Burton M.D., Neel. “What’s the Difference Between a Feeling and an Emotion?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 19 Dec. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201412/whats-the-difference-between-feeling-and-emotion.

 

Legg, Timothy J. Ph.D., CRNP and Gotter, Ana. Self-Conscious Emotions. Healthline, June 25, 2017,  https://www.healthline.com/health/self-conscious-emotions. Accessed on April 30, 2021.

 

Lewis, Michael, et al. “Self-Development and Self-Conscious Emotions.” Child Development, vol. 60, no. 1, 1989, pp. 146–156. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1131080. Accessed 5 May 2021.

Rutgers , The State University of New Jersey. Emotional Development: Self and Self-Conscious Emotions. Rutgers Medical School Department of Pediatrics, https://iwjms.rutgers.edu/departments/pediatrics/divisions/institute-for-the-study-of’-child­ development/research/emotional-development. Accessed on May 4, 2021.

 

 

final presentation (power point)

THE POLARITY (2 sides) of SELF- CONSCIOUS EMOTIONS

Like 2 sides of a coin self-consciousness can be either good or bad depending on how one uses it. Unfortunately, there is no physical wall that separates the good from the bad side. So, a person can easily fall into the bad side of self-consciousness while attempting to get into the good side. The good side can be defined as the healthy way to live out your emotions. While the bad side can be defined as the negative way of handling your emotions. It is important to distinguish emotions from feelings. Emotions are formed at the spot, as a response to a stimulus and some experts are able to measure emotions. Whereas feelings are formed over time in our minds (mental associations) consequently measuring them is not possible, at least not in an accurate way yet. The importance of self-awareness of our emotions goes beyond the individual, it is also necessary to create healthy social relationships. Self- emotions appear in our lives around our second year of life and only after we develop self-recognition. In other words, if the infant can not even recognize himself in a picture or in the mirror, there is no way he can have self-awareness of his/her emotions. Nevertheless, such infant does experience emotions, he/she just has no reach yet the “self-consciousness of emotions” milestone. It is also worthy to note that self-consciousness of emotions develops in 2 stages. The first group is composed of embarrassment, empathy, and envy. While the second group is conformed of  guilt, shame, and pride. This second group develop only after the toddler has capacity to understand some basic social rules that allow him/her to express either (1) shame (for failing a task), (2) guilt (of doing something not acceptable), or (3) pride (for successfully achieving a required chore).

Bottomline, being aware of your emotions and having discipline (to not fall into the bad or extreme side) is a must because only when you know about the problem, you can do something about it. Awareness and knowledge are the first step, honesty is the second and discipline & consistency are the third step in order to be on the good side of self-consciousness of emotions.

Here is the power point       2-3 min PRESENTATION THURSDAY

THE POLARITY of  SELF-CONSCIOUS EMOTIONS

 

I wanted to take advantage of the close relationship between self-conscious emotions and mindfulness. So, I will be talking about the good and the bad sides of being emotionally self-conscious.

Most thoughts and information that enter our brain ignite a response known as emotion. But we are not always aware of what is that we are feeling and even worse we do not  always know how to handle such emotion. Being self-aware will lead you to be self-conscious of your emotions. However, there are 2 sides/consequences to being emotionally conscious. The good side says that one will feel satisfied, happy, proud, and socially responsible of one’s actions, but the bad side says that one will feel overwhelm, depress, anxious and helpless. Unfortunately, there is no wall that separates one side from the other so an individual can easily shift from one side to the other. This is why I find important to talk about the polarity of self-conscious emotions.

