While we are all wired differently, our emotions and the ways in which we feel and react make us unique. They allow us to assess what's important in our lives—from the people we care about to the opinions we hold. They may also give us a glimpse into patterns that have stemmed from our childhood experiences.
Learn where emotions originate, how they affect our behaviors and those of others around us, and why they manifest how they do.
While it was previously identified that there are six basic emotions—happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise—that are universally experienced in all human cultures, researchers have now found that there are 27 different categories of emotions.
Emotions are influenced by a network of interconnected structures in the brain that make up what is known as the limbic system. Key structures including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the limbic cortex play a pivotal role in emotions and behavioral responses.
As human beings, we have the ability to self-regulate, or manage our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions—allowing us to better handle stress, deal with conflict, and accomplish our goals. We can continue to develop our self-regulation skills through mindfulness strategies and exercises.
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it's an inborn characteristic.
The emotion wheel is an emotion classification system introduced by psychologist Robert Plutchik in the 1980s. The model allowed us to label our feelings, so we can develop our emotional literacy skills to have a greater awareness of ourselves and the emotions of others.
Expression is the act of communicating our thoughts and emotions with others, verbally or non-verbally.
Mood can be defined as a relatively stable affective state that is often described as positive or negative. Unlike emotions, which tend to be stronger and more specific, moods are more general and less intense.
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