We’ve all wondered, “What makes me feel what I feel?” Emotion is a powerful, but often overlooked, part of our personality. Here are the elements, types, and unconscious processes that influence our feelings. Understanding your own feelings is the first step to healing your emotional wounds. Listed below are the elements and types of emotion, as well as some actions and processes that can help you experience greater emotional well-being.
Elements of emotion
The social sciences and humanities have long explored the multidimensional nature of emotions. They believe that emotion is composed of several components, including subjective experience, cognitive processes, expressive behavior, psychophysiological changes, and instrumental responses. Scholars once tried to identify the single most important component, but today agree that emotions are made up of several different components, including the three above-mentioned. Different academic disciplines categorize emotional experience into distinct parts, which are typically described by two-dimensional coordinate maps.
The first circle contains primary emotions and softer colors represent secondary or related emotions. Moving toward the center of the circle increases the intensity of emotion. Primary emotions change from anger to rage, anticipation to ecstasy, and fear to terror. Lower layers contain feelings of disgust and loathing, and moving away from the center of the circle decreases their intensity. When you feel emotion, you can relate it to the experience of other people or things that make you feel those feelings.
Types of emotion
Human beings feel a variety of emotions. Emotions were adapted by evolution to aid in survival. The five basic types of emotion are joy, fear, sadness, disgust, anticipation, and happiness. We feel these emotions when we experience specific events or interact with others. The more similar the emotion is to another emotion, the more similar the two are. For example, happiness and sadness are related if they occur at the same time, or when the same event causes a feeling of well-being.
Our emotions can be mapped on a cone, with two axes representing the three dimensions of the emotion: high, medium, and low. The colors represent how intense each emotion is, with the darker the color the stronger the emotion. For example, a feeling of boredom can intensify into rage, anger, and loathing. Similarly, rage and disgust can be felt when we feel a certain sense of meaning in something.
Unconscious processes that make you feel something
Scientists have long been interested in the unconscious processes that make you feel something. The concept of unconscious thought processes dates back to Aristotle, but the topic has resurfaced periodically over the past two centuries. A book on the subject by L.L. Whyte was published in 1830, and during the nineteenth century, the unconscious mind became popular again. Carl Jung and Freud made the idea of unconscious thought processes a popular topic outside of academic psychology.
The unconscious mind is not conscious in the moment, but is still very important in our lives. Our unconscious mind processes hundreds of thousands of sensory information per second. This means that we experience millions of sensory bits every second, and we’re largely unaware of them. But some of us have an innate ability to communicate with our unconscious mind. Using the information this allows us to make changes in our lives, we’ll be able to harness the power of the unconscious.
A common misconception about depression is that it is the same as languishing. While depression is an unpleasant condition, languishing is very different. While it may increase your chances of developing depression, languishing does not necessarily indicate a mental illness. Depression is characterized by negative feelings, such as sadness and anxiety, and is often accompanied by thoughts of self-harm or suicide. However, languishing can cause you to feel empty or unmotivated, which may lead you to isolate yourself from loved ones.
The term languishing was first coined by American sociologist Corey Keyes. Keyes approached mental health as a continuum. While the absence of mental illness does not mean that a person is happy or content, it does mean that they are not in the best mental health. While mentally healthy people are flourishing, those who languish may be feeling unsatisfied or hopeless.