For me, the more I understand how something works, the greater my ability to manage it. I apply this line of reasoning with emotion management using the theory of constructed emotions. Neuroscience, even science in general, can be complicated to understand. This is why I use concepts from cooking–the construction of a recipe by a chef–to explain the science behind how our brain predicts our emotions. This helps to make the strategies we create together easier to consume, digest and apply in daily life.
Yes, the pun was intended.
Our brain sits in a dark room trying to make sense of the world using sensory data from our outside world (sight, sounds, smells, taste, etc) and from our inside world. The sense of how we feel inside of our bodies is called interoception. It plays a key role in our perception and emotion management.
What I call Emotion Recipes, are what the brain uses to predict our emotional responses. All of our past experiences are stored in our subconscious and can be used for future prediction of our emotions, reactions, thoughts and decisions. The brain makes errors and can correct for it, only if we consciously change the recipe. The idea behind this is very intuitive, but also nuanced in how the brain uses the sensory data it receives.
Have you ever try to cook a meal with a faulty oven, not the right utensils, or not enough energy? Our body, aka the Kitchen, has the tools to help the brain with cooking up our Emotion Recipes. More importantly, a well-funded and maintained kitchen allows our brain, the Chef, to be more effective at the job.
A cook follows known recipes to prepare food. A chef is is trained to understand flavors, cooking techniques, create recipes from scratch with fresh ingredients, and have a high level of responsibility within a kitchen. You may have been cooking your emotion recipes, however I am inviting you to become an Emotion Chef. As Emotion Chefs advance, their ability to identify the flavors of their emotions, allowing them to better manage them.