The calming effect of naming emotions

A brain scanning study has found that naming an emotion reduces it’s intensity.

Participants in the experiment were scanned while they looked at pictures of faces with different emotional expressions.

It turned out that when naming an emotion … activity in a frontal lobe area called the the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (right VLPFC) significantly increased while activity in the amygdala decreased.The amygdala is known to be heavily involved in processing emotions and seems to be regulated, at least in part, by the VLPFC.

These findings are consistent with this idea. The VLPFC increases its activity to dampen down the emotions triggered by the amygdala.

It occurred to me that part of the ‘setup procedure’ for a round of EFT is to have the person identify and label the feeling or emotion they are feeling. Then as they are tapping the meridian points they are using the name of the feeling as the ‘reminder phrase’.

This consistent and persistent naming of the emotion may well accelerate the calming influence of the tapping procedure before the tapping has even begun.

The whole article can be found here Mind Hacks: Labelling emotions reduces their impact

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