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Psychology | Emotions


Moorcroft Wood - The Sanna

People around the world look at my photographs and their emotional response is very similar. Different people like different photographs, they often associate a picture with somewhere they know well, for example. Emotional responses also bring about a  physical response. If we get nervous we make more stomach acid and we produce hormones that are related to each emotion.

Some emotional responses are international and are shared between cultures. We all laugh, cry and feel hungry. Hunger is instinctive and this type  emotion we have little control over. Cognitive emotions are triggered by our environment and some we have more control over them. Fear can be cognitive and it is also instinctive; we can often run away from the thing we are afraid of.

We tend to have primary emotions that can be mixed with others to form secondary emotions. We have emotions that we regard as good like feeling happy and some we regard as bad like feeling unhappy or sad.  We use different words to describe the intensity of an emotion, we can feel happy, elated or simply pleased. We can feel unhappy, sad or even depressed. We can feel charitable to others, empathic, kind, sympathetic, understanding and loving.

When we feel things aren’t fair and feel a sense of injustice we can become angry, we can even become furious and feel rage at what we perceive to be wrong. Excitement is a strange emotion and related to fear, we feel this is a good emotion as we have expectation of something good happening, but we still perceive some danger. We feel that the danger is controlled and worth the risk. We feel excited at the thought of a new experience, a ride on a scary fairground ride or a drive in a fast car.

The emotion we dislike  most of all is fear. We describe it as fear, angst, anguish, anxiety or even terror. We can become anxious, frightened, panicky, hysterical and these intense feelings can make us feel physically unwell; there is a physiological response as well as an emotional one.

Society can help us feel positive emotions or negative emotions. When we feel things are going well we feel happier. If it’s all doom and gloom on television and in the newspapers, it can make us feel unhappy as we perceive our future to be something we can’t look forward to. If we have something to look forward to we might feel not only happy, but excited by the prospect. If we are sick and someone we trust assures us that we will get better soon, we immediately feel better and happier. This is a good reason for medical staff taking  a positive attitude. Our perception of the future determines whether we are happy or unhappy, secure or insecure, excited or apathetic.

We have a duty to others to help them be happy as we can make them, we can do that by taking a positive attitude, but also being realistic. It’s no good saying, be happy, you’ll win this lottery this week. You can however say, the sun’s shining, we have all that we need and we might win the lottery too this week!

Emotions are contagious, one person laughs and everyone feels like laughing. Try to make someone happier today and it could just spread…

There are more blogs on A Zillion Ideas, why not pop over there and read more?

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4 responses

  1. Perception is everything. I really enjoyed reading this post. I look forward to reading more. Thank you for reading my blog.

    7, May 2012 at 3:57 pm

    • Hi Kristin,

      Thanks for visiting. We do have little control over our own emotions and lots of control over the emotions of others. We can make people happy or sad, we are social beings but we often forget that. It s strange that it’s not our perception of the present that tends to make us happy or unhappy; but our perception of what the future might be.

      8, May 2012 at 10:37 am

  2. Pingback: the common roots of anguish, angst, anxiety, anger, and arrogance « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  3. Pingback: What does "happy" mean to you? | Anxiety Blog

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