What do we mean by Emotion?

Emotion = subjective, conscious experience – based on personal perspectives, feelings, beliefs, desires and discoveries, as opposed to those made from an independent, objective, point of view.
It is often associated with mood (longer lasting but usually less intense than emotion), temperament, personality, disposition and motivation (positive or negative). It is influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin and cortisol. Emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system.

Cognition is an important aspect of emotion, particularly for the interpretation of events (a group of mental processes that includes attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision making). Fear for example usually occurs in response to a threat.

Affection – anger – angst – anguish – annoyance – anxiety – apathy – arousal – awe – boredom – contempt – contentment – courage – curiosity – depression – desire – despair – disappointment – disgust – distrust – dread – ecstasy – embarrassment – envy – euphoria – excitement – fear – frustration – gratitude – grief – guilt – happiness – hatred – hope – horror – hostility – hurt – hysteria – indifference – interest – jealousy – joy – loathing – loneliness – love – lust – outrage – panic – passion – pity – pleasure – pride – rage – regret – remorse – sadness – satisfaction – shame – shock – shyness – sorrow – suffering – surprise – terror – trust – wonder – worry – zeal – zest.

Emotions have been described as discrete and consistent responses to internal or external events. Emotions are brief in duration and consist of a coordinated set of responses, which may include verbal, physiological, behavioural and neural mechanisms.

Six basic emotions – anger – disgust – fear – happiness – sadness – surprise.

A wheel of emotions:
joy v sadness – anger v fear – trust v distrust – surprise v anticipation.

Emotional dispositions are also comparable to character traits, where someone may be said to be generally disposed to experience certain emotions. For example, an irritable person is generally disposed to feel irritation more easily or quickly than others do.

When we are irritated by what others are saying, the irritation is caused by our perspective – the personal opinions that we possess, the value we have of our own opinions, the opinions we think we are hearing and our sense of values over the opinions we are hearing – we are irritating ourselves! But do we need to be irritated by what others say?
We may be unhappy with the way the conversation is going but we shouldn’t be holding others responsible for how they feel about it. Beware of trying to control how other people feel. The only thing to do with the irritation is to feel it and embrace it. Feelings can help us to evaluate what our focus really is, and whether it is appropriate.
We all feel anger when we see something we feel is unjust – we feel violated – but the perceptions of others may be different. If others have feelings that don’t make sense to us we have to accept them for what they are. But questions may help us to understand their focus. There can then be a shift of focus either way.
The way we feel shouldn’t be a problem – how we feel is a reflection of our conclusions and our focus. That wont always be pleasant but how we feel is the end product of a process, and if there is anything wrong with the end product it’s because there is something wrong with the process.


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