The site contains the best tips, tricks and solutions to problems you may encounter. Secrets, life hacks, stories and everything related to life and relationships.

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning


What is emotion. Do not confuse with feelings!

Emotion is a short-term reaction to a situation. And feelings do not disappear under the flow of emotions or current situations, they are stable and in order to destroy them, you need to try hard.

Example: A girl saw her boyfriend with another. She is furious, upset, and resentful. But after talking with the guy, it turned out that this is his cousin, who came to visit today. The situation was resolved, emotions passed, and the feeling – love, did not disappear anywhere, even at the moment of the most intense passion.

Besides, emotions are on the surface. You will always see when a person is funny, his fright or amazement. And feelings lie deep, you can’t get to them so easily. It often happens when you despise a person, but due to the current circumstances, you have to communicate with him, while portraying a positive attitude.

What is a feeling?

In fact, a person’s feelings, like every emotion, are all attitudes to what is happening, to what he encounters at every step in his life. A person cannot live normally without worries. Feeling nothing, not experiencing emotional experiences, we are “emotionally hungry” and try to fill this hunger by listening to our favorite music, reading books, etc. At the same time, we need to saturate not only positive feelings, but also negative ones (associated with suffering).

Feeling is the manifestation of the life of the body. They live and have their own energy, fill our life with meaning. Life is a constant movement, feelings are experiences of bodily energy. This energy can be used in many ways. You can swim in it, as well as share with the outside world, infect other people. Generally speaking, feelings are sensations, their whole complex.

How are feelings different from emotions?

In fact, it is important to separate these concepts. Some consider them identical, but they are not. Yes, they are closely related, but still different. And here’s how feelings differ from emotions:

  • Each child is born with certain emotions. These are manifestations at the level of instincts. While any feeling develops during life under the influence of society. From childhood, we learn to feel, knowing the world around us;
  • What we feel is controllable, and any emotional response is instinctive;
  • Feelings can change, develop, and each emotion is stable;
  • Feeling is a key motivation; emotions cause short-term urges for certain actions.

Thus, there is a difference in states, and they should not be confused.

Emotion classification

There are several dozen emotions. We will not consider all of them, we will focus only on the most basic ones.

Three groups can be distinguished:

  • Positive.
  • Negative.
  • Neutral.

There are quite a few emotional shades in each of the groups, so it is almost impossible to calculate the exact number. The list of human emotions presented below is not complete, since there are many intermediate feelings, as well as the symbiosis of several emotions at the same time.

The largest group is negative, followed by positives. The neutral group is the smallest.

Neutral emotions

These include:

  • Curiosity,
  • Amazement,
  • Indifference,
  • Contemplation,
  • Surprise.

Positive emotions

This includes everything related to the feeling of joy, happiness and satisfaction. That is, with the fact that a person is pleased and really wants to continue.

  • Directly joy.
  • Delight.
  • Pride.
  • Confidence.
  • Confidence.
  • Delight.
  • Tenderness.
  • Thanks.
  • Rejoicing.
  • Bliss.
  • Calmness.
  • Love.
  • Sympathy.
  • Anticipation.
  • Respect.

This is not a complete list, but at least I tried to recall the most basic positive human emotions. If you forgot something – write in the comments.

Negative emotions

The group is vast. It would seem what they are for. After all, it is good when everything is only positive, there is no anger, anger and resentment. Why does a person need negative? I can say one thing – without negative emotions, we would not value positive ones. And, as a result, they would have a completely different attitude to life. And, as it seems to me, they would be callous and cold.

The shade palette of negative emotions is as follows:

  • Grief.
  • Sadness.
  • Anger.
  • Despair.
  • Anxiety.
  • A pity.
  • Malice.
  • Hatred.
  • Boredom.
  • Fear.
  • Resentment.
  • Fright.
  • Shame.
  • Mistrust.
  • Disgust.
  • Uncertainty.
  • Repentance.
  • Remorse.
  • Confusion.
  • Horror.
  • Indignation.
  • Despair.
  • So far.

