This may be the one of the most important articles you would read. What emotions are and why should you care about them? Your emotions are the most powerful forces about your life. Everything you do, you do it to achieve a certain emotion. You want to feel happy? It is an emotion. You want to avoid pain? It is an emotion. Learning how to control and manage your emotions could transform your life.
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. In this post, we would try to understand the meaning of emotions, types of emotions, positive and negative emotions.
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 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.
What are the emotions you would feel if you are going in the right direction? Let us look at some of those.
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.
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- your relationships are healthy, you find your work fulfilling and and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, or you meet a beautiful person, you know it, or you achieve something meaningful to you, you feel beautiful.
Isn’t that a beautiful emotion?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
Thank you for reading.
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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.