Defining emotions complex and confusing topic with a broad range of philosophical implications. However, for the purposes of making an intelligent action in everyday life, it is often more beneficial to explore specific emotions and their individual components rather than try to define general groups such as “positive emotions” and “negative emotions” as the core emotions. Emotions occur from the autonomic nervous system.
Core emotions are an integral part of human biology and evolution, inextricably involved with the survival of the species. While they are useful in many ways, emotions also have their costs. The trick is managing them so that they can be advantageous to survival rather than detrimental.
Emotions are chemical signals sent by the body to the brain, in response to environmental stimuli Certain stimulus-response pairs of chemical signals are associated with particular emotions. These signal-responses form an individual’s emotional fingerprint, in much the same way that certain sounds in a language form an individual’s lexicon.
It takes time to start understanding emotions in that certain emotions occur alongside other emotions and it is difficult to understand them. Emotions originate as physical sensations in the body, as a result of chemical signals sent by the brain. These physical sensations are similar to those caused by pain or fear, so emotions tend to trigger particular survival mechanisms which cause different behaviors.
Difficult emotions are often related to other emotions. For example, anger may be difficult because it is closely associated with violence and other negative behaviors. This can make people angry sad or afraid at the anger which then makes them feel bad, causing guilt.
The ability to feel emotions and regulate emotion(s) is a skill that everyone needs to have, different emotions have different demands. However, difficult emotions have the highest demand because they are so often associated with other emotions being felt simultaneously or in sequence.
A definition of emotion may be hard to come by but there are definitely common factors that encompass various emotional states. These common factors include heightened awareness, arousal level changes, physical sensations, thoughts, expectations, judgments, and actions that are either conscious or subconscious. Additionally, emotions have a way of influencing an individual’s physical state. This is known as arousal level change which is one of five theories proposed by psychologists to describe the process involved in how emotion influences an increasing or decreasing sense of excitement within the body, emotions are highly subjective.
Any emotions that cause you to feel bad. That means it might be useful to take positive emotions into account, but for the purposes of this article, I’m not going to address them. We are talking about negative emotions because they are far more common in everyday life and are much easier for an individual to control if they choose to do so.
“Emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: A subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response.”
The most basic step in processing any negative emotion is becoming aware of it. You must recognize the thought pattern which has brought you to this emotion. For example, let’s say you are working at your desk. All of a sudden, someone slams the door next to you which startles you for a moment. You become angry with them because they didn’t warn you that they were about to slam the door and it startled you.
When you perceive a positive or beneficial event, your body releases serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, appetite, and sleep, those are positive emotions.
The next step in processing the emotion is to identify the cause of it. In this example, someone slammed a door close by which startled you for a moment even though you are aware that it is an accident. You know this because you are aware of the surroundings and there are no other negative consequences coming from this action. The next step is to identify whether your resulting emotion is appropriate for the situation, given what you have recognized about the cause of it. If you decide that it is appropriate.
As best as possible, I will be defining each emotion as a separate topic rather than lumping them into a general group.
Negative and positive emotions are the primary emotions that are common to us however there are other emotions such as universal emotions.
When a person is happy, they are receiving more positive stimuli from their environment than negative. In other words, if your life is going pretty well and you have little to complain about, you will be happier on average than someone who has more negative things occurring in their life. There are a number of factors that influence happiness, including genetics and the environment a person grew up in. In some cases, people have been known to be clinically depressed for so long that they can no longer experience happiness even when everything goes well for them.
To feel sad, they are receiving more negative stimuli from their environment than positive. In other words, if your life is going pretty poorly and you have a lot of reasons to complain, you will be sadder on average than someone who has fewer negative things occurring in their life. There are a number of factors that influence sadness, including genetics and the environment a person grew up in. In some cases, people have been known to be so depressed for so long that they can no longer experience sadness even when nothing goes right for them. Sadness is often used in storytelling, either to convey the theme that “things are not always happy” or to illustrate a character “losing hope”
When a person is angry, they are receiving more negative stimuli from their environment than positive – but not nearly as much more as someone who is sad. In other words, if a person has a good reason to be upset, they might experience anger. There are a number of factors that influence anger, including genetics and the environment a person grew up in.
When a person experiences embarrassment, they likely feel shame as well as some form of physical discomfort. The physical discomfort could be, for example, blushing or sweating even if the temperature is cool enough for the room to not feel warm. Instead of receiving more negative stimuli than positive from their environment, a person in an embarrassing moment receives almost equal amounts of positive and negative stimuli – but not necessarily exactly equal.
