When we fail (for want of a better word) at anything, work, home, relationships, exercise, it’s usually because we have not understood or been able to control an emotion. Bear with me because that might sound like I’m stretching it a bit. Think about it. You had an argument with your boyfriend because you were upset. You quit your workout because you were angry you couldn’t do that particular move. You didn’t hit that deadline because you were too proud to ask for help. If you understand your emotions (good luck!), you have a better chance of controlling them and making them work for you. We go through so many emotions every day as human beings but here are the main ones:
1. Anticipation and Excitement
When we are small, we experience excitement more deeply and more often than we do as adults. We learn to control these emotions, which isn't always a good thing. It can turn us into a "stuffed shirt," somebody who lacks spontaneity. Acting on impulse and being guided by emotions rather than by logic was frowned upon for centuries. Modern scientists are only beginning to understand what emotional intelligence actually is. Creative people have it in spades, so do truly inspiring leaders of industry and commerce. Only when you live in the moment, make having fun and good experiences the focal point of your existence, will you be truly living. When excitement and anticipation are bubbling up in you, tell everyone so they can get excited with and for you. It's a great positive feeling that should be shared with others.
2. Happiness and Joy
A life spent bringing happiness and joy to others is a life lived truly to the full. When we're happy, we're on top of the world, feel practically invincible and capable of doing pretty much anything we set our sights on. Smile, share the joy! It's not only good for your own health, but also for those around you.
3. Sadness and Grief
Sadness can be crippling and stop us from living our lives. Bereavement and loss, regrets over missed opportunities, these are sadness-inducing factors. Don't hold such feelings in; try to share them with trusted friends, family members or therapists. Feeling sad once in a while, especially after losing somebody or something dear to your heart, is a natural part of everybody's life and tears are nothing to be ashamed of. However, holding such feelings inside long-term can cause serious damage to mental health.
While uncontrollable rage like the Hulk's is a truly frightening thing to behold, anger in moderation is a healthy emotion everybody feels once in a while. Use anger in a constructive way to resolve conflicts, though, rather than letting it eat away at you. In situations where somebody does something that makes you angry, tell them that they're bothering you; tell them politely, but firmly. You are setting boundaries in your relationship that way, which allows all parties to get along better in the end.
Repeating offenders who frequently invoke your anger with their behaviour and ignore all protests on your part will eventually cause you to feel disgusted with them. It's a very negative emotion that eats away at people and their relationships. It is one of the strongest emotions humans are capable of, such as when you're overcome by pity or feel your stomach turn at the sight of something truly horrid.
6. Love and Infatuation
While love is a multi-layered, beautiful thing, infatuation is quite an unhealthy emotion that can easily get out of hand. When you love somebody or a pet, you have a very strong bond to that other being. Nurture this feeling, but don't let it cloud your judgment. You won't be a useful, good friend or family member if you're so infatuated, you can no longer see the other person's faults. How could such an uncritical observer possibly give good advice or be there for them when it really counts? True love opens our eyes because it makes us love in a "warts and all" way. Infatuation makes us blind and lets us to do crazy things.
Humans can experience positive and negative surprises, but to most of us they don't seem to happen in equal measure. Those with more than their fair share of negative surprises are inclined to say how they hate surprises. Life is constant change though, and with that come frequent surprises. A life without surprises would be dull to the point of watching paint dry. Who'd want that for their lifespan?
You may regard yourself as a pretty cool sort of gal, but fear sneaks up on everyone sometimes. Fear is one of our most powerful emotions, a primeval instinct that lets us decide in either "flight" or "fight" terms what our response to a fearful situation is going to be. As long as you don't let it rule your life and are in control of your most powerful emotion, fear can actually be used in a positive way to re-affirm your life values. Get your adrenalin pumping once in a while! Bungee jump off a bridge or hurtle down an icy track in a bobsleigh or swim with basking sharks...face your spider phobia or simply tell your Scrooge-of-a-boss you want a raise.
Which of the major emotions has the most influence in your life? I’ll admit I struggle with anger. It’s not so much that I’m hot-tempered, but I feel helpless when faced with some of the sheer crap of modern life and frustrated by an ability to do something about it. Yes! I want to change the world.