Positive Emotion

The positive emotion is about happiness.  Happiness is one of the five core emotions:  the others are fear, anger, sadness, and jealousy. Happiness rewards the Limbic Brain with pleasure and enjoyment. Happiness is about exuberance, being energetic, and excitement. The Mammalian Brain has the capacity to give us great pleasure, and that is a good thing. However, it is a good idea to keep in mind that the Mammalian Brain is conservative by nature and biologically can only tolerate so much hedonistic pleasure. At some point the Limbic Brain will reset itself and adjust to a more stable biochemistry. For the pleasure centered person, and chemically dependent person, this bio-chemical readjustment can lead to panic.  It is unwise for any of us to have a goal of always being happy.  Life just doesn’t work that way. I suggest in the Theory of Balanceology that we do have a choice to seek short-term pleasure of the body, or long-term happiness of the mind-body.

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Positive & Negative Emotions

I suggest that it is possible without committing a naturalistic fallacy to categorize emotions according to those that are more positive or negative in nature. Or, according to whether they are more pleasant or unpleasant and can range from hurting to happiness. All five emotions are biologically driven. And, as I previously posted, all five emotions have a useful function for humans. However, Nature has made it appear that there is only one pleasant emotion (happiness) compared to what I consider the four more unpleasant emotions (i. e. fear, anger, sadness, and jealousy). If not used in a helpful or beneficial manner, the more unpleasant emotions can consume a lot of energy. At times we are so busy experiencing, trying to understand, and attempting to manage the more unpleasant emotions that it is difficult to be happy and to maintain happiness over any stretch of time. In posts to come I will discuss positive emotions, and negative emotions.

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Emotions and Gender

I maintain that there is a definitive sex gap when it comes to our emotions. If you prefer, a testosterone and estrogen gap. There exists a gender gap in the way emotions are experienced, but also in the internal feeling reactions to an emotion and the manner in which emotions are expressed. A difference exists how the sexes “feel” an emotion. Males and females feel emotions differently. As a whole, females are more empathetic and are faster to express compassion and sympathy. And, for the most part males are less empathetic, compassionate, and are more unsympathetic.

I propose that the male-female experience, reaction, and expression of emotions can be reviewed from a he-emotions and she-emotions perspective:  1.) fear is processed differently for females when compared to males. For females, fear/anxiety is more related to safety/security of the family and the home. For males, a lot of fear and anxiety revolves around safety/security issues concerning their job and finances, 2.) anger appears to be more of a he-emotion with males being more prone towards anger than females. Anger can be a dangerous emotion that can lead to physical harm. Females certainly have their anger moments and issues, but feelings related to anger for females are usually expressed in words. 3.) sadness is more of a she-emotion with females reporting higher rates of depression. Maybe these elevated rates are associated and related to females being better at expressing feelings of grief and loss, 4.) jealousy can be seen in both sexes. It is related to the feelings of envy and greed. Males are more competitive than most females and jealousy is often related to winning, or not winning in competitive situations. For females, jealousy often comes out in what others have —> physical appearance, clothes, house, jewelry, etc., and 5.) happiness is a more of a he-emotion. Males are more pleasure oriented than most females —> sensorial and bodily oriented. Males are more egocentric when it comes to happiness. For females happiness is more driven by relatedness, relationships, and sharing. Females appear to be more alterocentric when it comes to happiness.

emotions and gender

 

Emotions and Feelings

In recent posts I presented a limited number of core Limbic Brain emotional responses. As I earlier indicated, emotions are biological facts. However, there can be a large (very large) number of micro feelings that can emanate from and be attached to the 5-core macro emotions. There is a family of feelings attached to the core emotions. Feelings are interpretive factoids of emotional biological facts. Feelings involve Neocortex cognition, perception, assumptions, interpretation, and responses to core emotions. In the following Emotions and Feelings Chart, I give several  examples of the various feelings (or combination of feelings) that can be tied to the five core emotions.

emotions and feelings chart

Emotion of Happiness

The Theory of Balanceology designates happiness as one of the five core emotions;  the other four being anger, fear, sadness, and jealousy.  Happiness is a positive emotion emanating from the Mammalian Brain. Happiness is a spontaneous Limbic somatic pleasurable response involving the neurotransmitter dopamine. Happiness is one indication that a particular need(s) of ours is in alignment, or being satisfied for at least that moment in time. Happiness is something we all strive for, or having certain moments of happiness.  In an earlier post, when I addressed enjoyment, I stated that  there are certain individuals whose entire life is centered on happiness from bodily pleasure. Happiness grows and deepens as a person satisfies more needs, and becomes more balanced. As happiness becomes more pronounced it overlaps with contentment (later post).  However, like all emotions happiness comes and goes, and it would be unwise to expect to have a continuous happy life. Happiness is a healthy emotion to have for overall mind-body functioning.

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Emotion of Jealousy

The Theory of Balanceology designates jealousy as one of the five core emotions:  the other four are anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. Jealousy is a gut reaction to others having something that we want. Jealousy overlaps with envy. However, envy is more vicious than jealousy since envy actually wants to take away from what another person has. Jealousy overlaps with the human schadenfreude response (review previous posts). Jealousy can be positive if it functions as a motivational source of competition to acquire those things we are jealous and envious about. However, jealousy can cause a lot of problems for us with our Belonging-Need, and having the ability to connect with others both at the person-to-person level and at the group level.

jealousy

Emotion of Sadness

The Theory of Balanceology designates sadness as one of the five core emotions:  the other four are anger, fear, jealousy, and happiness. Sadness is a somatic reactive emotion that is often about being wistful, grief, or even depression. Sadness often takes the form of having mournful and gloomy reactions to happenings in life. Sadness can be about feelings of being doomed. Many times sadness involves loss and this loss is frequently related to a lost Self-Need and/or Belonging-Need. Sadness is often connected to loneliness —> feelings of not belonging with another person and being all alone in this world. Short-term sadness can help a person manage lost, pain, and hurt. However, long-term sadness reactions to grief, loneliness and depression can wear and tear on the body and can lead to significant medical conditions.

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