CWTI Trainings

Emotional Intelligence graphic
Emotional Intelligence


Emotion and the Brain


All of the components of emotion – behavior, cognition and physiological response – are controlled through the network of neurons within our brain.

Image of the brain

Over the course of human evolution, the thinking, or "rational" brain, evolved from the biological and emotional brain which helps explain the relationship between thinking and feeling.  In essence, there was a primitive, emotional brain long before there was a rational brain to modulate it. During infancy and adulthood, the parts of the brain that control biological and emotional function develop first, with the rational brain becoming fully developed much later. Understanding these concepts helps us comprehend why and how people react in certain ways during stressful situations.  Since our emotions impact rational decision-making, you can see why families may make certain decisions in their lives during highly emotional and stressful moments.


Heart Vs. Head

Think of the emotional and rational minds as “heart vs. head.”  The more intense a feeling, then more dominant the emotional mind can become leading to the rational mind becoming ineffective to control the emotional response.  Ideally, the emotional and rational minds ideally balance each other.  Emotions feed into and inform the operations of the rational mind while the rational mind refines and sometimes rejects the expression of emotions. When passions surge, this delicate balance often tips, with the emotional mind overtaking the rational mind.

In a sense, we have two inter-connected minds: One that thinks - the conscious, deliberate, and rational mind - and one that feels - the emotional mind that is more impulsive, powerful and sometimes illogical.



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