This is also not a complete list, but even on the basis of this it is clear how rich we are in emotions. We perceive literally every little thing instantly and give out our attitude towards it in the form of emotions. Moreover, very often this happens unconsciously. After a moment, we can already control ourselves and hide the emotion, but it’s too late – whoever wanted to have already noticed and made a conclusion. By the way, this is the basis of the method of checking whether a person is lying or telling the truth.

There is one emotion – schadenfreude, which is not clear where to stick it, either positive or negative. It seems that by gloating, a person evokes positive emotions for himself, but at the same time, this emotion produces a destructive effect in his own soul. That is, in fact, it is negative.

Why are positive emotions needed?

We have already said in the article about negative emotions that emotions are negative or positive only in our mind. At the physiological level, this is just a reaction and that’s it. Any emotion helps us understand the world, perceive it at our own level and just feel it.

But oddly enough, most studies of emotions concern negative manifestations: fear, horror, anger and others are already so hackneyed that almost a child can tell about them a brief description. And what about the positive? Kind of useful and valuable, isn’t it?

It is human nature to focus on the negative, especially thanks to our valiant media. We are charged every day with “continuous positive”: earthquakes, viruses, financial crises and other “positive” news.

But here we will pay attention to the positive reactions of our body. What is their significance? Their main advantage is that they enrich our activities and thinking. If we talk about negative reactions, they encourage defensive action. Positive emotions develop us: they expand thinking and actions. Let’s go through the basic positive emotions and see them in pictures.

  • JOY leads to play in children or hobby in adults

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

  • INTEREST encourages research, study

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

  • SATISFACTION brings pleasure

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

  • LOVE embraces all the listed emotions and gives birth to them anew and anew

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

Such reactions allow you to be creative about life, develop and show curiosity, and succeed in communicating with people. They create personal resources of a person, they affect us for a long time. They help to establish new social connections. Let’s expand the list a little:

  • joy → play → physical and social skills (i.e. we learn something new, interact);
  • interest → research → obtaining new knowledge;
  • pleasure → enjoyment → life priorities.

All positive emotions store our resources that can be used in difficult times, from physical difficulties to intellectual ones. A way to solve problems is quickly found, as well as social – getting help from others.

Therefore, we come to the conclusion that positive emotions do not just cheer us up. They develop and protect us.

A complete list of positive human emotions

So, what are the emotions of a person, we will see in our full list. The description will be only in some of them in order to understand what is at stake. I would also like to note that the italics will be the basic emotions highlighted by the famous psychologist Izard. I do not take the classification of Paul Ekman, because of the positive in it there is only joy. I’d like to expand the basic list a little! Go.