Feeling is a natural human response to a stimulus. Indeed, not feeling is considered a sign of sociopathy. Lewis, Sullivan, Stanger and Weiss drawn a model to show the order in how self-conscious emotions appear in our lives. They also said that there are 2 sets of self-conscious emotions. On the first group we have embarrassment, empathy, and envy and on the second/later group we have pride, shame, and guilt. But why do we call them self-conscious emotions? Why not just emotions? Well, Lewis, et al, explain that: “self-conscious emotions are characterized by self-referential behavior…these emotions appear before or around our second birthday. At the same time children learn about other aspects of their social world including rules of conduct that allow them to evaluate their own production and behavior (quoting Kagan 1981).” Likewise, the Department of Pediatrics of the Rutgers Medical School on its article entitled “Emotional Development” wrote that: “children emotional lives change when they develop self-awareness. This major milestone occurs sometime around 15 to 24 months of age”…”Self-awareness can be indexed by the emergence of visual self-recognition…”

As stated earlier the focus of this research is on the 2 sides (polarity) of self-conscious emotions. The good/positive/healthy side allows us to develop healthy social relationships because we are happy with ourselves as consequences of a normal self-evaluation and self-awareness of our emotions and actions. BUT on the other side, the bad one, excessive self-consciousness of our emotions causes us to dwell on our sadness, shame, or addiction. Consequently, making hard for the person to heal or focus on something else.

This is being uploaded here in addition to being submitted through drop-box.

 

CITED WORKS

Baumeister, Roy F., and Brad J. Bushman. Social Psychology and Human Nature. Cengage, 2021.

Legg, Timothy J. Ph.D., CRNP and Gotter, Ana. Self-Conscious Emotions. Healthline, June 25, 2017,  https://www.healthline.com/health/self-conscious-emotions. Accessed on April 30, 2021.

Lewis, Michael, et al. “Self-Development and Self-Conscious Emotions.” Child Development, vol. 60, no. 1, 1989, pp. 146–156. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1131080. Accessed 5 May 2021.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Emotional Development: Self and Self-Conscious Emotions.  Rutgers Medical School Department of Pediatrics, https://rwjms.rutgers.edu/departments/pediatrics/divisions/institute-for-the-study-of-child-development/research/emotional-development. Accessed on May 4, 2021.

 

 

Self-Conscious Emotions: Good, Bad or Both?

I would like to research on the topic of self-conscious emotions.

https://www.healthline.com/health/self-conscious-emotions

As stated on the website:

“Having self-conscious emotions in moderate amounts is healthy.

Having overwhelming self-conscious emotions is not.”

Signs of healthy self-conscious emotions include:

  • having pride in accomplishments
  • enjoying engaging in social environments
  • apologizing for mistakes and taking responsibility

Signs of unhealthy self-conscious emotions include:

  • responding to embarrassment with anger and hostility
  • avoiding social experiences
  • placing blame on others for one’s mistakes.
  • feeling responsible for wrongs made against yourself.
  • having low self-esteem
  • experiencing agitation, anxiety, depression, or nervousness

This topic of  “self-conscious emotions”  will allow me once again to talk about the duality/dichotomy that come with everything with do.

CLASS NOTES THURSDAY APRIL 22

Congratulations to the winner of the people’s choice this week, Courtney!

Professor reminded us that the meditation assignment and the holistic essay are due on Tuesday April 27 (to be submitted via drop box as ONE Microsoft Word Attachment, the essay goes first followed by the 14 days meditation journal/free writing).

The ESSAY is a holistic free writing that makes connections to the topics discussed each week in class. It is a 5 to 7 pages double space reflective essay. The Works Cited page does NOT count as part of the 5-7 pages. The citation of the sources must be MLA format as well as the essay, that means:

Indent the first line of each paragraph,

1 inch  margin on all sides,

Normal size font (12),

Header on the first page,

Title on the center.

Name, professor’s name, class code, and date on the upper-left hand corner of the first page.

The MEDITATION 14 days JOURNAL

Must mention/quote the specific meditation app and meditation session.

The free writing of each day meditation should be somehow separated, to differentiate each day session.

__________________________________________

There were presentations of self help critique on the following order: Robby, Crystal, Maria, Ajah and Aryanna.

