How would you describe an emotion?
At a physical level the emotions that we feel are in fact transmitted by an electrical impulse travelling along a neuron (a type of nerve cell). You have an awesome, beautiful network of about 100 billion neurons in your brain: which is, by strange coincidence, around the same number as there are thought to be galaxies in the Universe.
As the electrical impulse reaches the end of one neuron it has to travel across a gap called a synapse, and so is converted to a chemical messenger in order to do this. These chemical messengers are stored in vesicles (like little bubbles or packets) at the end of one neuron, and those vesicles move to the end of the neuron and release their contents when there is a strong enough electrical impulse along the neuron. The neurotransmitter that they release then moves across the synapse to receptors on the next neuron, and so the message is then converted back to an electrical impulse and passed along again.
So next time an emotion of any type floods through your body and tries to create a strong response, take a breath and let the electrical activity and biochemicals causing that reaction to settle for a moment. This helps us to act from a more balanced place, and therefore in a more thoughtful way that we might otherwise have done.
www.soulnutrition.org : Space to Think
Image: B0005204 Neurons in the brain. Credit: Dr Jonathan Clarke, Wellcome Images. Pyramidal neurons forming a network in the brain. These are nerve cells from the cerebral cortex that have one large apical dendrite and several basal dendrites. Colour-enhanced light microscopy 2003. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK