7 Human Emotions

The seven "root" emotions

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Every day of our lives, we as humans experience a wide range of the 7 human emotions - some of them simultaneously. These can be mild or overwhelming, frightening or soothing.

Emotions that may sweep one person off their feet may be a mere passing ’feeling’ to someone else - the subjectivity of emotion is such that no single person can describe what someone else may be feeling at precisely any time. Our emotions are colored by our life experience.

Human emotions are an evolutionary factor which has enabled the human race to solve problems, provide protection, sustenance and shelter for self and ‘family’, survive difficult or even seemingly impossible situations and propagate the earth. Even the basic "fight or flight" response to immediate danger is simply a portrayal of how the emotions we carry work to protect us.

Emotions can affect our physical bodily responses, as well - the connection is too strong to ignore. A person faced with horrifying danger may lose control of bodily function through fear. This is referred to as the "mind-body" connection between emotion and physiological response. Modern psychologists can point to dozens of emotions derived from basic rooted emotional response, but the 7 human emotions are simply comprised of the following:

Joy

Joy can be utterly overwhelming, transforming a person in any given moment into almost a flame. It burns hot and strong, and is often encouraged to spill over on others. Emotions that have their root in joy include happiness, exhilaration, excitement, pleasure and contentment.

Anger

Anger is a complex emotion, and can range from severe irritation to utter frustration. Most define anger as a sense of dissatisfaction, usually directed at circumstances or people around the angry person. Unfortunately, anger too can spill over easily. Emotions that have their root in anger include resentment, exasperation, rage and fury.

Surprise

Surprise is a sudden feeling in whatever form it manifests. This may be pleasant, as when surprised by a birthday party, or unpleasant, as when pulled over for speeding. The ‘taken off guard‘ feeling stays the same, however. Emotions that have their root in Surprise include amazement, bewilderment, astonishment or feeling startled.

Trust

Trust in the middle of the 7 emotions, and is sometimes referred to as self assuredness or strength. Trust enables us to rely on our gut, to remain optimistic in the face of disaster, and to share meaningful relationships with others. Emotions that have their root in trust include certainty, faith and a feeling of security.

Grief

Grief is a hard to quantify emotion, but mental suffering over a great loss or painful experience is a good sign that it is present. It can run the gamut from an overall sadness or disappointment to a full plunge into despair. Emotions that have their root in grief include anguish, heartache, melancholy and woe.

Fear

Fear is one of the most adaptable human emotion, and can also have the longest lasting effects. It affect people physically and mentally, and can result in trauma that can take years of therapy to correct.

Many phobias are firmly rooted in irrational fear, which should not be confused with rational fear - which is a healthy survival tool. Emotions that have their root in fear include apprehension, terror, panic and dread.

Love

Many say love is the strongest of the 7 human emotions; certainly the bonds people form through love can withstand even mighty storms.

Deep personal attachment and commitment to family and loved ones are what comes to mind, but love can also range from burning intensity to mild enthusiasm or affection. Emotions that have their root in love include fondness, adoration and passion.

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