List of emotions and feelings

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Louise Hay
@louisehay
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We all have different emotions and feelings. The human affective sphere is extremely varied. However, we are not always able to give a name to what we feel. We all feel emotions, but not all of us are able to recognize and manage them.

In fact, there are people who have very limited emotional self-knowledge because, although they experience a wide range of emotions, they are unable to recognize them precisely. Obviously, not knowing what emotions or feelings we are experiencing is an impediment to managing them in the most appropriate way.



Instead, knowing all the emotions and feelings will allow us to sharpen our emotional awareness. If you only know one or two musical notes, they will be the only ones you will hear as you will pay more attention to them. If you know them all, your musical universe will expand. The same happens at the level of feelings and emotions.

A study conducted at George Mason University revealed that people who are able to detect and understand their emotions are less likely to use drugs, alcohol or food as escape routes.

Other studies done at the University of Kansas went further, delving into the impact of emotional self-regulation on a physical level. These researchers found that people with cancer who could detect, label and understand their emotions had lower levels of inflammation, a process that is at the root of this disease and is considered a poor prognosis.

Neither the feelings are that emotional nor the thinking is that rational

We tend to think that emotions and thinking are antagonistic processes that are mutually exclusive. But the truth is that in every emotion there is a pinch of reason and in every thought there is a bit of feeling.


Although we act guided by the emotions we are experiencing at that moment, in reality we are also reacting to a complex mental process that occurred in the background: the cognitive interpretation we made of the event.


The truth is that we don't react to reality, but rather to the meaning we give to it, and in that case it affects everything from our expectations and needs to our thoughts. Therefore, emotions are not simply reactions to the environment, but also to the assessment we make of what is happening to us.

For example, if a person spills a glass of water on us, the most normal emotional reaction would be surprise because it is an unexpected event. But when we start thinking about that person's intentions and our rational mind kicks in, we can react with anger, thinking that he did it on purpose. Therefore, anger is not an emotional reaction to what happened, but to our interpretation of it.

What is the difference between emotions and feelings?

Knowing the difference between emotions and feelings is not a mere epistemological or linguistic exercise, it will help us to better understand our reactions and behaviors, allowing us to regulate our affective responses to achieve greater well-being.

What are emotions? They are reactions of affective value to certain stimuli, which can be external, something we see or experience, or internal, such as a thought or a memory. Emotions trigger a series of hormonal and neurochemical responses that produce a state of activation, prompting us to take immediate action. They are usually relatively fleeting experiences that generate a high degree of pleasure or displeasure.


When they give us terrible news, such as the death of a pet or a loved one, for example, it is an emotion that is activated. In this type of situation, our reaction is almost automatic and difficult to control, so we will feel very sad and we will also likely cry.

What are feelings? Feelings elicit the same physiological and psychological responses as emotions, but they have a built-in conscious evaluation. In other words, they imply awareness and appreciation of the underlying emotion and affective experience we are having. They also tend to be more stable over time.


As the days go by, emotions fade to give way to feelings as a cognitive interpretation of the state occurs. In the case of bad news, for example, the feelings that sadness leaves are usually: pain, melancholy, emptiness, restlessness, discouragement or even anger.

Therefore, the main differences between emotions and feelings are:

  1. Duration. Emotions are transient states that come and go relatively quickly. The feelings, on the other hand, have been more stable over time. Joy, for example, is an emotion, while love is a feeling.
  2. Order of appearance. Feelings are the result of emotions, so they usually precede them. Joy, for example, can turn into happiness and attraction into love.
  3. Intensity. Emotions are usually more intense than feelings because their main goal is to predispose us to action. The complex processes of evaluation that usually intervene in feelings diminish their intensity somewhat.
  4. Processing level. Emotions manifest themselves unconsciously, generating an almost immediate response, while feelings, which take longer to form, are consciously processed.
  5. Degree of regulation. Emotions have been affective states that are difficult to control as they generate automatic psychophysiological reactions. We cannot completely contain emotions such as fear or joy, for example, as as soon as we experience them, they will manifest themselves through microexpressions. Feelings, on the other hand, can be managed better over time by looking for ways to express them more assertively.

However, emotions and feelings are often difficult to separate in practice since where there is one feeling there are usually different emotions and vice versa.


