According to psychology, we have at least 5 basic emotions: joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger. All our daily actions and decisions, no matter how big or how small, can be traced back to feeling one of these. For instance, a person can do something as simple as sing in the shower because he is happy. A person can also decide on something as big as moving to a different town because of fear or disgust. Most days, it’s easy to identify how one is feeling. But then there are days when our emotions feel like they’re running all over the place. It’s a healthy practice to keep our emotions grounded so we can keep them in check and prevent them from controlling us instead of the other way around.
Joy is easiest defined as a positive feeling. There can be several levels of joy depending on situations or circumstances, ranging from simply being content to being in an intensely festive mood. Although there are generic or universal activities that are known to make people happy such as theme parks or going to parties, it’s good to note that people have different things that make them feel joy, so others may not exactly relate to what makes one person happy. For all we know, some people may be afraid of theme parks or feel alone in parties.
Sadness, on the other hand, is a natural emotion that we feel in response to negative situations. This feeling is associated to experiences of loss, sorrows, and disappointments. It can be triggered by situations as little as not being able to attend a friend’s birthday or something as despairing as losing a loved one. Sadness is usually accompanied by a feeling of pain which affects our behavior, making us stare blankly and wanting isolation or crying. People can experience sadness for a short period of time while some people with depression live for years feeling unable to be happy again.
Disgust is a feeling of revulsion over something that’s either physically or morally offensive or distasteful. Fear is a familiar emotion that we’ve all felt at one point. Just like the other emotions, fear has a different meaning for every person and one person may have more that one fear. It can be our brain’s response to something that we feel is threatening our safety. We feel fear when we sense danger, sometimes we feel it even at the slightest discomfort. We can feel it because of the reality of what’s happening or what has happened to as before which resulted into a trauma. But we can also feel it irrationally, without enough evidence that what we’re afraid of should actually be feared, which can also develop into a phobia.
Lastly, anger is what we feel when we are antagonized by someone or a situation. It can range from mild irritation over another person’s behavior to escalated aggression that gets people into physical fights and in worst case scenarios, results to nasty crimes.
We’ve referenced a simple chart below to help pinpoint the emotions you may be dealing with.
|SADNES S||Melancholy||Despair||Self-Loathin g||Anxiety||Betrayal|
|DISGUST||Intrigue||Self-Loathin g||Prejudice||Revulsio n||Loathing|
It’s important to know that the basic five can blend into one another to form other kinds or levels of emotions. Looking at all these emotional hybrids, it’s a significant note that no one emotion is better than the others. It’s always a matter of having the right judgement in every circumstance. For example, although joy is a positive feeling, we can argue that being happy and positive all the time can weaken our moral compass. When we always choose to be contented with everything around us, we may become easier to manipulate. When we’re always happy about our own lives, we become susceptible to being indifferent towards the grief of others. In the same way, sadness, although generally a negative feeling, can actually mold us into a more compassionate human being — the key word here is empathy.
Having an overview of these basic emotions is helpful in identifying what you’re really feeling. And identifying how you feel is the first step towards resolving issues or correcting behaviors that are results of losing control of or being controlled by our emotions.