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I’ve been thinking about this in regards to empathy, or trying to understand someone. You have to put yourself in that person’s position and imagine yourself going through that same experience. But it doesn’t seem like you can analyze the feelings you get while at the same time feeling them. But this isn’t just about empathy, but really imagining any emotion. When I think of observing,I’m thinking of nonfeeling. Of course, I don’t think you can never feel any emotion. But if I think of meditation, I’m thinking about observing my breathing,my heart rate,the environment around me. This is the act of observing,if you consider observing an act. But now I want to imagine something exciting. So I imagine myself on a rollercoaster. And I feel the excitement from it. It doesn’t seem like I can fully immerse myself in this scenario while simultaneously trying to observe myself, observe how it makes me feel.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. I think you are asking if it's possible to imagine feeling an emotion while simultaneously "observing" (being mindful of) it? I am not sure how this question can be answered as-is. When imagining an emotion such as an exciting rollercoaster ride, one can report on experiencing the emotion, its intensity, duration, and possibly its effects on heart-rate (if any). How is this different from "observing" it? $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Dec 12, 2020 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ But isn’t the reporting part happening after the experiencing part? I mean it seems you can report feelings while experiencing them, but that seems to take away from the experience. It seems the more immersed you are in the experience, the greater the intensity of the emotion. Reporting on such emotion would seem to take away from the immersion, and thus, lessen the intensity of the emotion. $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2020 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ There is something called "affect labeling", where reporting on an emotion (labeling it) reduces its intensity. Is this the sort of thing you had in mind? $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Dec 25, 2020 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, I know I'm super late, but yeah that seems to be the sort of thing I was talking about $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2021 at 21:44

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