“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” – Sigmund Freud
Emotions are the chief driver of our reactions and relations with others as well as ourselves. They decide our behavior in general, how we conduct ourselves. Apart from causing the obvious psychological changes, emotions also have their physical component and we experience the surge in energy or loss of it in accordance to our emotional state. Emotions are both positive as well as negative. We discuss here some of the most powerful positive emotions which we humans express in our life:
Gratitude is the most powerful positive emotion for me. It is the emotion of thankfulness and appreciation for someone or something. The focus is on the positive of what we have rather than what is lacking. It has been proven that this attitude of appreciation is associated with higher level of well being in individuals. People who practice gratitude are usually happier, less stressed and much more satisfied in life. Grateful people are more compassionate, feel alive and sleep better as they think less of negatives.
Calmness of mind and to be peaceful in all ways with your current situation is the biggest wisdom. Serenity is the emotion when one’s mind is completely tranquil and you are at peace with yourself. It is when you understand that everything will just turn out right, you have no cause of worry and relax. Having serenity in life is much more important than just seeking money. Serene clarity and peace of mind are our biggest blessings.
Joy is a common term used for various feelings of pleasure and happiness from mild to intense bliss. Because of delightful and cherished experiences, we have a feeling of contentment and well being. A joyous person feel light and vibrant. Emotion of joy dominate when we achieve our goals or look forward to something which has a desirable outcome. This powerful emotion fills us with boundless energy to continue making progress in life with a bigger purpose. Happiness is related more to the action part.
Interest is a feeling which is directly related to curiosity. We become interested in something or someone when we develop a fascination for it and want to have or feel new experiences. This is the emotion which makes people do what they do. In order to meet some of our needs or to achieve some goals we develop interest in uncovering or discovering some fascinating things. Knowledge seeking and learning are possible only because of interest.
Hope is the feeling of optimism where we look forward into future with great expectation that good things are in store for us. It is an emotion which makes us believe that whatever our current circumstances or problems are, they are not permanent and we enjoy anticipatory happiness. Hope is born out of our imagination often when we are troubled by some crisis. It makes us to expect new solutions and possibilities. Single emotion of hope is the perfect antidote to many negative emotions like fear, sadness and despair.
Pride is an emotion with a dual face to it. It can be negative or positive. Our responsibility is to control the feeling of pride with negative connotation like arrogance or unrealistic self esteem. Whereas pride in the positive sense means taking pleasure in one’s work or their team’s accomplishments. It is an important emotion that makes us feel dignified. To have a sense of purpose in achievements and success increases confidence. One should feel proud of himself on having an expression of competence but only after due self reflection.
Inspiration is usually an emotion which comes from witnessing moments of true human excellence. It motivates us to pursue something despite obstacles. Inspiration comes from experiencing something of extraordinary ability or competence and can lead to major life change. When we are inspired, we see possibilities beyond our imagined capabilities thereby developing interest, which is a starting point for creativity and learning.
Love is a feeling of strong attachment and affection towards others. Love could be deep bonding between friends and family members or could be feeling of romance between couples. Another type of love is the one for the country but whatever type of love we are in, the purest is the unconditional love where one is totally committed towards other but do not desire anything in return. For some love is like a drive where the goal is to get the attention of others and to win them over but then that will be more of infatuation than love.
Love is the greatest virtue that encompasses all the above emotions with compassion, kindness and unselfish loyalty towards others as well as towards one’s self.
It is the feeling of disinterested and selfless concern for the others. Altruism is to work for the welfare of others with whom one does not have any relation except for the common feeling of love for humanity. An altruist will be happy helping absolute strangers just like he will help anyone else who is known to him. The feeling of fulfillment and purpose is realized when one makes effort to do something for others without any expectation of reciprocity.
In addition to these we experience a wide range of positive emotions like amusement, awe, desire, empathy and euphoria everyday. Even the negative emotions have their own significance that they act as a survival mechanism for us. In the face of grave danger the feeling of fear makes it possible for one to see the light of another day. Our emotion of aggression has been instrumental in pushing us up the food chain and come up as a superior species.
Positive emotions on the other hand are the driving force that have shaped our world. The development of society and relations would not have been possible without these. Our state of mind dictates what we do. To reach our goals and connect to bigger self, we need to be open minded and try to be carrying the best of these positive emotions through our life.
Related article: 7 Essentials of a Happy Life