What are emotions and why do they matter so much in life

Welcome to the happiness blog. In case you are visiting for the first time, please do not forget to follow. Each post on this blog has a single objective- to make your everyday life happier.

This is going to be an exciting post and so don’t stop reading till you finish. My objective of writing this is to help us understand the importance of emotions and why do they matter in our lives.

I have started to say that emotions are output, and what we do in life to achieve that is input. I would explain that.

Emotions are output. Emotions are how you feel right now. Emotions are how you feel at any given moment of your life.

Emotions therefore are so powerful since they determine the quality of your life or tell you if your life sucks. They are life’s feedback mechanism. If you are doing the right things, you would experience positive emotions and if you do something that doesn’t work right for you, you would feel negative emotions.

Therefore, if you want to evaluate the state of your life, just honestly assess how you feel. That’s the only way which would give you the correct assessment of your life.

That is why I tell everyone to seek happiness and not success because success doesn’t always make us feel happy inside. Successful is an emotion too but it’s not an ideal output emotion. It should feel like happiness, when felt right.

The purpose that emotions serve in our lives is to remind us if we are going in the right direction.

What are the emotions you would feel if you are going in the right direction? Let us look at some of those.

Happy

Feeling happy
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I am dedicating my life to the idea of making the world a happier place because I feel that should be the primary output emotion of life. Aristotle would agree.

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence – Aristotle

If you are going in the right direction in life, you should feel happy. This would mean a lot of things about the state of your life. This would mean that your relationships are healthy. This would mean that you find your work fulfilling. This would mean you are in a healthy state of mind and body.

If you are happy most of your time, you are going in the right direction, and you are living a fulfilling life. You are inspiring to everyone around you, and you should pat yourself on the back for creating an ideal life.

Contentment

A state of contentment is a state where you feel satisfied with what you have. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want more, but it does mean that you feel you have enough. Contentment is an extremely positive state that leads to happiness. Most people find no contentment in life because they are so focused on externalities of life, and comparing their life with others that they always feel that something is amiss.

Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the most important emotions in life. People who are grateful for what life has given them tend to feel contented and thereby happier than those who can’t find any gratitude in their hearts. In fact, there is nobody who can’t feel grateful as long as they are alive. Life was gifted to us, and none of us earned it. It is possible and easy to feel grateful, even in the most adverse of circumstances.

Love

Feeling loved
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Love is a beautiful emotion and one of the key emotions for a happy and fulfilling life. When you feel loved, you feel that someone cares for you and you are not alone. However, it is an emotion that it quite difficult to earn, just like happiness is difficult to earn.

Respect

One of the eternal cravings of all of us human beings is to be respected by people we admire and respect. Just like other positive emotions, we need to earn respect from people whose respect we want to earn. It takes a while to earn the respect of others, and it is a lifelong process.

They say that respect takes years to earn and seconds to lose. So, preserve it carefully.

Beauty

Do you remember feeling beautiful? I do. The beautiful thing about beauty is not ONLY physical beauty, as most of the world would perceive it. Feeling beautiful is about beauty in person, in character. When you see something beautiful, you know it. When you meet a beautiful person, you know it. When you achieve something meaningful to you, you feel beautiful.

Isn’t that a beautiful emotion?

Hope

Hope is important to live life.
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Hope is one of the most beautiful emotions in the world. Some say that the world rests on hope, and there is no way to counter. When you fee hopeful, you feel that everything would turn out to be alright, no matter how difficult things look right now. Hope is a powerful force in the world that keeps us going in the most trying of circumstances.

Inspiration

When you feel inspired, you want to go ahead and do what inspires you. That is why we need inspiration. We need inspiration because it pushes us to do things. How do you feel inspired though? You feel inspired through a process of self-awareness, when you realise the change you can bring in the world about you. I am inspired to write this article because I think that I can write and explain the meaning of emotions to people who would benefit from it, and thereby live a better life. Inspiration of one of the most important positive emotions we all need to carry on with life.

There are many other positive emotions like awe, interest or pride, and we need to organize our lives in a way that we get to feel most of them on a fairly regular basis

Since we are talking about emotions, we also need to understand the other side of emotions- negative emotions.

We mentioned that emotions are how feel. We don’t feel happy or positive all the time because for most of us, life is not perfect. Those who are able to take their lives to a point where negative emotions have become an impossibility are rare. I haven’t met anyone personally who doesn’t feel any negative emotions ever.

So, let us look at emotions that we feel which don’t make us feel great about life.

