Emotional Granularity

From Weekly I/O#10

The ability to differentiate between similar emotions helps us do better and be more resilient.

Podcast: Lisa Feldman Barrett: Balancing the Brain Budget [The Knowledge Project Ep. #92]

Knowing a lot of emotion concepts, emotion words and being able to create very nuanced precise emotional events are really helpful. It's called emotional granularity, meaning the emotional life is precise and granular. One instance of anger is not the same as the other instance of anger.

If we feel “bad”, we might not know what to do next to improve how we feel. But if we know we are feeling some specific kinds of anger, sadness, or afraidness, it will be easier to decide what we should do.

Research shows that kids with higher emotional granularity perform better in school. It’s helpful socially and allows them to be resilient when bad things happen to them. Those kids tend to use alcohol less when they’re stressed. People even recover faster from physical illness when they’re more granular.

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