I’m reading How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett and it’s the first time in quite awhile I’ve been so enthralled with a book that I’ve been taking lots of notes, not just underlining things. There are so many mind blowing concepts that relate to yoga and movement!

Here’s a snapshot from my notes so far:

1. Emotion fingerprints are a myth. No brain region contained the fingerprint for any single emotion.
2. Simulation means that your brain changes the firing of its own sensory neurons in the absence of incoming sensory input. Simulation helps us understand how the brain creates emotions.
3. We cannot claim, with any reasonable certainty, that each emotion has a diagnostic facial expression. Every emotion you know is a DIVERSE category with widely varying facial movements. Our culture has created these facial expressions and we have all learned them.
4. We need a new theory of what emotions are and where they come from.
5. The simplest way to master your feelings IN THE MOMENT is to move your body.
6. With practice you can learn to deconstruct an affective feeling into mere physical sensations, rather than letting those sensations be a filter through which you view the world. Re categorization and interoception are tools of the emotion expert.
7. There is no division between mental and physical illness. Chronic stress eats away at your interoceptive and control networks causing them to atrophy.
8. Cumulative imbalance in the body budget changes the structure of your interoceptive network, rewiring your brain and reducing its ability to accurately regulate your body budget.
9. It’s possible that nociception is a form of interoception.
10. Children who experience early adversity have shorter telemeres. In other words, emotional harm can do more serious damage, last longer, and cause more future harm than breaking a bone.

Has anyone else read this book? If so what do you think?

Thank you to Derek Beres for introducing me to this book via your podcast! Here’s the link: