Author: Riya Kathpalia
From: New Delhi, India
How are you feeling? Are you happy or sad? When asked, it is rather likely that all of us are able to tell which emotional state we are in at that moment. But what does it mean? Where do emotions originate and how do they impact our daily life? Well, emotions are the feelings which helps us decide what we want in our daily lives but most importantly they describe psychological states that involves a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response. Emotions have been studied in several scientific discipline like biology, psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, anthropology, and sociology—as well as in business management, advertising, and communications. As a result, distinctive perspectives on emotion have emerged, appropriate to the complexity and variety of the emotions themselves. As per the rule of thumb, there are seven basic emotions: joy, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, contempt, and sadness, but the debate still goes on.
In regards with philosophy of emotions, philosophers say “No aspect of our mental life is more important to the quality and meaning of our existence than the emotions. They are what make life worth living and sometimes worth ending”. This is extremely deep and have various interpretations. Philosophers, not only in the earlier times but even today, constantly keeps on bringing out their hypothesis to describe emotions.
Why do we have emotions?
Actually, It’s all in our brain. All the parts of the brain are involved in producing different emotions. The amygdala integrates emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation, it also helps us to detect fear. The insula is the source of disgust — a strong negative reaction to an unpleasant odor, for instance whereas the periaqueductal gray, located in the brainstem, has also been implicated in pain perception.
Why are emotions important to us?
Emotions makes us human. It is impossible to imagine life without emotion. We treasure our
feelings—the joy while playing our favourite game, the pleasure of the touch of a loved one, or the fun with friends on a night out. Even negative emotions are important like the sadness when a loved one dies, the anger when violated, the fear that overcomes us in a scary or unknown situation, or the guilt or shame toward others when our sins are made public. Emotions colour life experiences and give those experiences meaning and flavour.
What is the difference between emotions and mood?
Basically, we can differ by saying whether there is an identifiable cause or not. An emotion is normally quite short-lived, but intense. Emotions are also likely to have definite and identifiable cause. For example, after disagreeing with a friend over politics, you might feel angry for a short period of time. A mood, on the other hand, is usually much milder than an emotion, but longer-lasting. For instance, you might find yourself feeling gloomy for several days without any clear, identifiable reason. Emotions are intangible and hard to describe— even for scientists — they serve important purposes, helping us learn, initiate actions, and survive.
About the Author: Riya Kathpalia
Riya is a sophomore in high school. she is interested in medicine and biology. She wanted to pursue a career in the field of medicine and she hopes that the epistemology of the evolving discoveries reaches everyone out there.
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