Understanding the differences between emotions and feelings helps us not to feel guilty about our first emotional reactions. It also teaches us not to cling to them, so that the unpleasant ones can disappear with the same naturalness with which they appeared.


The 3 functions of emotions and feelings

Although Western culture has prioritized reason for centuries by relegating emotions to the background and even turning them into our enemies, the truth is that they are very useful. Even the most unpleasant emotions play an important role in social and personal adaptation.

  1. Adaptive function

Primary emotions are particularly important due to their hedonic quality. Fear, for example, favors flight or defensive immobility in the face of danger, while disgust prevents us from eating something that could harm us. Even the expression of fear may be enough to calm a strong reaction from an attacker.

Surprise, on the other hand, encourages us to pay more attention to what is happening in our environment. Therefore, emotions and feelings are a kind of internal compass that allows us to quickly orient ourselves in our environment, generating the most appropriate response.

  1. Social Function

Feelings and emotions are powerful social adjuvants. Their expression allows us to predict how other people might behave in order to adapt our behavior to theirs, which helps us to better adapt to social environments.

Emotions allow us to carry out an information exchange with our interlocutors through small facial gestures, tone of voice or body movements. In fact, we are all able to capture emotional micro-expressions and process them at a subconscious level to understand the emotional states of others and guess their intentions.

This ability is what allows us to understand that a person is upset and perhaps it is not the best time to make a criticism or pushes us to approach someone sad to console him.

Therefore, emotional reactions not only reveal our affective state, but are also clues that regulate how others react to us. Repressing certain emotions can also have a social function to avoid conflicts or problems in interpersonal relationships.

  1. Motivational function

Another of the most important functions of emotions and feelings relates to their power to energize our behavior. Emotions have a deep relationship with motivation. In fact, emotions drive us to action.

This is the case, for example, of anger, an emotion that generally triggers aggressive or defensive behavior. Emotions can generate motivated behaviors, direct them towards a certain goal and make us perform it with intensity. Passion is another feeling that can keep us focused on a person or a project for a long time.

It is worth clarifying that this motivational function does not depend only on the type of emotion but also on the dimension of sympathy or antipathy it generates and on the intensity of the emotional reaction. If we're just angry, for example, we might control ourselves, but if we feel angry it'll be harder not to let that anger out.

How many emotions are there?

In Psychology there is a certain general consensus in speaking of 6 basic types of emotions: fear, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise and joy. However, more recent research has shown that the human face is capable of creating more than 7.000 different expressions that reflect a great deal of emotional variety.

Therefore, basic emotions are simply the foundation upon which we build more complex and subtle feelings and emotions that color our experiences.

