Do you find yourself behaving emotionally rather than logically during tough times?
Do you find yourself confused when you take actions to simplify your life, but they end up complicating it?
As per science, the life decisions that we make, the actions that we take. and the perceptions that we carry are impacted by the emotions that we experience.
So, if you want to handle the complex relationships in a productive way to simplify your life, here’s what you need to know about emotions.
Before knowing how we can control our emotions, we need to understand what are emotions.
What are EMOTIONS?
Psychologists have identified the different types of emotions that we experience. Based on the different research findings of how people feel, emotions are categorized as:
1. Basic Emotions
These are the 6 basic emotions that universally experienced among all men and women across different cultures.
Psychologist Paul Eckman identified 6 basic emotions – Happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger.
As per a 2017 study, there are far more basic emotions than previously believed. Here’s the list of identified 27 basic emotions.
2. Combining Emotions
If you are a painter, then you will find this phenomenon very simple to grasp. Psychologist Robert Plutchik designed a “wheel of emotions” that resembled the color wheel. The way red and yellow color could be combined to give us orange, in a similar way joy and trust can be combined to create love. So, more basic emotions are building blocks to give way to more complex or mixed emotions.
In order to understand how our emotions, impact our behavior, here’s a closer look at some of the basic types of emotions.
Happiness is what we all strive for. Isn’t it?
Happiness is defined as a pleasant emotional state that is accompanied by feelings of satisfaction, joy, contentment, gratification, and well-being.
So many researchers have been interested in the subject of happiness that there is a specific branch of psychology dedicated to the research of happy living known as positive psychology.
Happiness could be characterized by the upbeat, pleasant tone of voice or facial expressions such as smiling or the Body language such as a relaxed stance.
While happiness is one of the basic human emotions, what creates happiness tends to be highly influenced by personal choices and individual characteristics.
For some, it could be about possessing a house or a high-paying job and for some, it could be meaningful and happy relationships.
The realities of what actually contributes to happiness are often much more complex than one perceived them to be.
Though it is quite intuitive that happiness can lead to better both physical and mental health, the research also supports the same. As per science, happiness could lead to increased longevity and increased marital satisfaction.
But, unhappiness is linked to a variety of health problems – Stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It could actually lead to lowered immunity and a shortened life span.
Grief, hopelessness, disappointment, grief, hopelessness, and low mood are just the signs that characterize the emotion of sadness.
Like any other emotion, every individual experience sadness from time to time. But, sometimes the emotion of sadness could turn into prolonged periods of sadness turning into depression.
As every individual is different, they have a different way of experiencing sadness. Some become lethargic, some cry their heart out, some carry dampened the mood or some just simply withdraw themselves from the surroundings and turn quiet.
The severity of sadness depends upon the root cause and an individual’s coping mechanism.
While handing sadness, some people may engage in avoiding other people or self-medicating or ruminating on negative thoughts. But sadly, these behaviors can actually increase sadness.
The emotion that is very powerful and is critical for survival is FEAR. When we face any sort of danger, we tend to go through a fight or flight response.
Tense muscles, physiological reactions such as rapid breathing and heartbeat, alertness and body readiness to either fight or flight are the body responses characterized by fear. These responses make sure that the body is well prepared to effectively deal with the danger.
Like any other emotion, not everyone experiences fear in the same way. Some may be more sensitive to fear and certain situations or objects than others.
Fear could be triggered not only by immediate threat but could be manufactured as a result of anticipated threats or our negative thoughts.
And, this is what is generally labeled as anxiety. A great example of such manufactured fear is social anxiety. Social anxiety involves the anticipated fear of social situations.
Though some people might avoid fear-provoking situations, on the other hand, some may seek out for specific adventurous situations that give them thrills.
But the fear of feeling or anxiety could be easily controlled or reduced through the repeated exposure to a fear object or situation. This lays the basis of exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is about gradually exposing the subject to the things that scare him/her in a controlled and safe manner. Eventually, the feelings of fear start decreasing with continuous exposure.
Moving away from the subject of disgust or exhibiting physical signs such as vomiting or facial expression, are some of the body responses characterized by the emotion of Disgust.
This sense of unpleasant feeling can result from a number of things, including an irksome taste, sight, or smell. When people smell or taste foods that have gone bad, for example, disgust is a typical reaction. It could also be because of poor hygiene or infection.
But, sometimes disgust could also be triggered by engaging in immoral, distasteful, or evil behaviors.
Characterized by the feelings of frustration, agitation or hostility towards others, fear is one of the most powerful emotions.
It’s not only fear but also anger that can trigger the body’s fight or flight response. Sometimes, danger can generate anger too!
Body language, physiological responses such as sweating or turning red or aggressive behaviors such as yelling, hitting, kicking, or throwing objects could display anger.
Though many of us may regard anger as a negative emotion, sometimes, it can be a good thing.
It could be constructive in clarifying one’s needs in a relationship or could also motivate us to take actions or resolve issues that are bothering us.
But, anger could become a real problem when it is excessive or expressed in unhealthy and dangerous ways to others. Unchecked and uncontrolled anger could easily turn into abuse, violence or aggression. It can also lead to irrational decision making and impact your physical health.
Anger can have an immense effect on one’s health – coronary heart diseases or diabetes. The emotion of anger is generally linked to health risk behaviors such as driving, alcohol consumption or smoking.
When humans encounter something unexpected, the physiological startled response characterizes surprise.
This type of emotion can be positive, negative, or neutral. An unpleasant surprise leads to negative responses whereas a pleasant surprise could lead to positive responses.
From verbal reactions such as yelling or screaming to physical responses such as jumping back, or facial expressions such as raising the brows or widening the eyes, or opening the mouth generally characterizes surprise.
Sometimes when people experience surprise, they do have a burst of adrenaline that prepares the body to either fight or flee.
A Word From I FOR HER
The way we live our lives or the way we engage with others and make our life decisions are influenced to a great extent by emotions. By understanding different types of emotions, we hope you gain a deeper understanding of how these emotions are expressed and how these can impact your behavior.