7 Human Emotions

In our daily experiences, we cope with 7 human emotions, which dictate our eventual response to situations. Each person will react differently, or have a different emotional response, to a particular situation. Controlling emotions is not always easy, but managing your emotions can prevent you from making rash decisions that can have negative repercussions.

We are generally encouraged to take our emotional health seriously, which goes beyond the concept of basic emotions. Our emotional health refers to anything from mild depression to mental illness. While many human emotions exist, the focus is normally on 7 human emotions that affect our immediate reaction to our circumstances.

The List of Emotions

Our upbringing or process of socialization tends to govern the way we respond to our experiences. These and other factors contribute to our personalities. Any list of emotions will include the 7 human emotions of:

Reading List

  • Joy - Undoubtedly the most pleasant of the 7 human emotions, joy influences both your physical and mental state of well being. At its most basic, it is gladness or happiness, but it can reach an almost euphoric state depending on the situation. Under the right conditions, joy can last for long periods, or it can be for a fleeting moment. When people are expressing joy a number of facial changes occur such as lips turn-up in a smile, wrinkles develop around the eyes and in some cases the eyes light up.

  • Fear - At its worst, fear is a crippling emotion that can sometimes be irrational or chronic. In most cases, fear is simply a reaction to an immediate danger, or the perception of danger. This is a useful emotion since it keeps us out of harm’s way if we respond to the threat. It actually plays a biological role in the preservation of various species since a flight response occurs in the face of danger.

  • Surprise - While we generally associate this with pleasant but unexpected circumstances, a surprise is not always a good thing. This emotion is the response to something unexpected and can result in unpleasant reactions. Surprise as an emotion occurs suddenly and ends just as quickly. In many cases, a surprise can lead to other emotions such as joy or anger.

  • Anger - We experience this emotion in varying degrees, and unlike other emotions, we can categorize it in different ways depending on the intensity. It too can pass quickly, but it can also linger for long periods usually to our detriment. The medical community sometimes links anger to stress and physical ailments like ulcers and high blood pressure. This is due to the internal chemical response of our bodies to this type of emotion.

  • Grief - This emotion usually persists for prolonged periods, and is usually associated with personal loss. In extreme cases, without a coping strategy, it can lead to depression. The length of time we deal with this emotion varies, and so does the intensity. Factors that influence both the length and intensity of grief include the personal support structure available and the types of loss the person suffers.
  • Love - This is seen as one of the most powerful of the 7 human emotions. As emotions go, it is the one that most humans seek. It is affection for a person or animal that goes beyond just liking them. Love is an emotion that some people claim gives them the desire to succeed. The intensity of love changes depending on who the object of affection is. For instance, the love a parent has for a child is different from the love for a spouse or friend.

  • Anxiety - Anxiety or anticipation refers to a state where we try to deal with an unknown but imminent situation. Awaiting exam results or worrying about a missing loved one are two examples of this feeling. As with so many other types of emotions, we all cope differently with these situations.

Ultimately, these 7 human emotions are what make us who we are, not only as individuals, but also as part of our community. Basic emotions help us to cope with our everyday experiences and to function as human beings. A healthy emotional state is always desirable since without it, we find it difficult to function and to make worthwhile contributions to society.

Letting Your Emotions Get the Better of You

People with poor interpersonal skills cannot take criticism, and when confronted with a mistake, they let their emotions get in the way and become moody and angry. Of course there is a strong relationship between all the events in your life and the way you express those feelings you experience. Fortunately some emotions can prompt us to take immediate action when we see a child in a precarious position in a tree or we see our pet crossing a busy road.

There are four distinct personality types- choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic, giving us inherent personality traits and different ways of expressing ourselves, and whether you get too excitable and are prone to emotional outbursts or whether you feel inclined to burst into tears when things go wrong, each personality group is able to develop skills to control emotions.

More Help to Understand Emotions

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