What is emotion? According to the Oxford English Dictionary its: “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”. There are hundreds of emotions that human can possibly experience and this is the list of the most basic ones:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Enjoyment
  • Love
  • Surprise
  • Disgust
  • Shame

Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.


As Aristotle learned, there is nothing wrong with being emotional. It becomes a problem when people are inappropriate with expressing their emotions. People who mastered the skill of managing own emotions and feelings, as well as other people’s feelings are more likely to be effective in their lives. Folks that cannot control their emotional lives constantly fight inner battles that drain their energy and negatively impact their ability to focus and think clearly.

According to Peter Salovey and John Mayer, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to:

  • Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions. Self-awareness is the pillar of EI. The ability to monitor feelings inn a given moment is essential to self-understanding and managing responses.
  • Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others
  • Motivate ourselves and persist in the face of frustrations
  • Control impulse and delay gratification
  • Regulate the mood and keep distress from harming our ability to think clearly
  • Recognize emotions in others
  • Handling relationships

Emotions in the body

Every emotion has its impact on our bodies on physiological level, whether we recognize it or not. The more mindful and self-aware person is, the more sensitive one to the impact of emotion onto the body. Modern technologies allow researchers to study how the body reacts to the basic emotions.

Anger. Blood rushes to our hands, making us ready to attack. Heart rate rumps up, adrenaline gets released into the blood stream, making us feel strong and ready for action.

Fear. Blood fills large muscles, such as legs, chest, back muscles, making our bodies ready to run or fight. This is why in the state of strong fear, our fingers and toes might feel cold as the blood went into the muscles.

Happiness. Doesn’t bring noticeable changes in the body, however increases available energy and brain activity.

Love. Activates the parasympathetic nervous system and sets us into relaxed, euphoric and calm state.

Surprise. Raises our eyebrows and widens the eye pupils to allow more light into retina.

Disgust. Either taste or smell will change our facial expression by lifting up the upper lip and wrinkling the nose.

Sadness. Causes a drop in energy levels and enthusiasm towards life.