An emotion is often described as an inner experience or feeling of, for example, joy, fear, anger, sadness that is evoked by a certain situation or can occur spontaneously. However, emotions are not only accompanied by subjective feelings, but also by physical reactions and certain expressions in the behavior.
In a biological sense, an emotion can also be defined as a response of our brain to an affective stimulus. This is almost automatically reflected in both humans and animals in a certain pattern of behavior (e.g. flight or rapprochement) and physiological reactions.Emotions serve as a signal to tell us that a certain event is especially important to us, for better or for worse.
Emotion and feeling
Emotion and feeling are often used interchangeably. Yet they are not the same. In general, there is an emotion if there is also (the willingness to) take action.
A feeling is more a state of knowing, and with a feeling there is no question of (the willingness to) take action.With a feeling, the situation does not seem to be intrusive enough to get into action.
There are several positive emotions. They can be focused on the past (e.g., pride, serenity), present (e.g., pleasure, joy), or the future (e.g., hope, optimism). Experiencing positive emotions broadens our thoughts and actions. We take off our ‘blinkers’ and thus broaden our horizons. This makes us more creative in coming up with solutions to problems. You can also consciously look for positive emotions in order to create other patterns in your life. See also my article about storylines.