In his landmark 1994 book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman describes the instant impact various emotional incidents have on the body. For instance, anger makes blood rush to the hands ready for action. Meanwhile, the heart rate increases and there is a surge of adrenalin. With fear, blood rushes to the skeletal muscles such as the legs, the face blanches and the body momentarily freezes as it decides whether hiding may be a better option than running or fighting. Meanwhile, there is a flood of hormones that puts the body on general alert, making us edgy and incapable of concentrating on anything other than the threat to hand.
Such a response offers obvious short-term advantages – especially if we are truly threatened. ...