Get Your Emotions in Check!

How your emotions affect your ability to learn.

What Are You Feeling?

Ecstatic. Elated. Furious. Depressed. Confused. Surprised. All of these and more are emotions and your brain captures every moment of what you are feeling. The brain is complex and wonderful and does many things that are unknown to most humans. Did you know that your emotional states can affect your ability to learn?

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Being Nice Counts

In Southern Norway in 2006-2008, an observer visited one hundred and ten dairy farms to observe the moods and behaviors of farmers towards their cattle. The farmers under a false pretense that they were not being studied carried on with their normal behaviors.

The observer looked for different behavior between the cows and the farmers. He had different questions that he wanted the answer to about farmers in the course of his studies. Were they dominant or insecure? Did they talk to their calves? Were they inclusive or quiet? With these questions in mind, the observer looked at the behavior and moods of the cows to see how they acted.

At the end of his study, the observer came to the conclusion that there are four types of farmers;

• Those who pet and touch the animals.
• Those who are patient and calm.
• Those who are dominant, abrupt, aggressive and noisy, who often use coercion.
• Those who are uncertain and nervous, who are uncomfortable in dealing with the animals.

The behavior of the farmers reflected on the cows. If the farmer was happy and caressed, the cows then would be happy and carefree. Dominant and aggressive farmers often got frustrated cows.

Cows that weren't stressed and more carefree had better meat and milk.

How Does This Information Affect Us as Human Beings?

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1, 2, 3, BREATHE!

Like what happened to the cows and the farmers, this can also happen in real life situations. Our brain knows what we are feeling, it knows our emotions. If we are mad, sad, confused, or angry, we won't be able to learn as much as we could being happy. Our brain knows when we are in our feelings and it shuts down unable to process much information. Our prefrontal cortex takes up all of the useful information and stores it. With negative emotions into play, it would probably go to our reactive part of the brain, possibly triggering negative reactions.

As a teacher, this is essential in a classroom. Bored, angry, sad and tired behaviors can affect the way a student or a class learns. Positive vibes cheers up the whole tribe. If I were having a bad day, my mood will be altered and will most likely affect the way I teach my class and how they receive information.

A very important and easy thing to do to relax and get in the right zone is to breathe. Calm down, take a deep breath, count to ten and relax. Being in the right mood will open up your brain and get your prefrontal cortex going. Everyone is allowed their bad days but sometimes these days might affect other people.