List of emotions

Knowing how to identify, understand and manage emotions, both your own and those of others, improves the ability to successfully face any situation. Know all the human emotions that exist and how they are classified …

Emotions govern human behavior and determine individual actions. It is important to develop emotional intelligence to recognize and manage them, that is why a part of psychology has been devoted to studying them in depth. The result is the following list of sensations and feelings.

Understanding personal emotions helps to improve the relationship with others, at the same time that it allows you to get to know yourself better , although it is not always easy to identify them. Continue reading to understand what emotions and feelings are, and to know the definition of positive and negative emotions, in order to understand how they influence behavior and manage to control them.

1.What are emotions and feelings?

They are responses that are generated in the face of certain situations, memories or experiences. All emotions have an effect on behavior and even produce physical changes . They have their origin in the limbic system.

1.1. Components of the limbic system

The limbic system has three types of components:

  • Physiological: Physical and involuntary reactions that are generated when faced with a stimulus.
  • Cognitive: The conscious and unconscious way in which these stimuli are processed.
  • Behavioral: Changes generated in the person’s behavior in the face of a certain stimulus or situation.

1.2. Emotion theories

There are three theories that explain the appearance of emotions in humans:

  • Physiological Theory: It is based on internal bodily responses.
  • Neurological Theory: It is based on a certain activity that the brain generates .
  • Cognitive Theory: It is based on the person’s thoughts and mental activities.

1.3. How many emotions are there?

There are eight types of emotions and feelings: primary, secondary, positive, negative, ambiguous, static, social, and instrumental .

The primary emotions —or basic emotions— are the immediate reactions that are experienced in the face of an event. They are usually bodily responses and due to their intensity they are easy to identify.

Secondary emotions are learned. They are obtained socially, through interaction with parents or other close people. It is not a reaction, but a response that is generated once the main emotion is understood.

The perception of what are positive emotions and what are negative emotions is acquired socially. However, identifying 10 positive and negative emotions is not so easy without emotional education.

Positive emotions are considered healthy. They have a good impact on well-being, thinking and the way of behaving in certain situations.

On the contrary, negative emotions cause discomfort in the person. This is why they are also known as toxic emotions . They affect the way of acting, the way of thinking and behaving.

Ambiguous — or neutral — emotions are neither negative nor positive. They are proof of the complexity of human emotions.

For its part, the static are those reactions and responses that are experienced in the face of artistic expressions. A clear example is the positive or negative impact that music can have on someone.

Some emotions cannot be had alone, it is necessary that another person intervenes to develop them . They are called social emotions and some examples are pride or revenge.

Finally, instrumental emotions are perhaps the most difficult to identify. They are used to manipulate or achieve a specific goal. However, they can disguise themselves as authentic, causing confusion in the person.

Thanks to this classification it is possible to have a list of emotions and a list of positive feelings, which are very useful to learn to distinguish them

2. List of human emotions

The list of human emotions is divided into 8 different groups:

2.1. Primary emotions

Paul Ekman, an expert on emotions and their relationship with facial expressions, stated that there are six primary emotions: anger, sadness, fear, happiness, surprise and disgust.

For his part, Robert Plutchick, who dedicated his life to the study of emotions, found that there are eight basic emotions that exist from the moment of birth . In addition to the six established by Ekman, Plutchick added confidence and interest.

List of basic or primary emotions (emotions in alphabetical order):

  • Trust: It occurs when you believe in something or someone.
  • Disgust: Also considered as disgust. It is a feeling of rejection towards something offensive or unpleasant.
  • Happiness: It is experienced when the person’s needs have been met and well-being is achieved.
  • Interest: This emotion allows attention to be focused on one specific thing.
  • Anger: Emotion that arises when what the person expects does not happen, or when someone thinks they deserve something different from what they have received.
  • Fear: This emotion is triggered in the face of danger. It drives survival instincts and is one of the most intense emotions.
  • Surprise: Response generated in the face of an unexpected situation.
  • Sadness: It usually occurs after a loss or deception.

2.2. Secondary emotions

Identifying these kinds of emotions is more difficult. Not all people have them, since secondary emotions can vary depending on factors such as culture or education .

Some of them are as follows (emotions in alphabetical order):

  • Relief: It usually appears due to happiness. It is the feeling that something has not gone as bad as expected.
  • Hate: It usually arises because of anger. It is an intense emotion that may be related to resentment.
  • Pride: Pride is felt in relation to another person. Generally triggered by happiness.
  • Suffering: May appear due to anger or sadness.
  • Shame: Shame is an internal feeling that indicates that a certain behavior is not appropriate.

