The concepts of emotions, feelings, and moods are often used interchangeably. At times, even by professional behavioral health providers. However, I make a case and point out there is a definitive distinction that can be made related to these concepts. Over three posts I will define the three concepts of emotions, feelings, and moods.
Emotion is an autonomic biologically based response —> physiological responses. Emotions come from our Mammalian Brain and are physical responses to the type of emotion generated. Emotions are spontaneous mental state responses that are macro based (i. e. one of the five key emotions – much more to come). Limbic emotions were evolutionarily imprinted long before Neocortex consciousness evolved and do not require consciousness to be expressed. Emotions come –> emotions go. They can come and go without any external social or environmental stimuli, or without any internal brain stimuli. Emotions have their own mercurial biological cycles having a randomness all of their own. That is, depending on the brain’s quantum (wave-particle), neuro-chemical, and electrical input and involvement, emotions can randomly vary on-their-own. These variances can bring about emotions that often seem to have a “life of their own.” Sometimes we just seem to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” There are capricious emotional cycles for many of us like cyclothymia (mild emotional ups and downs), dysthymia (mild depressive symptoms), and for some major bipolar episodic emotional ups and down (manic-depression). Emotional cycles come and go because time changes and so do emotions. This randomness should be kept in mind when trying to find any pan-environmental reason for an emotion and/or trying to attach feelings to any emotion. Emotions are part of the brains Affective Domain (review previous posts).