List of basic and complex emotions and feelings

Positive emotions and feelings

  1. Enjoyment
  2. Love
  3. Affection
  4. Compassion
  5. Generosity
  6. Enjoyment
  7. Jubilation
  8. Hope
  9. Admiration
  10. Freedom
  11. Success
  12. Justice
  13. Gratitude
  14. Acceptance
  15. accompanying
  16. Kindness
  17. Appreciation
  18. Benevolence
  19. Pride
  20. Amiability
  21. Relief
  22. Empathy
  23. Integrity
  24. Humility
  25. Attachment
  26. Approval
  27. Concentration
  28. Enough
  29. Armonia
  30. Honesty
  31. Temperance
  32. Tolerance
  33. Motivation
  34. Happiness
  35. Firmness
  36. Fortezza
  37. Autonomy
  38. Honors
  39. Solidarity
  40. Optimism
  41. Satisfaction
  42. Safety
  43. Reading comprehension
  44. Sympathy
  45. Tenderness
  46. Passion
  47. Pixy
  48. Enthusiasm
  49. Respect
  50. Peace
  51. Piacere
  52. Compromise
  53. Fervor
  54. Charm
  55. Competition
  56. Fullness
  57. Omnipotence
  58. Euphoria
  59. Ecstasy
  60. Illusione
  61. Support
  62. Contentment
  63. Interest
  64. Confidence
  65. Rejoicing
  66. Please note:
  67. Dignity
  68. energia
  69. Vitality
  70. Complacency
Negative emotions and feelings
  1. Sadness
  2. malinconia
  3. abandonment
  4. Girl
  5. Abuse
  6. Need
  7. Absence
  8. Demotivation
  9. Fright
  10. Bitterness
  11. Anguish
  12. Aggression
  13. Anguish
  14. Hesitation
  15. Anxiety
  16. Disgust
  17. Revenge
  18. Courage
  19. discomfort
  20. Shame
  21. Empty
  22. Hatred
  23. Hostility
  24. Humiliation
  25. Contempt
  26. Meanness
  27. Fear
  28. Stubbornness
  29. Terror
  30. Betrayal
  31. Annoyance
  32. Overwhelm
  33. Pietà
  34. Handling
  35. Fear
  36. Phobia
  37. Failure
  38. Fragile
  39. Frustration
  40. Furia
  41. Solitude
  42. Imperturbability
  43. Paralysis
  44. rancor
  45. Anger
  46. I suspect
  47. Modesty
  48. Vulnerability
  49. Miseria
  50. Fearlessly
  51. Concern
  52. Arrogance
  53. Pessimism
  54. Discrepancy
  55. Penalty
  56. Laziness
  57. Regret
  58. Hate
  59. Anger
  60. Hoax
  61. Stress
  62. Loss
  63. Guilt
  64. Ira
  65. Envy
  66. Offense
  67. Wonder
  68. Saddening
  69. Amazement
  70. Impatience
  71. Distrust
  72. Impotence
  73. Bewilderment
  74. Disability
  75. Incompatibility
  76. Misunderstanding
  77. Misadventure
  78. Indignation
  79. Instability
  80. Unhappiness
  81. Inferiority
  82. Injustice
  83. Distruzione
  84. Heartbreak
  85. Dissatisfaction
  86. Insecurity
  87. insufficiency
  88. Intolerance
  89. Ira
  90. Irritation
  91. Jealousy
  92. Guilt
  93. Censorship
  94. Collar
  95. Opposition
  96. Addiction
  97. Depression
  98. Defeat
  99. Discouragement
  100. Impotence
  101. Discomfort
  102. Restlessness
  103. Reconsideration
  104. Disappointment
  105. Desolation
  106. Miseria
  107. Resentment
  108. Disenchantment
  109. Despair
  110. Reluctance
  111. Disappointment
  112. Desolation
  113. Petrification
  114. Disorientation
  115. Contempt
  116. Famine
  117. Discredit
  118. Undermining
  119. Devaluation
  120. Pain
  121. Disgust
  122. Pietà
  123. Laziness
  124. Dysphoria
  125. Exasperation
  126. Rimordimento
  127. Resentment
  128. Obnubilazione
  129. Affliction
  130. Disappointment
Ambivalent emotions and feelings
  1. nostalgia
  2. Desiderio
  3. Lussuria
  4. Unit
  5. attraction
  6. Alarm
  7. Amazement
  8. Courage
  9. Alteration
  10. Pride
  11. Vulnerability
  12. Enhancement
  13. Temptation
  14. Patience
  15. Surprise
  16. Ambivalence
  17. Tenderness
  18. Desiderio
  19. Shyness
  20. Tranquility
  21. Pentimento
  22. Paranoia
  23. Disruption
  24. Frenzy
  25. Confusion
  26. Serenity
  27. Company introduction
  28. Submission
  29. Calm
  30. Rebellion
  31. Refuse
  32. Membership
  33. Compromise
  34. Bliss
  35. Disgust
  36. Repugnance
  37. Reserve
  38. Persecution
  39. Obligation
  40. Ostentation
  41. Excitement
  42. Mastery
  43. Oddity
  44. Non-compliance
  45. Disbelief
  46. Resignation
  47. Indifference
  48. Fearless
  49. Intrigue
  50. Invasion
  51. Impulsiveness
  52. Calm
  53. Consolation
  54. Restlessness
  55. Correspondence
  56. Curiosity
  57. Nearness
  58. Suffering
  59. Hesitation
  60. Contempt
  61. Enjoyment
  62. Exaltation
  63. Condescension
  64. Equanimity
  65. Apathy
  66. Inspiration
  67. Seriousness
  68. Trance
  69. Stubbornness
  70. boldness
  71. Perplexity

In this list of emotions and feelings we refer to positive, negative and variable emotions, but in reality all emotions and feelings can become negative or positive depending on the way we experience and express them. Furthermore, it is not even all emotions that exist since there are also other emotional states that we have experienced but which in our language do not have a literal translation, such as pronoia and awumbuk.

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