What are your 8 Core Emotions?
Emotions are the body's response to thoughts and thus we are experiencing emotions all day long, whether we are aware of it or not. Some emotions are obvious, rage, for example, is in the anger family. We are aware of feeling raged because the intensity is so high. Other emotions, such as apathy, may not be as obvious because the level of intensity may be lower or neutral.
There are hundreds of words to describe emotions, but I am going to talk about the 10 core ones, what prompts them, how we experience them and what we can do to ease, increase or change them.
Why do we experience anger? We can experience anger when we believe that an important goal of ours has been blocked when something didn't turn out as you expected when someone you love is attacked or hurt when you experience a loss of power or respect and even during physical pain. We can have beliefs that things should be different or that you were treated unfairly. You are likely to blame other people for your problems or judge something to be 'wrong'.
How do we experience anger?
The most obvious displays of anger are when people shout, argue, swear or attack others. But we can also experience anger by crying, withdrawing from others, feeling flushed, clenching fists, being sarcastic and by grinning.
Aftereffects of anger
After you have experienced anger, you are likely to narrow your attention onto other situations that are likely to prompt further anger, or you may imagine situations in the future that may cause you to be angry.
Ways to ease anger
1. Instead of playing on your anger urges, try acting oppositely. For example, take time out or avoid the situation that is causing you to feel angry or that you know will increase the intensity.
2. Use kind words and gestures including facial expressions to yourself and others involved.
3. Stop! Take a literal or mental step back from the situation, take a breath, observe what is going on around you and inside of you and then problem solve what will be the best way forward.
4. You can also change your body chemistry to bring the intensity of the emotions down. For a quick shock to the system, dunk your head in a bowl, in the sink or under a tap of freezing cold water.
5. Check the facts of the situation. Is your anger justified?
Why do we experience envy?
Envy can be experienced when someone has something that you really want, including recognition, material items and relationships. It can also be experienced when someone else takes the credit for something you have done.
How do we experience?
We can experience feelings of envy when thinking that you deserve more than others or thinking about how unfair a situation is. You may deem yourself 'unlucky' and feel unhappy if another person does well. You may express envy by doing something to make another person fail or lose and you may try to make a fool of another person to make yourself look better than them.
Aftereffects of envy
You are likely to ignore the good things in your life that you have and instead focus on what you don't have. However, envy may prompt you to work harder in order to get what you want or motivate you into improving yourself
Ways to ease envy
1. Practice gratitude. - Write down everything that you are grateful for in your life.
2. Try not to compare yourself to others. - Look at what makes you unique and focus on your strengths.
3. Stop exaggerating what you don't have or what is wrong or not working out for you. Instead, check the facts about the situation that is causing you to feel envy.
* Envy can be confused with jealousy. The two emotions are different. Jealousy is experienced when a relationship that you already have is being threatened or at-risk damage or loss. Envy is concerning what you don't have.
Why do we experience fear?
We can experience fear because we believe there to be a threat to either ourselves or other people. This can include lifestyle factors or situations which we perceive will cause us negative feelings.
How do we experience fear?
We may believe that something bad is going to happen or that we may lose something or fail. We can run and hide, avoid a situation, become nauseous, cry, shake and feel tense.
Aftereffects of fear
Experiencing fear may lead to you imagining the worst possible outcome. You may isolate yourself from future situations or become more hyper-vigilant to threats
Ways to ease feelings of fear
1. Try facing your fear straight on.
2. work through what is causing you to feel fear by talking to others. Understanding where the fear came from may help you to develop a plan to overcome it.
3. Take deep breaths and hold your posture so you come across more confident.
Why do we experience guilt?
Guilt can be experienced when your behaviour goes against your morals or values. Being reminded of things we did in our past may prompt guilt, as well as not doing something that you said you would.
How do we experience guilt?
You may think that your actions were to blame or that you behaved in a bad manner. When we feel guilty, we are more likely to ask for forgiveness, apologise and confess. You may try to fix situations by giving gifts or making promises to change.
Aftereffects of guilt
You may become focused on other areas or times in your life when you have felt similar. Guilt can also lead to reforming and joining programmes to better yourself in order to prevent feelings of guilt in the future.
