HEALTHY LIVING

How Emotions Help Humans Evolve, According To Science

06/26/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Dec 25, 2015

We may think that a good career or a loving family drives us toward a meaningful life, but underlying these milestones is an even more basic element: our feelings.

In the Fusion video above, Dr. Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, breaks down the science of how our emotional responses help us to adapt to our own environments.

"When we think about who we are as a species -- and emotions are who we are as a species -- very often people have a cynical view of human nature," he explains in the video. That's because when it comes to evolving, most people think of Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory, he says. But in reality, experts theorize that sympathy is our strongest instinct.

"Those communities that have the most sympathetic members will flourish and do the best," Keltner further explains. "So out of that comes this other philosophy of 'survival of the kindest.'"

In other words? "Embrace your emotions," Keltner says -- whether you're furious, overjoyed or anything in between. You need them to succeed.

Now that's advice we can get behind.

Check out the full video above to hear more about how humans evolved based on their emotions.

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