What Are Feelings? A Short Guide to Your Emotions

What Are Feelings? A Short Guide to Your Emotions


Emotions and feelings are often used synonymously, but they’re not the same thing.

What are the feelings? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another.

There’s a whole range of feelings that extend beyond the basics. But all feelings have one thing in common: they come as a result of a reaction to emotions.

Emotions and feelings are often used synonymously, but they’re not the same thing. Here’s how to tell the difference between them.

What Are Feelings and Emotions?

Did you know that the English language has more than 4,000 words that describe feelings?

The science of psychology recognizes feelings as the response to emotions, but the number of emotions is limited. Most scientific studies recognize 4 to 8 basic emotions, which are universal for all people.

So, what’s the difference between emotions vs feelings?

As part of survival instinct, the human brain and body evolved to produce particular emotional and physical responses to different stimuli. Feelings arise as a reaction to our emotional responses. And they may differ from one person to another.

For example, the sight of tigers in a zoo might trigger admiration and awe in some. But others will feel anger and bitterness at the sight of caged animals, which they believe should run free.

In this situation, the stimulus is the same, but the reaction is quite different.


What is the feeling in psychology?

In psychology, a feeling can be defined as a person’s response to the emotion that comes from the perception of a situation.

The word “feel” dates back to the Middle English word “fallen”, which means to perceive by touch. However, psychological feelings have more to do with inner than external sensations.

R.S. Woodsworth, an American psychologist, viewed feelings and emotions as the representation of a person’s inner state.

On the other hand, there are those who prefer Immanuel Kant’s definition of feelings as states of unpleasantness and pleasantness, also known as psychological effects.

What are examples of feelings?

The sight of a homeless person in the street can induce feelings of sadness and compassion. As a result, you might be compelled to help the person.

When you’re the recipient of special attention or a thoughtful gift from your significant other, you might feel a sense of joy, love, and belonging. You feel great and determined to reciprocate, making your relationship grow stronger.

Why Are Feelings So Important?

When faced with anxiety and depression, you might think humans would be better off without any feelings. But the truth is quite different.

The feelings you experience, positive or negative, are there for a reason. Fear and anxiety may alert you to potential threats and help you respond accordingly.

On the other hand, there are feelings that allow you to have meaningful social interactions and create emotional connections, like empathy, compassion, and understanding.

The bottom line is that what you feel can help enrich your life. Negative emotions can be a burden, but the positive experiences of our lives would be less meaningful without anything to compare them to.

Get In Tune With Your Feelings

Feelings are a human response to emotions. The response depends on your prior life experiences and personality.

Is it possible to turn off our emotions or control the way we feel? Well, emotions are an intricate part of who we are.

But if we learn to be more mindful and aware of what we feel, we can better steer our life experiences.

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Written by
Irina Yugay