Mind 4.6 min read

What Are Feelings? A Short Guide To Your Emotions

by Mindvalley April 18, 2019
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 a psychological effect.

understanding your feelings

What are feelings examples?

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?

Emotions are there to tell us something – usually something important.

-Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest

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.

The final word

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.


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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Where You will Learn:

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

Do you find it hard to cope with your feelings? Tell us more 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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