2.3. Positive emotions

List of positive emotions (list of emotions ordered in alphabetical order):

  • Acceptance: Availability and ability to accept a certain situation.
  • Affection: State of mind or body associated with some kind of love for something or someone.
  • Appreciation: It is a feeling of appreciation towards something or someone. This positive emotion is triggered by happiness.
  • Joy: It is a very intense sensation, which goes a little beyond happiness.
  • Love: Strong emotion that triggers happiness.
  • Appreciation: Expression of approval, thanks or admiration.
  • Harmony: Positive response to what is happening around.
  • Benevolence: Desire to do good things for others.
  • Affection: Feeling affection towards other people.
  • Compassion: Sympathy or pity that you feel in front of others.
  • Commitment: State that allows the person to strive for something or for someone.
  • Concentration: Feeling interest while doing an activity.
  • Dignity: Internal state of self-respect and knowledge of self-worth.
  • Fun: It is a product of entertainment and generates a slight pleasant sensation.
  • Empathy: Developing empathy is developing the ability to understand and share the emotions of others.
  • Charm: Feeling of having experienced great pleasure.
  • Enthusiasm: Intense feeling of interest, approval, or enjoyment.
  • Hope: Feeling that something is happening as desired.
  • Esteem: State of respect and admiration for another.
  • Euphoria: An intense emotion product of a state of extreme happiness.
  • Happiness: It is a primary emotion, but it can derive from another emotion.
  • Firmness: Feeling of having the determination to achieve something.
  • Strength: State necessary to face certain situations that pose a challenge.
  • Generosity: The generosity is intended to make others feel good.
  • Joy: State of enjoyment or pleasure.
  • Humility: State of appreciation that allows satisfaction to be achieved without the need to highlight achievements or talents of your own.
  • Illusion: State of expectation against something that causes interest and joy.
  • Interest: A main emotion that has a positive effect on well-being.
  • Motivation: The motivation is the reaction to a pleasant stimulus leading to behave in a certain way.
  • Passion: Emotion very strong and difficult to control when faced with a stimulus.
  • Peace: State in which a person does not feel any disturbance.
  • Feeling energetic: Having a feeling of vitality.

2.3.1. What are the most important positive emotions?

Among these emotions, some of the most important are: love, happiness, gratitude, surprise and satisfaction.

2.3.2. How do positive emotions help us?

People with positive emotions experience general well-being and improve the way they relate to others and to their own environment. Hence the importance of understanding what a positive emotion is.

2.4. Negative emotions

List of feelings and their meaning when emotions are negative (list of emotions ordered alphabetically):

  • Boredom: Feeling discouraged about obligations.
  • Agobio: Feeling of having an emotional charge that generates fatigue.
  • Bitterness: This emotion is usually triggered by anger or disappointment.
  • Anguish: Feeling of mental or psychological pain caused by worry or suffering.
  • Anxiety: The anxiety is a state that is generated due to nerves or uncertainty.
  • Disgust: Disgust, also known as disgust, is a main emotion, although it can be caused by another emotion.
  • Jealousy: Sensation produced by resentment towards another person.
  • Guilt: Emotional reaction caused by the performance of an action that is considered bad or offensive.
  • Disappointment: Emotion that is triggered by some situations that do not turn out as expected. It usually stems from disgust.
  • Depression: State that generates a feeling of sadness, irritability and discomfort. On the list of negative feelings, depression is one of the most damaging.
  • Defeat: Usually presents itself in situations that are difficult to deal with.
  • Discouragement: Loss of confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Bewilderment: Reaction produced by a mixture of confusion and perplexity.
  • Mistrust: Reaction that generates doubts, suspicions and insecurity.
  • Misfortune: Mental or physical discomfort in the face of a situation.
  • Disenchantment: Consists of lack of illusion or feeling disappointed in the face of something that previously used to generate positive emotions.
  • Despair: State characterized by lack of hope or impatience.
  • Demotivation: Lack of stimuli that generate interest or reasons to act.
  • Contempt: Sensation produced by something that is offensive.
  • Disgust: It is one of the primary emotions, although it can be caused by other emotions.
  • Pain: A very intense emotion that is generated when something is wrong and causes discomfort. Emotional pain, which is on this list of negative emotions, should not be confused with physical pain.
  • Grief: Intense emotional pain produced by negative events and losses.
  • Being scared: When a situation upsets the nerves, it causes insecurity and fear.
  • Stress: Emotional response caused by situations that are perceived as threatening and dangerous. The stress has become today an inherent chronic emotion existence.
  • Envy: Reaction produced by a resentment towards what someone represents or by the desire to possess something alien.
  • Frustration: Reaction that is generated when you cannot change a situation or reach a desired goal.
  • Humiliation: Sensation that emerges from shame when something threatens pride or dignity. For some, public humiliation represents a form of pleasure, but for most it is a negative emotion.
  • Impatience: Irritability generated in a situation in which things take longer than expected.
  • Indignation: Reaction triggered by a situation or treatment that is considered unfair.
  • Unhappiness: State that is generated when you are not satisfied.
  • Anger: One of the primary emotions that can also be triggered by another emotion.
  • Pity: It is produced mainly out of compassion, in front of some situations in which other people find themselves.
  • Melancholy: It is triggered by sadness and, in general, it is difficult to specify the cause of its appearance.
  • Fear:  Fear of death, loss, pain … It is a main emotion that can have a negative impact on behavior.
  • Concern: Emotion of annoyance facing an uncertainty that can cause anxiety.
  • Pudor: State that avoids the assumption of own abilities or achievements.
  • Grudge: It is similar to outrage. It is generated in front of others when it is considered that there has not been a fair deal.
  • Rage: It is an intense emotion produced generally by anger and, on many occasions, charged with passion.
  • Remorse: It is usually triggered by guilt for having committed a fault or bad action.
  • Feeling offended: Reaction caused by some actions or situations.
  • Soledad: The state that is generated when you feel that there is no one to support you. Loneliness is harmful to health.
  • Sadness: It is one of the main emotions that can have a negative impact on the person.
  • Shame: Internal sensation generated from another emotion that has a negative impact on the person’s well-being.

