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The Psychology of Emotions

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I'll provide a short table here providing the feeling and bodily reaction components of emotions.

Anxiety - Fear (feeling component), rapid heartbeats (bodily reaction)

Love Affection (feeling component), physical/sexual need (bodily reaction)

Anger Irritability (feeling component), flushed face or deep breaths (bodily reaction)

Grief Sorrow (feeling component), tears or other physical changes (bodily reaction)

Lust Possessing (feeling component), physical/sexual need (bodily reaction)

Jealousy Controlling (feeling component), physical needs/violence etc. (bodily reaction)

The list could be potentially quite long although it is necessary to distinguish the feeling and bodily reaction components for the identified emotion. How does this distinction help psychology? I would suggest that such a distinction of feeling and bodily reaction enable psychologists to work towards identification of the main psychological problem based on whether the feelings have preceded or followed bodily reactions. Internalized emotions will thus always begin with a feeling and it is the feeling that has to be tackled first. This is of course a very challenging perspective and researchers could continue to argue on whether pain involves feeling first or a bodily reaction first. Internalized emotions are also long lasting and this is because the root or the foundation of such emotions is the feeling which can continue for a long time. Grief or love (internalized emotions) would last longer than anger or lust (externalized emotions). Bodily reactions are of course short lived as our body has limited resources with which to react.

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Saberi Roy is a writer/poet/analyst/political commentator/psychologist and writes on science, arts, psychology, religions, politics and philosophy. She has Masters degrees in Philosophy (MA), in Psychology (MSc) and in Consciousness Studies with QM (more...)
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