What is an Emotion? What is a Feeling? How they impact us? and What can we do about them? Because usually we end up with their aftermath and try to make sense of it all, just for it to repeat again.
We use EMOTIONS and FEELINGS interchangeably in our everyday day speech.
For the past 2 decades there has been an intense amount of interest in these two topics and that is reflected on the total amount of ongoing research on both Emotions and Feelings. Currently there are many theories about Emotions and Feeling from different disciplines of science like Psychology, Neuroscience, Sociology, History, Medicine, Philosophy and even Computer Science. The computer science’s focus is to understand the science of customers emotions on the internet.
Emotion…. in the most simple terms. It is the mental state that influences bodily actions, whereas Feeling is a bodily response that impacts our mental state.
According to Neuroscience:
The discoveries made through neural mapping of the limbic system, the neurobiological explanation of human emotion is that when subject’s cognition analyzes a given situation, it in turn starts a biological change or a physiological response which is activated by various hormones and neurochemicals like dopamine, nor-adrenaline and serotonin.
There are two key components of an emotion
- Cognitive analysis and
- Physiological response
Furthermore the physiological response can potentially initiate an Action and Expression which in turn can provoke feelings.
Now here is how it will play out in the real world.
Imagine yourself you are standing in a playground and you see a snake approaching, your brain will now interpret or assess this event – meaning you will try to make sense of the situation based on your social norm, that it is a snake and snakes are dangerous, then this cognitive analysis will starts biological changes such as increased heart rate or pituitary adrenal response which in turn will activate neurochemicals like dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
Now based on your interpretation of snakes and the physiological response you will experience fear as an emotion.
But further more if you choose to run away from that snake that would be an ACTION you took based on your cognitive analysis and physiological response. Now while running from this snake you start to scream, the screaming will be an EXPRESSION and if, let’s say you fall on the ground and land on a rock hurting yourself and you experience pain, this pain is the FEELING. And then this feeling of pain registers back in the brain and this experience forms a memory.
So, in short – You experience Fear an Emotion and that Fear caused feeling of pain.
While emotions are temporary, the feeling that they evoke can remain or even grow over a lifetime.
Dr. Sarah McKay a Neuroscientist and a TEDx speaker said it perfectly that quote
“ Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.”
And now let’s think about it, how many times we have used Emotions and Feelings interchangeably in the past.
Also, there are 5 basic emotions, which can further be divided into sub categories which we will cover in our later episodes.
The 5 basic emotions are:
- Disgust and
Now it’s the HOW to:
Since we know and can now identify the differences between and Emotions and a feelings, what can we do about them?
Well if you are a Creative, an athlete or an Entrepreneur, now let’s say you experience temporary emotions of anger, fear, sadness but that emotion evokes a feeling that in turn creates a long term memory or even worse a phobia or a condition, that can potentially hinder your future performance or even make you give up on a dream or a passion.
Can you maybe think of a time when you experienced an emotion that was temporary, but the feeling that it evoked stayed over time or even got worse?
Things that can be detrimental to you when mixed with a strong emotion accompanied with intense feeling:
- Decision making
- Risk taking
Step 1: Go to the bookstore and please buy a journal that will be your SUCCESS journal.
Step 2: You will start with the most recent strong emotion and an intense feeling that was provoked by that emotion.
Before you begin describing the scenario, create two columns in the corner of the page and label one part as Emotion and the second as feeling.
now clearly identify what emotion it was that you experienced and the feeling it evoked.
It could be anger and that anger made you cry (crying is a physiological response) that crying made your eyes hurt (the pain) was the feeling.
Usually, we deal with Emotions, Feelings and their aftermath without knowing what to do. We try to fix external factors that caused. Not knowing that just by simply being able to identify the difference between Emotion and feeling alone can significantly enhance your emotional intelligence, quality of relationships and productivity.
Not only that, its will even have social benefits and might even make you are social rockstar.