Ways to ease the guilt
Either apologise if your feelings of guilt are justified and work on changing your behaviour that caused the feeling or stop apologising if the feeling is not justified. Validate yourself and check the facts on why you believe yourself to be at fault.
Why do we experience happiness?
Happiness is experienced because we have either received something that we like, are doing something that we enjoy, are achieving a desired outcome or goal or receiving other positive emotions or actions from others.
How do we experience happiness?
Feelings of excitement, having an urge to repeat a behaviour, laughter and saying positive things are only a few ways in which we experience happiness. We can also smile more often, communicate freely with others, feel enthusiastic and grateful.
Aftereffects of happiness
Happiness can bring productivity and motivate us into doing new things or developing desires and interests. We are more likely to be optimistic, help other people and expect to feel more joy in the future.
Ways to increase happiness.
1. Be grateful
2. List your achievements
3. Write a bucket list and make plans to tick them off
4. Do the things you enjoy
5. Learn about the negative areas of your life. Bring awareness to them and work on strengthening your resilience to them.
Why do we experience love?
You may experience love because another person does something nice for you, supports you or has an attribute that you admire. You may have a connection with another person and want to be around them more often.
How do we experience love?
Love can be experienced by feeling relaxed in the presence of another person. You may feel invested, want to buy gifts for or be physically close to a person. You are likely to be confident and trust the relationship. Engaging in long conversations, saying 'I love you', smiling and hugging another person are all expressions of love.
Aftereffects of love
You are likely to see the positive side to a situation; remember other positive events or other people you have felt love for. Love can also leave us fantasising or wanting more positivity.
Ways to increase love.
1. Make time for your loved ones and pay them sincere attention
2. List what you love about yourself, really appreciate them and emphasise them.
3. Avoid being alone if this triggers negativity.
Why do we experience sadness?
Sadness can be prompted by events where we have lost something or someone special to us. You may not get something that you have worked for, be rejected, feel alone, hopeless or are around others that feel pain.
How do we experience sadness?
You may physically feel run down, empty, cry more often than usual and not take pleasure in day to day life. You are likely to mope around, act helpless by staying in bed longer, frown, isolate yourself from loved ones and give up on things you wanted to do.
Aftereffects of sadness
Sadness can lead to you being pessimistic, having little hope and feeling cynical. You are more likely to ruminate of past sad events and feel irritable. Your health can be affected physically and mentally.
Ways to ease the sadness
1. Speak to someone you trust about your feelings or seek help if it is affecting your daily life.
2. start to build mastery, for example doing things that make you feel competent and offer a sense of achievement or purpose.
3. Move your body and go for a walk or get active in other ways.
4. Find something that makes you laugh.
Why do we experience shame?
Shame can be experienced because you have been rejected by others, are comparing your behaviour to a standard that you are not living up to, are reminded of something you have done in the past or are failing at something you believe yourself to be competent at.
How do we experience shame?
You can judge yourself to be inferior to others, believe you are a bad person, are unlovable and hide characteristics of yourself. You may ignore your needs in order to please others and avoid being rejected by them. You are likely to want to avoid situations, hide or withdraw. You may compare yourself to others and believe yourself to never be 'good enough'
Aftereffects of shame
Shame leads to a high level of isolation and avoidance. It can lead to impulsive behaviours and urges to distract your mind to block out the emotion. Shame also brings levels of preoccupation with yourself, leading to judgement and negative associations. Ways to ease the shame
1. Recognise feelings of shyness, embarrassment, self-consciousness and humiliation. Shame is difficult to become aware of, therefore the more insight you have, the easier it is to ease.
2. Ask if your emotion fits the facts. Do you need to fear being rejected by others, is that likely to happen or is it just a conditioned response?
My primary emotion is Shame. It has taken me a long time to realise this, but I suffer greatly with pleasing other people and hiding or changing aspects of myself in order to avoid rejection. I am deeply fearful of what others think of me, therefore am incredibly self-conscious. I have a conditioned belief that what I do is never good enough and that I am innately a bad person. A lot of my shame is unjustified and has been caused by my background and life experiences. My shame has morphed into my mental illness.
However, I am now confidently able to recognise when i feel shame and am working hard in combatting it. I can get embarrassed about feeling shameful, but that is ok.