Investigating Emotions: An Experiment

Hi there,

In this article, I will continue writing about one of my side projects which is about emotions and how we can increase our emotion vocabulary and being able to handle our emotions in a healthy manner. In my last post, Investigating Emotions: Feeling Motivated, I wrote about what we can do to harness the wonderful feeling of motivation. Now, with this post, I want to invite you to an experiment.

When I started the project, I became aware that I only use a few words to describe how I feel. Good, bad, okay, fine, sad. You know, the classics. Reading about the benefits of having a more comprehensive emotion vocabulary, I researched how many words there are in the German language that represent feelings and emotions.

But What is the difference between emotions and feelings? According to a Psychology Today article, the main difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are experienced consciously, while emotions manifest either consciously or subconsciously. If you want to read more about it, I recommend the following article, The Difference Between Feelings and Emotions.

While working with this list, I was curious about those emotion words that have a positive connotation for me. While going through the list, I had to put myself in those emotional states. What happened was that I felt great afterwards. Experiencing those positive emotions in short succession was an immense boost of my current state of mind. This made me curious. Would this work for others as well? That is why I want to invite you to do the same experiment. At the bottom of this post, you will find a list of words that describe a positive feeling or an emotion. This list might not be exhaustive. But it is pretty close =).

Your task is to go through that list and think back when you felt this emotion the last time. Take your time. This is nothing that can be rushed. Only when you really feel the emotion will this experiment work. Also, try to feel it with your whole body. Not only in your brain. When you are ready to move on, go to the next word. A word of caution is in order though. This work was exhausting for me. Really feeling those emotions one after the other felt good but after a while it also felt a bit draining. So listen to your body and take a break. Maybe start with 10-15 words before taking a break and see how you feel. We are all different. Be curious and experiment what works best for you.

Then, make a ranking for you. What are your 5-10 emotion words that have the most positive effect on you? Write them down and take them with you. Then, in case you feel the need to feel better, take the list out and feel the good emotions. If a certain emotion doesn’t work for you anymore or in a certain context, go back to this list and see if there is another emotion that could work instead and exchange it.

Please let me know if you tried it out and how it was for you.

And now, the list =)

accepted, active, affectionate, agile, amorous, amused, animated, appreciated, attentive, attracted, attractive, awake, aware, balanced, belonging, blessed, blissful, bold, brave, calmed, captivated, carefree, charmed, cheerful, clear, comfortable, confident, contented, cosy, courageous, curious, daring, decisive, delighted, determined, eager, effervescent, elated, electrified, empathetic, enchanted, encouraged, energetic, enlightened, enriched, enthusiastic, entranced, euphoric, excited, exhilarated, expectant, exuberant, familiar, fascinated, fearless, free, friendly, fulfilled, funny, glad grateful, happy, honoured, hopeful, inspired, interested, irresistible, jovial, joyful, joyous, kind, liberated, light, light-hearted, loved, lovingly, loyal, motivated, nice, open-minded, optimistic, over the moon, passionate, patient, peaceful, playful, pleasant, positive, powerful, present, pretty, protected, proud, quiet, refreshed, relaxed, released, relieved, respectful, rested, rich, safe, satisfied, secure, self-confident, self-effacing, sensual, serene, sexy, sheltered, silly, soulful, stimulated, stress-free, strong, supported, sympathetic, tender, thrilled, touched, transcendent, trustful, understood, unflappable, unique, vibrant, vivacious, warm-hearted, well

Have a wonderful day, Stephan

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