  1. Calm is a state of peace and balance.
  2. Relaxation is the feeling when you owe nothing to anyone and to yourself too.
  3. Contentment is the feeling of being completely satisfied with the moment.
  4. Clarity – there is no need to worry about something, think over.
  5. Definition.
  6. Flexibility is the ability to accept changes in life without harm to yourself.
  7. Smoothness.
  8. Susceptibility.
  9. Warmth is a feeling of joyful affection.
  10. Adoption.
  11. Empathy is the ability to understand how the other person is feeling.
  12. Sympathy.
  13. Compassion.
  14. Affection – affection with sensitivity and supportive attitude.
  15. Love.
  16. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for something good.
  17. Trust is a feeling of complete security.
  18. Caring – the need to look after someone.
  19. The location is supportive.
  20. Kindness.
  21. Gaiety.
  22. Kind irony is an affectionate and friendly joke.
  23. Confidence.
  24. Resilience is the ability to maintain its current state.
  25. Readiness.
  26. Composure is “everything is under control”.
  27. Sexuality is a person’s experiences associated with the manifestation and satisfaction of sexual desire.
  28. Passion is the strongest attraction to the object of passion or inexhaustible enthusiasm.
  29. Grace – subtlety and a sense of beauty, proportionality in everything.
  30. Ease.
  31. Freedom.
  32. Emancipation – a person practically does not criticize his behavior.
  33. Glee is a high degree of joy and celebration.
  34. Joy.
  35. Happiness.
  36. Bliss is a state of complete happiness.
  37. Ecstasy is a passionate, ecstatic state.
  38. Serenity is a calm attitude towards the world, acceptance of all its manifestations.
  39. Kindness is mercy and kindness, kindness.
  40. Security is a state of reliable security.
  41. A sense of security – a feeling of complete security, “ground underfoot”, a calm life and development.
  42. Prudence is an attentive and careful attitude towards upcoming events.
  43. Mindfulness.
  44. Hope.
  45. Premonition is intuitive prediction.
  46. Anticipation is a mental sensation of something, a preliminary experience in the imagination.
  47. Interest.
  48. Openness is a property of a noble and generous person who does not feel the need to hide his deeds and thoughts.
  49. Reverence is deep reverence.
  50. Affection.
  51. Delight.
  52. Devotion.
  53. Commitment – craving, addiction, predisposition.
  54. Persistence is the ability to achieve a set goal.
  55. Perseverance is a stubborn pursuit of something.
  56. Intention.
  57. Aspiration.
  58. Rapidity.
  59. Swiftness is the ability to perform the maximum number of actions in the minimum time.
  60. Respect.
  61. Self-esteem.
  62. Self-esteem – awareness of one’s own worth, respectful attitude towards oneself.

There are also neutral emotions, the “positiveness” of which depends on the context of events:

  • concreteness,
  • conviction,
  • straightforwardness,
  • inflexibility,
  • softness,
  • regret,
  • fluidity,
  • repentance,
  • pliability,
  • light sadness,
  • a pity,
  • pride,
  • seriousness,
  • surprise,
  • detachment,
  • immediacy,
  • dispassion,
  • naivety,
  • impartiality,
  • trembling,
  • abstraction,
  • caution,
  • thoughtfulness,
  • daydreaming – especially pronounced in women.

Functions of emotions

Everyone understands that life without emotions is impossible. Any event, conversation, sound, picture – all this causes a certain response in the body. Emotions affect our actions, attitudes and relationships with people. So, emotions perform a number of important functions:

Organizational and incentive

Many people think that emotions get in the way of reasoning and making decisions. In fact, this is not the case. Emotions help a person to highlight the main thing that is worth paying attention to at this moment and motivate him to action. Emotion can reorganize activities rather than disorganize.

For example, a friend called you at work and asked to come urgently. The response may vary. You can quit your job and rush to a friend (who may just be joking), or ask him to explain everything over the phone. The main thing is that a person will not be able to calmly carry out the previous work. By itself, this function has neither positive nor negative connotation. It all depends on the situation and the individual characteristics of the person.


Emotions are closely related to non-verbal communication. Joy, sadness, contempt, etc. – all this is reflected in the expression on the face. For some, this manifests itself more clearly, others try to restrain their impulses and hide true emotions. Be that as it may, the person immediately feels the inner mood of the interlocutor. It helps us understand each other and interact.


This emotion manifests itself in case of danger. For example, when we see a car moving quickly towards us, fear turns on and we start to run.

Signal – reflective

Thanks to this function, a person understands their needs better. When we are sad we look for a reason. After a little reflection, a person begins to understand what specifically worries him. For example, he is very tired and wants to see his family.


Emotions are involved in the consolidation of life experience. In the future, each completed action “reminds” the person of the past experience. The individual is already subconsciously ready for a positive or negative outcome.

Emotions directly affect a person’s life. The more often the subject experiences positive emotions, the happier they feel. This is due to the inner mood, character and temperament. Much also depends on the circumstances, the quality of life and the environment.

The same goes for negative emotions. They paint life in dark colors, cause stress, loss of energy and imbalance of inner peace of mind.

Nevertheless, without these emotions, a person will not be able to know all the pleasure from positive moments. Neutral emotions also play an important role. They represent a kind of bridge that leads to knowledge and connection with other basic emotions.