Robby:  His presentation had the title of “ The Effectiveness of Self Help”

Some main ideas were:

A good self-help program has methods with high success rates.

It is important to check credentials of the author.

If the program is a good match for you will depend on race, age, personality, etc.

Crystal: Her presentation was entitled “ Issues with the Self-Help Industry”

Some main ideas were:

“Self-help is not scientifically validated.”

“There are 2 types of people in the self-help area, the ones looking for help and the ones who look for avoidance of not feeling guilty of their bad habits.”

Self-help is a contradiction because what works for one person, might not work for the next.

Maria: “Self-Help Critique”

Some main ideas were:

There are no regulations nor guidelines for self-help published materials.

There is business in self-help and in anti-self-help merchandise.

Some authors argue  that what is wrong is our environment and not us. However, changing of the world we inhabit is a daunting prospect.  And perhaps this is the reason why people “conform” to only change themselves instead.

Ajah: Her presentation was named: “Self-love”

Some main ideas were:

“You cannot love anyone if you cannot love yourself first.”

“Having more self-compassion builds resilience in the face of adversity, helping people to recover more quickly from trauma.”

“Depression and anxiety are opposite states.”

Aryanna: Does self Help = Self Inadequacy

Some main ideas were:

“Constantly looking to improve yourself, can lead to a feeling of inadequacy.”

Self Help practices lack an answer to the “why” and “what’s next.”

Self-help blames the victim. Gurus promote that you are in charge of everything in your life, but that simply is not true.”

 

VOCABULARY

Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding by Lev Vygotsky: Refers to the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a skilled partner.

Vygotsky believed that when a student is in the zone of proximal development for a particular task, providing the appropriate assistance will give the student enough of a “boost” to achieve the task.

 

 

Improving or Worsening ourselves with Self-Help Merchandise?

self help critique (3 articles) PRESENTATION (this is the power point attachment) 

Can you help yourself?  My personal answer is at the end =)

I have reviewed 3 articles that criticize self-help literature and merchandise.

The first  article from Vox entitled “I was a self-help guru. Here’s why you shouldn’t listen to people like me”  written by Michelle Woodman; https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/1/23/14238530/self-help-advice-bogus

Woodman wrote:  “I learned the hard way that the people trying to solve your problems often need help the most. And that playing the expert guru is a hypocrite’s game, because practicing what you preach is tough.”

I would personally say, this happens to most or perhaps all of us: “IT IS EASIER TO SPOT THE PROBLEM IN THE OTHERS RATHER THE PROBLEM WITH OURSELVES.”

Well, Woodman went on to mention that she knew dating advice columnists who did not date, career experts who advocated for certain habits that they barely had, and the funniest example was a consultant alleging expertise in freelance income but had privately admitted he had no idea how much he made nor how to handle such money because his wife handled all his income.

The second article from The New Yorker entitled: “helping ourselves to death” written by Alexandra Schawrtz. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/15/improving-ourselves-to-death.

Schawrtz called The Secret of Rondha Byrne, a testament to the predatory optimism that characterized the years leading up to the financial crisis. “People dreamed big, and, in a day of easy money, found that their dreams could come true. Then the global economy crashed, and we were shaken violently awake.”

Schawrtz quoted Cederström, Spicer, Storrs and Sara Knights in her article.

Cedestron and Spicer  pinpoint that in a consumerist society we think “we must” buy the latest item. This bad mindset includes self-improvement merchandise. Which conveniently generates billions for the self-improvement industry. However, his criticism says that because of the constant new self-help merchandise we are unconsciously pushed to catch up (buy something that we do not even need).

On the other hand, Storr says that: “since it is our environment that is causing us to feel inferior, it is our environment that we must change: “The things we’re doing with our lives, the people we’re sharing it with, the goals we have. We should find projects to pursue which are not only meaningful to us, but over which we have control.” Storr acknowledges that to change every aspect of the world we inhabit is a daunting prospect.  And perhaps this is the reason why people “conform” to only change themselves instead.

