Feelings Verses Emotions
What's the difference I asked myself, Is there really a difference?
The dictionary describes a feeling as a conscious awareness of an emotional
sensation. It can be felt by touch, a physical sensation, an opinion or a
notion, readiness to feel sympathy or compassion. To Feel is to assert one's
influence. It is a response to stimuli.
An emotion is described as a strong mental or instinctive feeling, such as fear
of love, agitation, it is even described as a disturbance of the mind.
What I have come to understand for myself is that feelings are very necessary in
my life, they are what let us know that we are fully alive, they empower us! A
feeling is of the heart, it is an instinct, it is not something you can choose
to put in words, and is only expressed through emotions. Emotions are a reaction
to a feeling, they are the output of our feeling, our reaction to our
feeling........., but on the other hand they can become an exaggeration of the
There are two ways of reacting to a feeling - we can react in a way that has
nothing to do with the feeling but is a past emotive experience, which comes
across as extreme over feeling, or we can have a feeling or experience and can
honestly express that feeling exactly as it should be.
My emotional susceptibilities have kept me caught up in situations past, present
or future and I have often missed out on living in the moment. Emotions are
merely perceptions that create the illusions and ongoing situations I sometimes
My question to myself was. Can we react to feelings without become controlled by
When do emotions become an exaggeration of a feeling? I based my opinion on what
I have learned from within and from outside material. As I said earlier our
emotional reactions are sometimes based on previous emotional experiences. Every
feeling we experience brings up an emotion for us. Our emotional responses are
in some cases learned reactions. "Marcel Prust"
If some-one insults, rejects, or sends a negative or positive stimuli to us that
creates a feeling in us, we go back to the original first and other past
experience of a similar situation and remember the pain/joy it caused us,
therefore experiencing the emotion in the past and present simultaneously
increasing it's power over us. The difficulty lies in honoring the feeling and
reacting in the moment without taking back or experiencing baggage from the
A very basic example
Someone in traffic accidentally pulls out in front of you and you have to break
suddenly. The initial feeling is fright and the immediate reaction is to pull
the breaks. The emotion is fear. You reacted to your feelings and felt the
emotions, when the emotion kicked in, you consciously/subconsciously remembered
the last time this happened and immediately felt the anger you experienced at
that time. Fear and anger combined motivates you to pull up along side of the
vehicle that has just cut across you and you wind down the window and scream
blue murder at the inconsiderate driver.
Ironically, If the driver had acknowledged his/her mistake, you probably would
have let it go and not reacted, but because you have been ignored, treated like
you were invisible only added to your emotional frustration, (maybe you were
ignored as a child or teenager).
All this combined caused you to react in the way you did. Thankfully there are
no Right or Wrong answers or reactions, we all react. These situations are only
opportunities to connect more deeply with yourself and others.
Feelings and emotions are a good way to examine baggage or perceptions that we
hold on to, that often we are not aware of, and neither can be ignored or be
repressed, they must be honored. They give opportunity for reflection and self
growth, we can quietly sit with ourselves and ask when did I last feel like that
and what did it bring up for me so that we are more aware of ourselves.
Feelings and Emotions are the essence of what makes us Alive, Spiritual and
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