Definition of Emotion and its Components and Types

Definition of Emotion and its Components and Types

Human beings are endorsed by motives, and as rational beings, to certain extent we go about satisfying them in an intelligent way. But our life does not end with this, we are also emotional beings. Indeed most of our affairs of everyday life are tingled with feelings and emotions. Our finest achievements, miserable failures, our noble characters and ugly behaviours are all directed by emotions.

We feel excited when we pass our examination and jump out of joy. We shout when we get angry, we feel sorry at the death of our loved one. We tremble when we are afraid. Joy, sorrow, fear, sympathy, empathy, love and affection are all emotions which influence our life and behaviour. Life would be dreary without emotions and feelings.

They add colour and spice to living. Proper control and expression of our emotions make our living pleasant, lack of control and improper expression leads to misery.

The term emotion is derived from the Latin verb ‘movere’ means stir up, agitate, disturb or move. Woodworth has defined emotion as “conscious stirred up state of the organism”.
In psychology, emotion is often defined as a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.
Emotionality is associated with a range of psychological phenomena including temperament, personality, mood, and motivation. According to author David G. Meyers, human emotion involves "...physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience."

Components of Emotions
There are three components of emotions.
a)     Cognition: This component serves primarily to influence an evaluation of given situation, prompting us to become emotional in one way or another, or not at all.
b)     Feeling: In daily life we think of feelings. The feelings are most readily evident changes in an aroused person. Feelings have immediate motivational significance.
They give rise to many physiological processes in the cardiovascular system and produce increased blood pressure, changes in sexual urge. They also stimulate nervous system and prompt widespread electrochemical activities.
c)     Behaviour: The behavioural component involves facial, postural, gestures and vocal responses.

Positive and Negative Emotions
Emotion is Energy-in-Motion. It is a way of expressing oneself in life. It is the quality of how one relates to life. The emotions expressed by humans can be divided into two broad categories. We can regard them as polarized, as opposite of each other, or we could just say that there is a dividing line where one type of emotions change into the other type of emotions.
We can call the two types of emotions Negative and Positive. That is not so much as value judgment as it is a description of the main action of each group. Judging either as "good" or "bad" isn't very helpful.
Negative emotions  express an attempt or intention to Exclude. Strengthening one's own position at the expense of others. Keeping bad stuff away, destroying what is perceived as a threat. Negative emotions are fueled by an underlying fear of the unknown, a fear of the actions of others, and a need to control them or stop them to avoid being harmed.
Negative emotions are, for example: apathy, grief, fear, hatred, shame, blame, regret, resentment, anger, hostility.
Positive emotions  express an attempt or an intention to Include. Taking the whole into consideration. Working on learning more viewpoints, interacting more with others, enjoying making things better. Positive emotions are fueled by an underlying desire for enjoyment and unity.
Positive emotions are, for example: interest, enthusiasm, boredom, laughter, empathy, action, curiosity.
There is a range of different emotions in each category. We could say that some are more positive or negative than others. But it isn't necessarily practical to place them on a linear scale, since each one is a composite of various elements. Some emotions camouflage as positive or negative, but really are the opposite of what they pretend. There is a type of pity which appears as genuine concern for others, but which is rather taking comfort in that somebody else is worse off than you. There is a covert hostility that masks as friendliness, which can often be difficult to assess at first. Likewise, some kinds of anger or tears might look negative, but might really be an expression of involvement and care for the whole. It is the underlying mechanism and motivation that counts, more than the superficial outward manifestation.
It might sound like the negative emotions are just something to get rid of. It is not that simple, however. They serve important functions. Basically they show that there is something one doesn't know and can't deal with. If that becomes motivation to then learn it and deal with it, that is very useful. If one is always joyful, one might miss noticing things that are wrong. Positive and negative emotions are polarities. We can't get rid of one and just keep the other. Ultimately they need to be integrated.
Typically, negative emotion in a client will point us towards areas that need to be processed. They show that there is something there that the person isn't dealing with. We would make her deal with them and transform them into something more useful and enjoyable. The negative emotions are useful as motivation for moving away from what one doesn't want. The positive emotions are useful as motivation for moving towards what one does want.
Trouble enters when parts of the system get stuck. Particularly when the functions get reversed and the person starts moving towards what she doesn't want. Therefore, stuck negative emotions are a prime target for processing. People might express all sorts of combinations of these emotions. Some people will be fairly chronically stuck in a negative emotion, like grief for example.
Others might be stuck in a positive one, like contentment, and won't be able to experience negative emotions, even when appropriate. Others will in stressful situations react according to certain emotional patterns. Like, a person might have hidden grief or fear that gets triggered by certain circumstances. A casual remark might push a button that unleashes pent-up anger.
The aim in processing is to make people more fluid in terms of emotion. Able to use whatever emotion is most appropriate, and being able to use the full range as necessary. Most likely a person who is fluid and flexible will choose to live mostly in a positive frame of mind. But the goal is actually integration, moving beyond the positive/negative idea altogether.
Values of Emotions
§  largely a conscious phenomenon
§  involve more bodily manifestations than other conscious states
§  vary along a number of dimensions: intensity, type, origin, arousal, value, self-regulation, etc.
§  are reputed to be “antagonists of rationality.”
§  have a central place in moral education and moral life through conscience, empathy, and many specific moral emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse; inextricably linked to moral virtues

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