Sara Knights calls herself a “bestselling anti-guru” and her favorite motto is “there is nothing wrong with you” She agrees with Storr that what is wrong is society.

The third article entitled “The Problem with Self Help” by Ray Williams. https://raybwilliams.medium.com/the-problem-with-the-self-help-movement-ab972ef58728

William criticizes that the self-help gurus are self-appointed experts. And that there are no guidelines for self help books, not even the American Psychological Association has it. However, the APA has ethical standards that call for published materials to avoid exaggerations, sensationalism, misrepresentations, and superficiality.

 

And in addition, to these 3 articles, I have watched a you tube video from RICH ROLL, a corporate lawyer in California, who nowadays has a podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GrPCKRkBiQ

Roll mentioned that: “the abundance of self-help literature nowadays almost force you get one and by reading it one sometimes gets this false sensation that one has helped himself/herself when in reality, one only read one more book.

And read an extra 4th article from psychology today entitled “ Which is better self-help or therapy”  written by Phillipa Perry. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-stay-sane/201303/which-is-better-self-help-or-therapy

Perry argues in favor of therapy by stating that “A book cannot possibly hear you; it will never be a conversation.” However, she acknowledges that “print has the weight of authority because spoken words can be ephemeral. Perry adds that self-help books are a much cheaper  option and don’t require appointments.” However, she also reminds us the importance of humans relations and therefore the impact of a human (therapist) in helping you unlike a nonliving being as is a book.

So, coming back to the initial question; Can you really help yourself?

There are some situations when one is not even aware that one needs help, therefore one cannot help oneself, BUT there are other situations where yes! One can help oneself =)

 

 

City Tech’s 40th Annual Literary Arts Festival

CUNY Chancellor Dr. Felix V. Matos made a brief introduction, he thanked the faculty professor and students.

Special thanks to Professor Caroline Hellman for organizing this festival.

“Your story matters, you matter, and we care.” (Caroline Hellman)

There was a display of NYC and City Tech’s school pictures, Professor Jill was remotely dancing =)

There was a brief poll about what is the best borough

Henry Mei told his story about being an student and a teacher at the same time.

Christopher Maglorie, a former student of City Tech and current registered nurse said: “the smallest thing you can do for people can impact them in a very meaningful way.” He told the story of one of his patients. in short, it was a reminder of the power of empathy and kindness.

Damitreze Poe told his story police racial discrimination.

Jesus Rojas told his story as freshman student.

Dannielle Sweat told her story as single mother, full time worker and part time  student.

James Burton told his story about small business, an ice cream shop.

Farouk Fares talked about how painting helped him to deal with the stress of the quarantine and the anger of racism.

Britney Bajnath, a photographer aspiring, told her story about taking pictures during the pandemic.

Kari Singletary, an essential worker, graduated nurse told her story about working in the hospital in times where the biggest influx of Covid-19 cases happened.

As a way to promote participation; there was a poll about how you prefer to show up in zoom in a dressy attire camera on OR in pajamas camera off?

4 panelist joined afterwards

Nim Tse; a Chinese native student, talked about being discriminated for his poor English skills, but in school he discovered that Chemistry was for him. He hopes to serve the community as future physician.

Rami Saeed; told us about his story of how he used the time of the quarantine to read as many as books.

Abigail Thomas; told her story as a transgender woman and stressed us out about being advocates. She said in order to be advocates we do not need money only to be good humans with good intentions.

Mamadou Diallo; described his story about being raised by his grandmother.

Mijori Goodwin sang a song named “still”

Special Guest Poet, actor, and performing artist Staceyann Chin, displayed poetry focused on topics of social media, family, racial discrimination, and the trolls on social media. I agree with her that trolls find “courage” behind a screen, however I disagree with her on the way she “responded” to her troll.   well. it is a tendency of mine, that even if I am insulted, I do not reply with insult. I am proud of that because English is not my first language and I still can find enough words to reply without resourcing to insults nor slangs.

