eli5: Why do different emotions affect different parts of the body?


For example, your face gets red when you’re embarrassed vs feeling a “heavy heart” when you’re sad. Why these specific physical reactions?

In: 9

The embarrassment is from an extra amount of adrenaline in your body causing heart rate to increase.

Emotions are connected to specific feelings since humans are social creatures and live in groups. Emotions are important as they make communicating their wants and needs easier. (especially in a primitive society without a proper language).

Humans with more ways to feel emotions and differentiate between them were evolutionarily advantageous and had more offspring.

The specific reasons for each is hard to pinpoint but some are easier. Fear, for example, increases your heart rate as that allows for more rapid movement as fear usually meant danger. Some emotions have multiple different notifiers and signaling this to others was vital before and even now.