It is important to remember that any emotion is a reaction of the internal state to the external environment. It cannot be suppressed or tried to hide. Of course, this does not mean that you need to demonstratively show boredom and glee. Still, no one has canceled the rules of public behavior. But by pretending, making emotional efforts on ourselves, we risk losing our mental balance and “earning” health problems.

Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

One of the most prominent theories of the 20th century is the wheel of emotions by Robert Plutchik. In it, Plutchik proposed eight basic emotions – joy, sadness, trust, disgust, fear, anger, surprise, and anticipation – which he believed would overlap and blend into the following shades of the color wheel.

Plutchik further explained that primary emotional “colors” can combine to form secondary and complementary emotional “colors.” For example, expectation plus joy can combine to form optimism, while fear and surprise can together describe awe.

Ekman’s face action coding system

Many researchers have questioned Plutchik’s model and argued that his secondary and additional emotions can often vary across cultures or societies. They insist that for emotion to be considered fundamental, it must be experienced universally in all cultures.

To this end, psychologist Paul Ekman created what he called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), a classification model that measures and evaluates the movements of the muscles of the face, as well as the eyes and head. Based on his theory, Ekman suggested that there are seven emotional expressions that are universal for people around the world: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, and contempt.

While Ekman’s work helped highlight the influence of “nature or nurture” on emotional response, much of his theory has since been criticized when, in 2004, he proposed using the same technique as a means of detecting lies.

Four irreducible emotions

Following Ekman’s work, a research group at the University of Glasgow in 2014 sought to identify emotions based on facial expressions regardless of sociocultural influences.

The researchers found that certain emotions elicited the same facial response. For example, fear and surprise used the same facial muscles, and instead of representing two emotions, one could see one. The same can be applied to disgust and anger, or excitement and shock.

Based on their findings, the scientists reduced the number of irreducible emotions to four: happiness, sadness, anger and fear. In addition, they argued, more complex variations of emotion have evolved over millennia under the influence of numerous social and cultural influences.

They say that the commonality of facial expressions is primarily biological (what we are born with), while the distinction between subtle and complex emotional expressions is mainly sociological (what we, as a culture, have learned and developed over the course of time).

“Friendship” with 10 positive emotions will help you cope with negative ones!

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

Barbara Lee Fredrickson

The person whom I consider to be my guide to positive psychology is Barbara Lee Fredrickson, she is the head of the Laboratory of Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology, President of the International Association for Positive Psychology. This outstanding woman was at the origin of the study of positive emotions and remembers the time when these studies were considered meaningless, as well as the positive emotions themselves and their significance in human life. In her lectures on the varieties of positive emotions, Dr. Fredrickson deliberately forbade the use of the word “happiness”, since, due to its too frequent use, it has a rather general meaning and does not convey all possible emotional overflows.