Guilt

Guilt is one of the most damaging of negative emotions. It kills us inside when we feel guilty of having committed something wrong. In the legal world, being guilty means being guilty of crimes like murders, rapes, robberies etc. In usual life, feeling guilty means that we know that we did something that we shouldn’t have done. The best way to really avoid guilt is to avoid doing stuff which we know we may end up regretting about later. Since negative emotions are also an output of our actions, we can try and prevent them.

Do whatever you need to do to avoid feeling guilty. When you do, apologise, heal and move on.

Fear

Fear is one of the most damaging of all emotions.
Photo by Joanne Adela Low on Pexels.com

Fear is one of the most common of negative emotions. As per Wikipedia, fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat, which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavioural changes, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events.

Fear causes us to feel scared about life. It causes us to feel insecure and timid. When we are scared, we don’t take risks. When we are scared, we feel we would lose even what we have. When we are scared, we are too possessive in relationships. When we scared to lose our jobs, we become too submissive. Fear destroys our lives and saps all happiness away from it.

I would write a detailed post in sometime on dealing with or managing fear. However, for the purpose of this post, we need to understand that fear is a harmful emotion and we need to fight it to live a fulfilling life.

Disgust

As per the dictionary, disgust is a feeling of revulsion or strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive.

Now, when do we feel disgusted? We feel disgusted by people when they behave in obnoxious ways. How do you deal with that? Stop meeting people whose behaviour you find disgusting. We also feel disgusted by watching a certain kind of content on television or on social media. Stop watching or engaging with that content.

The way to avoid disgust therefore, since it is harmful to us, is to avoid things and people which make us feel disgusted about them.

Frustration

Frustration is an emotion all of us face at different points in our life. We feel frustrated when we are trying to change something and in spite of our efforts, things don’t move in our direction. For example, you could be trying to find a job for a while, and doing everything in your capacity, and still not getting any results.

It is natural to feel frustrated. It is quite impossible not to feel frustrated since every time we face a setback, it is human tendency to feel frustrated. All of us want to reach out goals faster because we know that once we reach our goals, our lives would improve, and we would achieve the positive emotion of happiness that we are really after.

However, it happens quite often that things take time, and we need patience while we keep doing our work. All of us have a different pace of improvement and hence when we feel frustrated, it is important to give ourselves a pep talk, get up and keep going. Do not give up on your goals and dreams because of frustration out of temporary failure. Keep going. The setbacks on the way are lessons.

Sadness

Life is a roller coaster and none of us can avoid pain. We just can’t. Somehow, resources in the world are not evenly distributed and we don’t quite know why. Some people are born poor and some are born in riches. Those who are born poor find that they have to face more sadness than those who are born poor. The rich also have their reasons for sadness. Life is mortal and people die, but the poor have a bigger share of sadness, just because they have a bigger battle at hand.

All of us will face sadness in life and in different degrees and contexts. It depends on why you are sad, and the solution for your sadness lies in the problem statement. For example, if you are sad because one of your loved one passed away, the way to deal with the sadness is by absorbing the pain. There is no other way to deal with it besides facing the pain and taking it in. If you are sad because of a painful breakup, you need to learn how to move on, because your partner has. If you are sad because you are struggling to improve your economic circumstances, the way to do it is by working hard on things that would overturn the situation.

Therefore, the solution to sadness lies in the problem itself. However, we would face periods of sadness throughout our lives, and that is okay. No one can completely avoid it. It is a part of the human experience.

Exhausted

When we feel exhausted, we can’t work or operate anymore. Physical exhaustion is easier to cure by way of rest. Emotional exhaustion is difficult to cure. When we are emotionally exhausted, it is quite likely that we have gone through a whirlwind of emotional pain which has caused us to feel emotionally exhausted.

It would help to take a break from whatever it is that is causing you emotional exhaustion to get back to a point where you can restart again.

These are a few negative emotions. There are several others like irritation, depression (which is an acute state of sadness), hatred among others.

The point here is that we need to avoid negative emotions through actions that would discourage them. However, it is not humanly possible to completely eliminate negative emotions from our lives. They are a part of the human experience.

So, what are emotions and why are they so important?

Emotions are how we feel. Emotions are the real feedback and output of life. If you feel positive emotions like happiness, contentment or love, your life is headed in the right direction. If you consistently feel negative emotions like frustration, guilt, hatred or regret, there is something wrong, and you need to really fix your life. Emotions do not lie. Pay attention to them. There is nothing else more important in your life than how you feel.

Thank you for reading.

The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.

I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.

Love,

Amarvani

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