In a previous post, I stated that the concepts of emotions, feelings, and moods are sometimes confusing. I made a post trying to define emotions. In this post, I try to define what feelings are. I suggest that Feelings can take two major forms:
Feelings are frequently our reactions and/or responses to physiological emotions. That is, feelings are in response to biological emotions. They are micro reactions generated from and attached to macro emotions. Macro emotions arouse co-moving micro feelings. Feelings are the recognition that an emotion is present —> feelings are a meta-emotion. A meta-emotion concerns the thoughts and feelings generated from an emotion. That is, the thoughts that contribute to the feeling(s) from a biologically based emotion. Feelings involve the Affective Domain and the Cognitive Domain —–> feelings have Neocortex cognitive interpretation of an emotion; interpretations that are frequently inaccurate. Inaccuracy happens because interpretation of an emotion has a lot to do with cortical perception, over thinking an emotion, and/or making assumptions of an emotion. Depending on how the Neocortex “feels an emotion,” it “fuels an emotion,” in negative or positive ways. Neocortex interpretation leads to the actual conscious expression of an emotion through a feeling(s) or a number of possible intermixed feelings. Time changes, emotions change, and so do feelings.
Feelings involve the Affective Domain and Cognitive Domain in another manner. Neocortex thoughts can generate feelings. For example, thinking about someone who has done us wrong can turn into the emotion of anger if thought about long enough. Or, thinking about someone who has something that we want, if thought about long enough can generate the emotion of jealousy. Thoughts can generate feelings that might lead to a biologically expressed emotion. However, if done right positive thoughts can help calm down the emotions of anger, jealousy, sadness, or anxiety. Positive thoughts have the ability to generate positive feelings that can turn into happiness. Thus, I point out again the huge interactivity among emotions, cognition, feelings, and behaviors.