  1. Joy. That feeling, when something really works out well for you, may even be better than expected. We view the situation and the world as safe, familiar and improving all the time. The feeling of joy triggers the need to be playful. But it is during the game that we just learn. So in the case of a feeling of joy, the most common outcome is the acquisition of skills.
  2. Gratitude. It is a calmer emotion that is more socially related. It is perceived not just as something good that happened to you, but as if someone deliberately went out of their way to do this good deed for you. We feel it as an altruistic gift that we want to compensate somehow. Therefore, gratitude leads to giving (at the same time, to the search for a creative way of giving), and the result of gratitude is social connections and the skill of intimacy and love. A characteristic feature of gratitude, with its normal course, is the duration and cyclicality of this feeling, when the exchange of good deeds between people continues.
  3. Calmness. It feels like your current circumstances in life are so correct that you want to prolong this feeling. Many believe that calmness leads to passivity and laziness. Yes, a state of serenity is accompanied by a sense of security, confidence and low activity, but the main virtue of this feeling is the ability to enjoy, savor the moment and integrate the experience in yourself. The result of a feeling of calmness is a change in your I, outlook and life priorities.What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning
  4. Interest. Yes, few people classify interest in positive emotions, and indeed in emotions in general. But this is his rightful place. You feel that the people, objects, circumstances around you are safe, but there is an element of novelty in them, something that you do not yet know, something mysterious. So interest provokes research activity and the result of this emotion is new knowledge and energy.
  5. Hope. A unique positive emotion that is born in circumstances that can in no way be called positive. You sense that despair may well be the next emotion; it is the fear of the worst and the pursuit of the best, which fosters our ingenuity, increases resilience during and before difficult times.
  6. Pride. I can already hear disgruntled grumbling … In no case should I confuse it with pride and immodesty! Pride is always associated with socially significant achievements. It’s not just something that you did well, but it’s something good that is appreciated in your culture, that brings people together. You can be proud of your actions, as well as the actions of your family members, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens. This is not bragging. It is a feeling that inspires you and makes you dream great. So the result of pride is new achievements (and new reasons for pride).
  7. Fun. Does fun begin with fun? It is associated with frivolity, slight social irrelevance. Your mistake does not lead to self-flagellation and condemnation, but to joint fun, laughter, and strengthening of ties. The outcome of the fun is not so insignificant – it is the creation of friendships, the development of creativity. Agree, for this you can afford to do a little stupidity!
  8. Inspiration. This emotion awakens in us when we come into contact with human perfection. At the same time, the emotion of inspiration is more connected with interpretation: when you see that people are able to do something very well, talentedly, you say to yourself “This is great! I would like to be like this person, to do the same! “. That is, it is a kind of combination of striving for one’s own perfection and the ability to see and positively evaluate the superiority of another person. What does inspiration lead to? Of course, to the acquisition of new skills, creativity and the development of their own morality.
  9. Reverence. This emotion is similar to inspiration, but more personal. You feel overwhelmed by the greatness, you feel tiny compared to what is incredible around you. Reverence opens your heart and mind to the new, and the result of this emotion is the feeling that you are part of a greater whole.
  10. Love. This is one of the most positive emotions. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it accumulates in itself all the other positive emotions: this is joy, and serenity, and gratitude, and inspiration, and pride in a loved one, etc. But it is also not an individual experience – it is a joint experience of two people. A positive sense of belonging that allows you to dream, explore, enjoy, and play. Love bestows a sense of strong connection, trust, community, and overall health.

What are emotions? List of emotions. Positive emotions and their meaning

And in conclusion, a few more words about the asymmetry between positive and negative: bad is stronger than good, since negative emotions must scream in order to save our lives. Therefore, we notice the negative more often than the positive. But: in fact, positive events are more frequent than negative ones!There are corresponding scientific data in support of this. There are many good things in our life. But whether we allow positive events to turn into positive emotions is already a matter of choice and upbringing in the family. But whether you like it or not, you feel these mild positive emotions all the time throughout the day, although more often than not we call them medium or neutral. Neutral emotions are positive emotions that we do not recognize or are not aware of at the moment. And if you recognize them, start noticing them – you will strengthen them and provide them with the field for their magical inner work!

Emotion Diary Technique

For their clients who have difficulty understanding their emotions, psychologists offer to keep a diary of emotions as a homework assignment. In the evening, you need to remember some situation that happened during the day. It can be a situation with intense emotions, and it can be an unremarkable everyday situation, not charged with any special emotions. In general, the situation can be any, at your discretion. Write on paper the words with which you can describe your inner state in this situation.

Make sure that your description includes emotions, and not thoughts or a desire to do something. After you have described your emotional state in the situation you have chosen, think about what emotions you are experiencing at the moment “here and now”. Record your thoughts on paper.

If you are not used to keeping track of your inner state, use the list of emotions. Many people find it difficult to do this at first. However, if you keep such a diary of emotions every day for at least two weeks (or better a month), you will see that you have become much better at understanding yourself, and it has become easier for you to manage those emotions that arise. Indeed, in order to control something, you need to know well the phenomenon that you control.

Sources used and useful links on the topic: https: // how-many-human-emotions-are-there-30706 -emocij

Post source:

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More