2.4.1. What are the most important negative emotions?

10 negative emotions with great impact are: anger, sadness, shame, hate, pain, fear, anxiety, depression, demotivation and loneliness.

2.4.2. How do negative emotions help us?

In low quantity, good emotions result, since they trigger a feeling of survival and defense against events that attempt against the person.

However, they are largely bad emotions. So it is good to know examples of negative emotions and know how to identify them quickly.

2.5. Social emotions

After listing and explaining the meaning of positive and negative emotions, it is necessary to identify social emotions.

Some examples of feelings and emotions of this type are the following (alphabetically ordered emotions):

  • Admiration: It is a positive emotion that another person generates.
  • Jealousy: Jealousy is usually one of the types of negative emotions that influence your own behavior.
  • Envy: Negative emotion towards someone because of what they represent or because of what they have.
  • Too bad: Negative internal reaction to the situation of other individuals.
  • Pride: It is the happiness produced by the achievement of another person. Similar to admiration.

2.6. Instrumental emotions

These emotions can be part of the list of positive and negative emotions. 10 emotions of this type of human being are: sadness, pain, joy, fear, love, regret, vulnerability, lust and attraction.

2.7. Static emotions

Some of the most frequent static emotions are: happiness, sadness, melancholy, fun or peace. They are almost never experienced at the same level as when it comes to reactions to certain situations.

2.8. Ambiguous emotions

Ambiguous emotions are different emotions and feelings that have a short duration and lead to the appearance of another emotion. The most frequent are: surprise, compassion and hope.

3. How does emotional education affect us?

Emotional education influences people’s well-being and helps self-generation of positive emotions . Being able to identify, understand and know how to manage emotions – and not only your own, but also those of others – improves the ability to face any situation.

It favors the achievement of personal and professional results, as well as helping to make the right decisions. Emotional education also develops empathy and improves the establishment and ability to maintain interpersonal relationships.

Learning to recognize what positive and negative emotions are and knowing how to handle them is important to achieve personal and professional growth.

4. Do animals have emotions? How many emotions do you feel?

This topic is still a source of debate today. Several factors affect the possibility of understanding whether or not they are capable of having emotions.

There is no doubt that animals have feelings, but, since they do not have the ability to communicate verbally with humans, it is not possible to know what is happening safely inside them, or what emotional processes they are capable of generating. So it would be very difficult to make a list of emotions and feelings of animals.

On the other hand, those who dedicate their lives to the study and observation of animals affirm that they have behaviors that change according to the situation in which they find themselves. Each event generates a reaction, and those reactions could be called emotions.

However, even if animals were proven to have emotions, they may not have been the same as those experienced by humans. Without examples of their positive and negative emotions, identification becomes difficult and it is very difficult to confirm their existence.