From "When Labeling an Emotion Quiets It":
Brain imaging now supports what psychotherapists, writers, and the philosopher Baruch Spinoza have observed: Simply recognizing and naming an emotion quells its effect, making thoughtful management of subsequent behavior more likely. Psychotherapists employ this phenomenon when treating patients. Writers who turn their attention on themselves often discover it. And in his Ethics, Spinoza observed that “An emotion, which is a passion, ceases to be a passion, as soon as we form a clear and distinct idea thereof.” At that point, Spinoza observed, the mind becomes less submissive to the emotion, and can exercise greater control over it.
Click to read the rest.