Wondering where you feel emotions in your body? These heat maps will shed light on the subject
In the past few years many scientists and researchers around the world have been studying how emotional state and our energetic body cause health or disease. The way we connect emotionally with others or to our overall wellness and wellbeing may indeed be more relevant than any exercise, medical treatment, supplements or food.
The physiological sensations we experience, depending on whether we are angry, scared or happy, are actually located in different areas of the body.
The simplest example that each one of us has experienced is shame and the felling of our cheeks getting warmer and becoming pink or our ears –red. That shows that the feeling of shame is evoking energy, connected with the facial muscles of our body.
Our emotions coordinate the behavior and the physiological states during pleasurable interactions or when we get interviewed for a job. Even though we are often consciously aware, the mechanisms giving rise to these subjective sensations, like happiness and anger, still remain largely unresolved. The first research that has mapped the areas of our body which are experiencing an increase or decrease in sensory activity when we experience a particular emotion has been done by a team of Finnish scientists. This map was compiled following a study of 700 Taiwanese, Finnish and Swedish volunteers. The resulting map shows that each type of emotion activates a network of specific areas of the body, distinct from those activated by other types of emotions. Every type of emotion carries a unique energy and a different frequency of vibrations in the body. All cells, membranes, tissues, glands, organs, vibrate in precise way in us and they are all influenced by our emotions.
Across experiments, different emotions were consistently associated with statistically separable bodily sensation maps, which were concordant across West European and East Asian samples. Statistical classifiers distinguished emotion-specific activation maps accurately, confirming independence of topographies across emotions.
This body map shows the exact location of the energy burst, depending on the emotion we are experiencing in the moment. As you may felt, happiness is the most significant emotion that is forcing our entire body to respond, as the study shows, and the main areas are the face and the chest. The second strongest emotion we experience, daily I hope, is Love and as you can see, three areas are activated – the chest, the face and the lower abdomen often connected with the butterflies. On the other side, on disgust, it activates the body areas which are mainly concentrated around the mouth and the throat. Anger is mainly active in the chest and the lower part of the face, also arms with particular intensity on the hands.
The body map lists the areas that are home to a decrease in sensory activity, as well as the areas in which the people experienced increased sensory activity when emotion is felt. Thus, we notice that the emotions with depression have the effect of generating a feeling of decline in sensory activity in the legs and arms.
The research show a remarkable consistency in results, suggesting that the mechanisms underlying bodily sensations that we perceive when we experience a particular emotion are likely dictated by the energetic patterns and biology rather than the culture.
The researchers proposed that emotions represented in the somatosensory system are culturally universal categorical somatotopic maps. Perception of these emotion-triggered bodily changes may play a key role in generating consciously felt emotions.
Read: A different perspective on negative emotions
The participants in the research were first asked to watch video sequences associated with different emotions and identify parts of their body where they felt an increase or decrease of bodily sensations.
They used a topographical, self-report tool, to reveal that different emotional experiences are associated with topographically distinct and culturally universal bodily sensations and that these sensations could underlie conscious emotional experiences. Monitoring the topography of these bodily sensations brings forth a special tool for emotion research and could even provide a biomarker for emotional disorders.