There seems to exist a phenomenon where being aware of one's feelings gives us power over them. I have seen this in everyday life, but the strongest piece of evidence I've seen is from a talk by UCLA Psychology professor Dan Siegel who talks about his research putting people in brain scanners and getting them to name their emotions, and he says:

If you can get her left brain to name the emotion, her left brain will squirt soothing neurotransmitters into her lower brain

My question is: why do we have this mechanism? Do we have any idea how it evolved and what sort of evolutionary pressures or environments led to it? (Should I be asking Siegel himself? :P)


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