 

3 authors on Mindfulness

Humans have so many thoughts inundating their minds and apparently if thoughts are not canalized correctly. They can cause suffering. Because those thought are usually keeping us either in the past or in the future but rarely in the present.

It is impressive how humans even if being in the present their thoughts can take them to other places, like when we are “listening to” the person in front of us, but our minds are somewhere else.

According to Pickert, resisting to keep in touch with the external world is not easy because after all our devices allow us to do many things, be in different places and multitask.

Purser says that the mindfulness programs, that are being sold out there, are nothing more than basic concentration training. They are missing the teachings on ethics and the ability to enact compassion for all other beings.  I think Purser means that the meditation products being sold nowadays are just a tool of self-discipline. Moreover, I fully agree with him on the fact that “Reducing stress is a noble aim but teachers of mindfulness need to acknowledge that personal stress also has societal causes, by failing to address collectively suffering they are reducing  meditation to a banal technique that keeps people focused only on themselves.

It is interesting how “reductions in stress and increases in personal happiness and wellbeing is much easier to sell than serious questions about injustice, inequity and environmental devastation, etc.” (Purser 2019).

Perhaps mindful is overrated as mentioned by author Purser, after all anything that has in the title the word “mindful” seems to sell faster automatically.

Author Ratnayake points out that the version of meditation offered in apps is like a watered version of meditation and that we err in presenting mindfulness as the cure for the modern ills.

Ratnayake and Purser seems to concur on the opinion that meditation does not allow one to take responsibility for one’s feelings promoting then a self-centered well-being disregarding everything else happening around. For this or other reasons Ratnayake says that she practices mindfulness occasionally rather than a regular practice.

 

 

 

MEDITATION APP

The App I will be using for meditation is Buddhify.  Here is the link:  https://buddhify.com/why-we-are-different/

I am attaching here some pictures. I like it’s presentations. Very colorful ♡♡♡   also because  one can add extra wheels /options as seen in the last picture, there are options for thought times, mindful ninja, etc.

Buddhify includes options to meditate while you are walking or  for when you can’t sleep. Which I find very useful. Because I hate to meditate being static, it gives me restlessness, so walking would definitively be a fun way to meditate.

I also looked into 2 other Apps, Better Me

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gen.bettermeditation&hl=en_US&gl=US

AND

Relaxing Sounds 

I loved this second one for its compilation of sounds.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ipnossoft.rma.oriental&hl=en_US&gl=US

Focusing in the past brings you Depression and  Focusing in the future gives you anxiety therefore we need to love the present (THE POWER OF NOW). During my 14 days meditation I will focus in my present (breathing and thoughts).

Class Notes Tuesday March 23, 2021

The winner of the people’s post is Reem =)

Professor asked how do we like the Calm App or if we tried any other meditation apps?

We meditated for like 10 min. The Calm app suggested at the end: To pause to help productivity, “steeping back and pausing to come back and continue.”

There will be meditation at the beginning of the upcoming classes. Hence professor would like for everyone to be on time for class.

There was a breathing exercise. We counted our breathing (inhale & exhale) per minute.

How long does a person stay angry? Physiologically only 90 seconds.

Anger is fed by our thoughts.

There are situations that do justify feeling angry like the recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado.  So, how do we channel our emotions?

Among the benefits of meditating is that it helps you to control emotions.

We shared comments about the preface of the book, The Power of Now.

VOCABULARY

Rumination: Overthinking, focusing excessively in the past or constantly saying words like: “Only if I had done” “I should” I could have done.”

Perseverance: : continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

Subjunctive: The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to explore a hypothetical situation (e.g., If I were you) or to express a wish, a demand, or a suggestion.

There was free writing exercise, the topic was: “Thinking has become a disease”  and “You are not your thoughts” Page 16 of the book The Power of Now.

Don’t forget to post on people’s choice of the week.