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Feelings versus emotions

This is a blog post about the differences between feelings and emotions. The difference between emotions and feelings is not always clear-cut, but there are some clear differences. Emotions are thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that are related to a person's moods and experiences. They are often related to past experiences, such as memories and physical sensation.


Feelings, on the other hand, are more related to present experiences and are often more complex. They may be rooted in emotions, but they are also related to physical sensations. It is important to understand the differences between emotions and feelings to be able to understand the way people feel and react to events in their lives.


What is a feeling?

Physical feelings are the sensations we experience when our bodies are stimulated. These sensations can be the result of an external stimulus such as a touch, a temperature change, or a sound. There is a physiological and psychological component to these physical feelings, which are the sensations we experience when our bodies are stimulated and our emotions are triggered.


What is an emotion?

Emotions are the thoughts, feelings, and physiological reactions that accompany certain thoughts and feelings. Emotions can be categorized as either positive or negative. However in ThisFeelingHuman.com I explain that emotions in itself are neither right or wrong, good or bad. Emotions are merely experiences that arise and they often if not always, bring a piece of wisdom about your self, or the situation.


What is a mood?

A mood is a feeling that is often associated with emotions. It is a feeling that can be positive or negative.


Is there a difference between emotions and feelings?


While feelings can be interpreted as emotions, it can also be the physical sensation we feel when we experience an emotion or a set of emotions. Emotions tend to be intense feelings such as romance, stress or anger.


There is a difference between physical and psychological well-being. In order to have a healthy mind, body and soul, people need to have a balance between their physical and mental well-being. Although the two may seem connected, they are not synonymous. Physical well-being can help with psychological well-being, but it is not the solution to psychological well-being.


In the book My Guest House, I use feelings interchangeably with emotions because the method of harnessing wisdom from emotions comes through both the physiological and psychological experiences that arises from the emotions, thoughts and feelings. I see them holistically but try to dwell deeper into each causal emotion.


Why is it important to understand the differences between emotions, feelings, and moods?

Emotions are a part of your life and you should not only recognize them but also work to become more in tune with them. What do feelings have to do with understanding emotions? The feeling is a process that shapes the emotion. For example, if you feel sad, the feeling is that of a sorrowful feeling. When you feel happy, the feeling is the sense of joy.


Exploring the underlying wisdom from emotions requires us to know what is driving the feelings, physical sensations and mood down to the component emotions. Once this is done, we can start processing the emotions through mind mapping our feelings, journaling, or visualizing the emotions as they enter our body (creating these sensations and overall mood).


I have written examples of such journals in my blog posts on discerning decisions and processing negative feelings.


We can empower ourselves with positive feelings through the same process as well! Just being more aware that feelings of consolation such as joy, love, curiosity and wonder.


Why it is important to stay present to moods, feelings and emotions

When you don't pay attention to your emotions, they fester and spread like wildfire. It's important to take care of yourself by acknowledging your moods and feelings and the best way to do so is by staying present to these experiences and diving deeper into their root emotions. Once we have done so, we may get to the messages that the feelings bring, and uncover its wisdom.


In its essence, My Guest House and ThisFeelingHuman.com talks about feelings as neither good nor bad, they are messengers of wisdom and they linger or recur until we fully understand and act on the messages behind our feelings.


I have personally uncovered plenty of wisdom through the journaling and visualizing process. Talking to my feelings as guests who have arrived in my headspace creates distance for me to see as it is.


Conclusion: Emotions, feelings, and moods can all be measured on the same scale, but they are not always the same.

In exploring the differences between feelings versus emotions, we seek to understand what is happening and why it is happening to us. In practice we are honing our contemplative skill and training up a habit of curiosity. The benefit of such a discernment process allows us gain insights and fresh perspectives.


When we are less discerning, the end result is we see the same negative feelings recur without being able to change the outcome. We become disempowered.


When we begin to explore the nuances of our feelings and each component emotion, there is a greater opportunity to acquire its wisdom.

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