It’s all about emotions

Basal Ganglia inside our brains plays an important role in habit formation. This is quite a norm in our lives for all we do- bathing after breakfast; waking up late on weekdays vs on weekends; grabbing a drink daily especially especially when leaving office etc. etc.

While basal ganglia and its role in shaping our habits has a long history of research, six decades or so, our reaction to exceptional or non-routine events intrigues me. This does not indicate any unexplored field of research for a Nobel prize aspirant to pursue. This is simply my lazziness to not read further.

For example, Why will someone be nostalgic for pleasure and painful events equally. Why is this so? A couple of centuries back, Nostalgia was an emotion that threatened life. Today, it is simply a word of emotion – missing a place or an event- and does not trigger neurological symptoms that may lead to death of an individual.

How can an event that triggered extreme sadness/ unhappiness, equivalent to a trauma, be felt on same dates several years later? This could be simply, in layman terms, a result of our obsession with dates, or our memory. This may also be out of habit/nostalgic feeling to re-experience and change the course of events that occured in past.

Of course research has answers to above questions that I am unaware of. But why should one not try to approach it in a manner that is less punishing to say the least?