Emotions & You

face emotions

All human beings only have 10 primary emotions

Interestingly only 1 of them is positive













How emotional are you?


Take a few minutes to scan the chart below and try to register or make a mental note of those emotions that you have felt in the last few days or weeks, or that you can recall as being emotions that regularly arise within you.


Click here to see chart


If most of your emotions that you have felt recently are in the left had side of the chart then, by and large, you are not at the mercy of your emotions. However, if most of your emotions are in the right hand side of the chart, those emotions that you are feeling will be having a physiological effect on you.


Stuart Walton in his Book - Humanity - An Emotional History- writes

“An emotion must be a short-lived neurological reaction arising from what is often an abrupt stimulation to the relevant nerve centres in the brain”.


And ”we all have the same precisely evolved registers of awareness of our emotions”


Darwin originally posited the idea and Stuart Walton again asks

“What if we were able to control our emotions by some strenuous exercise of the will….arriving at a serene state of mental discipline, in which we simply

cease to be prey to them?”.


Whilst emotions may arise in the brain they are felt in the gut – often referred to the ‘second brain’.  It is here in this part of the body revered in the East, where it is known as the Hara - as the seat of digestion and reproduction - that we also  feel fear, express anger and laugh until we ache here. We feel grief and sadness here, and express contempt and disgust from here and it is here that we feel jealousy and envy. And of course it is also here where we feel the warm glow of happiness and joy.


Could we ‘simply cease to be prey to them?’ – the answer is yes we can.


And the way to do that is to reduce or eliminate there effect on our physiology.


The two emotional heavyweights are fear and anger.

Lets see what happens to your body, when you get really angry….

Releases adrenaline into the blood stream, which boosts the supply of oxygen and glucose to the brain and muscles

Suppresses other non-emergency bodily processes - digestion in particular

Increases heart rate and stroke volume

Raises blood pressure

Elevates blood sugar levels

Dilates the pupils

Constricts arterioles in the skin and gastrointestinal tract

Begins the breakdown of lipids in fat cells

Suppresses the immune system


That’s quite a lot of stress you body is being bombarded with every time you get angry and there is a lot of angry people out there who have little or no control over their anger and suffer from this kind of stress on a daily basis.


Anger is triggered by the object of the anger and can vary from furious rage at the top of the scale to being just a little cross at the other end. As long as the object of the anger is held on to it will continue to cause the anger to arise.

Release or let go of the object of the anger and the anger will subside.


How do we let go of the object of our emotions?


You can begin to do so by raising your self-awareness so that you become less subjective and more objective of the effect your emotions are having on you.

By learning to control your thought processes so that they don’t result in the downward domino effect causing negative emotions to arise, you can learn how to be aware of them and their causal effect on you, recognising the triggers of your emotional strengths and weaknesses leading to a more emotionally mature you.


You and your Emotions

Positive Psychology & Moral Philosophy

Emotional Register Chart