Anxiousness, love, happiness, anger, excitement, fear… there is a range of human emotions and it is ever-growing, with much room for nuance. Why do we feel anxious? Why do we feel anger or excitement? How do these emotions manifest and what does it teach us? Emotions feel complicated, but these key facts may help you.
- Negative Emotions Are Good
If you allow negative emotions to fester, then this is not good for your emotional health. However, you have to experience the full range of emotions. How can you maintain emotional and mental health if you don’t have a frame of reference for positive outcomes?
If you push away any negative emotions you experience and instead only focus on positive emotions, then it’s easy to slip into complacency and ignore looming problems. Negative emotions are natural, instead of suppressing them, you should accept that the key to emotional health is balance.
- Eight Basic Emotions
Anticipation, joy, anger, fear, trust, disgust, sadness, and surprise. These are considered the basic emotions, of which there are eight. However, there are countless variations of these eight emotions and many nuances to be had.
When you allow a single emotion to fester, it can grow into several other emotions. Just as a combination of two emotions can create other emotions. The Wheel of Emotions (https://www.6seconds.org/2017/04/27/plutchiks-model-of-emotions/) can help you manage your emotions and improve your emotional health.
- The Neutrality of Emotions
Emotions aren’t bad or good, not inherently anyway. Joy might seem better than sadness, but that’s not the right way to think about it. Think about it like this – sadness is indicative of loss or the potential to lose something you value.
Joy means that you get the thing you value. They’re two sides of the same coin, and it’s impossible to experience one without the other. Remember, emotions are just signals that deliver a message. So, they are serving an incredibly important function.
- The Function of Emotions
The purpose of emotions is to guide you to survival and to allow you to flourish. Your emotions motivate you and focus your attention to a specific action or goal. Every one of our emotions serves a purpose. Anger is indicative of an obstacle.
There is a threat that must be neutralized and motivates you to fight through it. Of course, anger can be destructive, but that certainly isn’t its purpose. Meanwhile, Joy motivates you to keep doing what you’re doing.
- The Contagion of Emotions
Have you ever noticed how the entire office slips into a bad mood when your boss comes in angry and also in a bad mood? Emotions are contagious, in person and even online. Positive emotions spread; just as negative emotions do.
Your emotional health may hinge on how you react to the people around you. Humans are social creatures, and the reason humans survived and thrived is that they created groups for protection. So, it’s only natural that we tend to pick up on the emotions of others.
For example, you’re eating out and facing your partner. You recognize that fear is registering on your face. Your immediate response is also fear, and to turn around to find out what’s going on.
Once upon a time, it could have been a giant beast coming to eat you. It’s an unspoken form of communication and it’s so ingrained that we don’t even know it’s happening. However, for the good of your emotional health, you have to be so tuned in to your own emotions, that you become immune to this. You can’t buy into all of the anger, all of the stress or all of the discord. It will be detrimental to your emotional health and well-being.