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Understanding The Emotions That Affect Your Well-Being

by Mindvalley April 18, 2019

Our feelings influence almost all that we do, from the thoughts we think to the actions we take.

But there’s still so much we don’t understand about this universal human experience.

Human emotions have always been a complex topic that some of the world’s topmost experts are still trying to demystify.

Today we have a better understanding of how emotions impact our lives.

Here’s a quick guide to help you better understand the universal human process that unites us. 

What Is Emotion In Simple Words?


Even if you’re unaware of it, your everyday life is deeply emotional.

A study involving more than 11,000 participants showed that people feel at least one emotion about 90% of the time. If you look closely enough, you’ll likely discover that you’re feeling something right now.

In essence, emotions are the mind and body responding to what’s happening around us. Even minor everyday events can trigger emotions, especially the basic ones that are engraved into our being.

Our feelings are heavily influenced by the way we see the world around us. The same event can trigger completely different emotional responses in people with different thinking patterns.

For example, when you get into an argument, you might feel anger and frustration. In the same situation, others might stay calm and rational. 

Learning to control your feelings is a valuable skill that can prove highly useful throughout your life. But before you can do this, you need to understand more about the 6 basic human emotions.

What Are The 6 Main Emotions?


In the 70s, American psychologist Paul Eckman suggested there are six basic emotions that all people feel. This theory and its corresponding emotions list have survived to this day, as it encompasses the main emotions that can be can be combined to create all other emotions.

The 6 basic emotions are:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Anger

These are strong primal emotions that we’re hard-wired to feel. You can recognize them clearly when they occur, as they tend to dominate your body and mind as soon as they’re triggered.

Obviously, the one we all strive towards is happiness. Over the last 50 years, psychology has branched out from treating mental disorders to improving quality of life in a way that ensures happiness.

And yet to this day, the concept of happiness is somewhat of a mystery, as it’s the most complex of all basic emotions.

All that you feel in your everyday life is either a basic emotion or a combination of them. Recent research shows that there are 27 different emotions that we feel, most of which can be broken down into combinations of the basics.

emotions list

3 Components of emotion

To develop more emotional insight, what you want to do is pay attention to, acknowledge, and accept your emotions.

-Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest

When an emotion is triggered, there are many processes that happen inside the body and mind. What’s more, we’re capable of feeling many things at once, which only complicates things.

To understand this better, experts agree that all emotions have three main components:

  1. Physical
  2. Cognitive
  3. Behavioral

The physical component is the easiest to recognize. In essence, each emotion results in a physical sensation that you can clearly feel. This is why your physical and mental well-being is inseparable.

The cognitive component is the most important, as your thoughts are directly related to your emotions. The way you see the world around you matters more than what’s actually happening. By learning to rewire your thinking patterns, you can have full control over your emotions.

Third, your inner state dictates the way you act. This is the behavioral component of emotions. It’s expressed after the cognitive, which is another reason why taming your mind can give you more control over your emotions and actions.

Final thoughts

If you let your feelings control you, you might develop a volatile mental state that can exhaust you and affect your quality of life.

But now that you know more about the basics, you can learn to take control of your emotional responses.


Gain Instant Clarity On What You Really Want In Life – And Have It All

There’s a reason that so many brilliantly talented, naturally creative, intelligent and capable people never reach their potential, and it is, quite simply, a lack of direction.

Even if you have a vague goal in mind, you still need a plan, a process to get you there.

You can have the most expensive, fastest car in the world, but if you set off without a clear idea of where you’re going, then the rusty old Beatle with a map and compass will beat you there every time.

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Step Into The New Year With A Crystal-Clear Vision For Your Ultimate Life

Do you have any tips for controlling the way you feel? Share them in the comments below.

by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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