Emotions are a crucial part of who you are, but they can sometimes be complicated, messy, and completely confusing. Developing emotional health with yourself and others requires knowing how to talk about them.
Psychologists have too tried to identify the different types of emotions that people experience. As a result, several different theories have emerged to categorize and explain people’s emotions.
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How many emotions humans have?
Recent research suggests that there are 27 different emotions, all of which are deeply interconnected. After examining the responses of more than 800 men to 2,000 video clips, researchers created an interactive chart to show how these emotions are related to one another.
Universally experienced six basic emotions that he suggested in all human cultures. The emotions he identified were:
He later developed his list of basic emotions to include shame, pride, embarrassment, and excitement.
Keep in your mind that this is just one way of categorizing emotions. For example, current research suggests that there are 27 categories of emotion. But five main types of emotion offer a good frame for breaking down the complexity of all the feels.
So let’s see what each of these five categories consists of.
People usually like to feel very happy, good, and calm. So you might express these feelings by laughing, smiling, or indulging yourself.
You feel enjoyment when:
- You are closer and more connected to the people you care about.
- You feel secure.
- You are doing something that triggers sensory pleasure.
- You’re absorbed in an activity.
- You feel relaxed and at peace.
If happiness and its related feelings feel difficult, try to take a look at other emotions that are getting in the way, such as:
- Trouble in focusing
- A low or anxious mood.
Everyone feels unhappy from time to time. Of course, this emotion relates to an event, such as a loss or rejection. But in other cases, you have no idea why you feel sad.
Sadness can also be hard to move, but depending on the situation, these tips might help:
- Mourn. Mourning is a part of grief. Whether you’re trying to heal from a loss, change, breakup, or failure to achieve a goal, acknowledging your loss can also help you accept and work through it. Everyone mourns in their way, so do what feels right to you.
- Reach out for some support. This is easy to do whenever you are at a weak point. Try to remember people in your life who care for you and truly want to help you. The pain of grief does ease in time, even if you can’t believe that at the moment.
Fear is a strong emotion that can play an important role in survival. When you face any danger and experience fear, you go for what is known as the fight or flight response.
This response helps guarantee that you are prepared to deal with your threats. Expressions of this type of emotion can also include:
- Facial expressions: Such as widening your eyes and pulling back your chin.
- Physiological reactions: Such as breathing and rapid heartbeat.
- Body language: Attempts to hide from the threat.
Fear is a normal emotion — and one that kept your ancestors from being eaten alive — but there are some things you can do to fight it:
- Confront fear instead of avoiding it.
- Distract yourself from your fear.
- Consider the fear logically.
Don’t get confused if these tips seem impossible or overwhelming — they can be hard to accomplish on your own. Instead, consider working with a therapist who can help you navigate panic attacks, phobias, anxiety, and other mental health issues around fear.
Disgust is another of the original 6 basic emotions described by Eckman. It also can display disgust in several ways, including:
- Physical reactions: Such as retching or vomiting.
- Body language: Turning off from the object of disgust.
- Facial expressions: Such as curling the upper lip and wrinkling the nose.
Poor hygiene, blood, infection, rot, and death can trigger a disgust response. This can be the body’s way of avoiding things that carry transmittable diseases.
Anger can also be an especially strong emotion characterized by feelings of agitation, hostility, frustration, and antagonism towards others. Like fear, anger plays a part in your body’s fight or flight response.
- Facial expressions: Frowning or glaring.
- Body language: such as taking a strong stand or turning away.
- Tone of voice: Speaking yelling or gruffly.
- Physiological responses: Sweating or turning red.
- Aggressive behaviors: such as kicking, hitting, or throwing objects.
This type of emotion has both mental and physical consequences. For example, unchecked anger makes it difficult to make rational decisions and even impacts your physical health.
Emotion is an important part of how we live our lives, from influencing how we engage with others in our day-to-day lives to affecting our decisions. By understanding the different types of emotions, you also can understand how these emotions are shown and their impact on your behavior.
It is vital to remember, however, that no emotion is an island. Instead, the various emotions you experience are complex and nuanced, working together to create the rich and varied fabric of your emotional life.
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