Are Too Many Emotions Too Much to Handle?

Yes, that question may seem rather academic, however, in asking it (and thinking about it), I wanted to become more “academic!” *laughing* In my “findings” and “highly authoritative opinion,” the answer is: YES! *grins*

My jumping off point was really about processing your emotions, while simultaneously having to engage your brain in other activities.  I think we can all agree that we can only handle so much emotional input at one time.  What about the above scenario?

When your brain is “busy” working on other activities that do not involve emotions, it utilizes your frontal lobe and portions of your parietal lobe–roughly.  These are areas for higher order and executive functioning.  There, you make decisions, think about what may be needed in planning situations, even me typing this, and what I had to read to do it!  Emotions are derived from deeper within your brain; much deeper.  That is a place called the limbic system (and portions of it.)  Can we have a bit of a car crash between the two?

Apart from what those conflicting and confounding researchers say (oh, I shouldn’t tease them…) what do I think? Absolutely!

If some kind of emotion pops up while you’re working away, there will be some linking between the two areas.  Well, that’s pretty academic, too! You’re entire brain is one, big, neural network! The point is, you’ll need to make some kind of “decision,” or need to process that emotion.  This is where I found one thing I liked–however, something I didn’t–but it was raised as a rebuttal.  Then I was back to being happy–and on the right track with my entire theory of this Blog Post! *smiles*

I apologize for the lack of the Journal citation information (it’s out there somewhere!) but a study by McClure, Liabson, Loewenstein, and Cohen (2004), found that impulsivity played a role in the decision making process regarding emotions.  Via fMRI, emotions that offered immediate rewards were considered more valuable than emotions that offered delayed rewards.  Thus, a decision was made about the former, faster and more impulsively.  However, herein lies my issue.  Exactly what kind of emotions are we dealing with here? This was addressed in the book at the end of the chapter.  I was relieved to read that, let me tell you!

Moving on, I looked into something called “Appraisal Theory,” or how we appraise our emotions.  This didn’t thrill me so much.  Yep, those conflicting and confounding researchers! All I will say, is more of how I ended the last paragraph.  What kind of emotions are we dealing with? Also, in terms of what I am writing here, the modalities do not fit.  If you would like to read more about it yourself, have at it!

This is what I was sort of seeking all along, and can be read in some discussion here.  It’s really old stuff but it hits the nail on the head.  It’s about Functional Psychology.  It states that when someone experiences any emotion, they go through a process where they basically “stop.”  It’s only momentarily (at least in one state and/or if it is a certain type of emotion), but if they are doing something else, they will be interrupted.

There is another very basic point of being interrupted that may occur, even if no emotion pops up.  We don’t exist in a vacuum.  The example everywhere is that you are focussing away with your “higher order functions,” and… “What was that?” A sound.  Or we could see something out of the corner of our eyes.  Now, toss into the equation any emotion that pops up.

So, in a very simplistic form, we’ve created not only an interruption but a disruption here.  We’ve upset the balance.  Also, remember what I mentioned about what type of emotion/s? Have we now got our car crash (even without the external, sensory stimuli?) Maybe if we add several emotions, we’ve got a bit of a multi-car pile up! Further, if we’ve got mental health issues, let’s hope we haven’t closed the highway and there aren’t any fatalities!

Finally, I thought I’d leave you with this article about “more emotions.” Like we don’t have enough already? *rolls eyes*


  1. Oh my, this is far to much information for my bits of brain to handle. I just know I seem to get overpowered rather easily now days. I think my brain is shutting down.

    I had told you I would let you know when I opened my blog back up. I have now done so. I am trying so hard to blog again but we will see if I can actually do it and for how long….:)

    Love ya xoxoxoxo


  2. Hi cathy. Good to see you and thanks for letting me know that your blog is back up. I’m sorry to hear that you feel things are so overwhelming lately and your brain just wants to shut down. Or it feels like it wants to?

    I know that feeling, too. Actually, I’m there right now. Sometimes I wonder if I’m always there. Will I ever leave “there?”

    And, hey! Come on, now! You’re smart. This Post wasn’t all that “intelligent.” No, no. Plenty of people out there that can whip my butt when it comes to this stuff! That’s for sure.

    Love ya, too,


  1. 1 Should a pre-existing condition be considered a reducing factor when assessing the amount of compensation due in a personal injury claim ? « While I think of it (and before I forget) …

    […] been highlighted to me by two posts that I have read in fairly quick succession.  Firstly one from patientanonymous in which she poses a number of questions relating to the interaction between the parts of the brain […]


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