Physiological response to embarrassment can include blushing. Blushing is caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the face and occurs when an individual feels ashamed or embarrassed about something they have done, leading to physiological arousal. The blush usually occurs on both cheeks but can also spread to the ears and neck as well. Physiological responses to embarrassment can also include sweating. Sweating is caused by eccrine glands secreting fluid to cool down the body when it becomes overheated due to stress, embarrassment or other psychological factors.
Physiological reactions to embarrassment can also include feeling hot in the face or ears. The person may feel the warmth on their cheeks and the surrounding areas. When a person feels love, they are receiving more positive stimuli from their environment than negative. A mother usually feels an extremely strong sense of love for her child.
Six basic emotions
The basic emotions are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. Emotions are generally related to specific events or objects. The emotions include happiness (feeling good), sadness (feeling bad), anger (being upset), fear (wanting to escape/avoid something), surprise (not expecting something), and disgust (finding something revolting).
Human emotions are part of our evolutionary toolkit–as well as an integral part of human experience. It is therefore not surprising that there has been a long history of interest in emotions and their role in shaping behavior and social interaction. Philosophers, scientists, and other scholars have pondered the causes and consequences of emotions for millennia. Understanding own emotions are rarely possible and therefore talking to a therapist will help.
Complex emotions are emotions that involve multiple dimensions, such as intensity and time. For example, love is a complex emotion involving the combination of an intense feeling and a sense of connection to another person over a long period of time. Emotion regulation has been defined as “the extrinsic and intrinsic processes responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and modifying emotional reactions”.
Emotional responses are automatic responses to stimuli. If you see a bear come out of the woods, you will likely experience fear – even if you logically know that it is not necessary to be afraid of this particular bear given your current situation.
Emotional reactions are similar, except they also include analysis and thinking about the problem before responding. For example, if you see a bear come out of the woods and think to yourself, “Oh man, this is probably not good”, then your response to seeing the bear will be fear rather than just fear.
Emotional responses and reactions can sometimes be influenced by how much control we believe we have over decisions that affect our emotions. For example, we might feel more upset about a bear (emotional response) if we believe that it is our fault for not making the bear go away by yelling loudly enough. Likewise, we might feel even more upset about a bear (emotional reaction) if we believe that this particular encounter with the bear is an absolute disaster that has ruined our entire day.
Emotional expressions are similar to preferences in that they just exist – there is no reason why we should feel happy rather than sad, or what makes something a preference instead of emotion. Some people might respond by saying “well, isn’t it obvious? I like holding hands with my partner and feeling the warmth of their hand around. Emotional stimuli are just anything that causes emotions.
Emotional stimuli can be caused by our internal experiences, such as thinking about something sad or happy. It could also be caused by outside sources, including other people and media. For example, if you saw a movie with a really romantic scene in it, then this might give you the opportunity to feel romantic.
Emotional awareness is knowing what you are feeling and why. This is only possible with emotional responses and reactions; if some event makes you sadder without your knowledge, then you cannot know that this happened. You can feel sad, but you would not know why. Thus, emotional awareness requires both an emotional response and an emotional reaction. The emotional state that one is in will always affect their mental state.
Emotional experiences are distinguished by how intense they are, similar to preferences. If you see a bear come out of the woods, then your emotional reaction will likely be fairly mild if it is just one of many bears that you have seen during the day. It might even be fairly strong if this particular bear is particularly large or aggressive-looking. Sometimes past emotional experiences can trigger our emotional state in certain circumstances.
The behavioral or expressive response is sometimes considered separate from emotions because it does not necessarily involve having an emotion. For example, smiling is sometimes believed to be separate from feeling happy because you can still smile even if you are not currently feeling happy.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to use emotions as a tool to think, rather than as an obstacle. We might avoid thinking about something because we do not want to feel the associated negative emotional states, even if this is something that we should be thinking about.
Emotional intelligence can also include being attuned to our own emotional states and those of other people. Thus, we can more accurately predict how our decisions will affect ourselves and others before actually making them. This also allows us to influence the emotional state of other people by using emotional stimuli as a way to try to make them feel happy or sad as necessary for particular purposes.
Emotional intelligence is important in decision-making. If we were always guided by our current emotional state, then we would very easily be influenced by other people if they elicited an emotional response in us using stimuli that were different than our own thoughts.
Emotional intelligence may also allow one to use emotions as a source of motivation or inspiration, which can help with making decisions over long periods of time. For example, you might feel inspired to put in effort for an activity if it is something that makes you feel good about yourself.
Emotions are the subjective experiences of our thoughts and feelings.