Some things evoke emotions in you

Et toi, t’en penses quoi?

The word emotion comes from the Latin "emovere" and is called "move out". The emotion or feeling movement is therefore an energy that moves freely and naturally outwards.

Emotional movements play a very important role in our everyday life. Every day, at all times, we are in touch with our emotions and those of other people. They fluctuate from one second to the next and can make us feel happy one moment and unhappy the next. Even if the most recent studies pursue different and sometimes contradicting theories, the scientists still agree on one point: A movement of feeling has five essential characteristics:

  1. A automatic, timely, immediate reaction on the perception of an external process ("I now have to appear before an examination board ") or an internal process ("I can't do it, I'm always paralyzed when I have to speak to a committee ").
  2. A physical reaction: the heart beats faster, breathing accelerates, blood pressure and body temperature rise, muscles cramp, gastric and intestinal flow is slowed down or, exactly the other way around, accelerated, tears may break out ...
  3. A Reaction of the face: Frown, blush ...
  4. A feeling: „When I stand before an examination board, my knees are weak, I feel empty“.
  5. A motivationthat adjusts the body to action (energy).

An emotional outburst is a well-run-in and super-fast mechanism (less than a hundred millionth of a second) that is set in motion by a trigger.


event èperceptionèemotionèreaction

Event: the event can be inside or outside (pain for example); but it can also be the appearance of a thought.

Perception: we assess whether the process is pleasant or unpleasant, whether it meets our needs, our norms, whether we are in control or not. Our brain sorts the information according to our own "filters". These filters consist of our beliefs, values, Needs, cultural reference points, educational foundations.

Emotion: it is what we feel, what is triggered in our body.

Reaction: the tendency to react and the changes that the emotion triggers in the body (sweating, racing heart, ...), arising thoughts ("what does he think of me now; I can't keep up; that's pleasant, ...) and triggered behavior ( Facial expression, flight, gestures, ...).

The reactions that occur are sometimes perceived as "reflexes" that surprise us or those around us. For example, the escape in fear, the self-closing in grief, the pleasure of slamming in anger, screaming out in joy, fear, disgust, ... These reactions, which appear like reflexes, do not run through the decision-making center in our brain, but rather go away limbic system, which is also known as the "feeling brain".

We differentiate between six basic emotions: Fear, sadness, happiness, disgust, anger and surprise. Other more complex emotions can be derived from these basic emotional expressions: love, jealousy, disappointment, guilt, shame, worry, ... The six basic feelings evoke typical facial expressions in all people: joy is shown by smiling and squinting, sadness by tears and drooping forehead, fear from tearing open the eyes, anger from a furrow in the forehead, twisting of the mouth and squinting of the eyes, surprise from opening the mouth to "O" and raising the eyebrows.

Feeling and feeling (feeling) - two things that should not be confused

What we feel (perceive) are signals that emanate from the sense organs (hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, seeing). They inform us about the status of the satisfaction of our needs. This feeling is personal and varies from one person to another, depending on the situation: "The sight of a dog scares me, you don't". The feeling is influenced by how the person evaluates an experience (subjectivity): pleasant, unpleasant, neutral?

Here are some expressions that describe the different "sensations" associated with the basic feelings:




Affection, fulfillment, motivation, relaxation, contentment, enthusiasm, liveliness, serenity, optimism, fun, ...


Dejection, discouragement, despair, loss of drive, sadness, melancholy, disappointment, demoralization, ...


Depression, anxiety, horror, insecurity, horror, exhaustion, apprehension, ...


Irritation, aggressiveness, anger, annoyance, nervousness, anger, dissatisfaction, violence, irritation, bitterness, rage, ...


Reluctance, aversion, annoyance, disappointment, repulsion, disgust, rejection, anger, ...


Ignorance, paralysis, amazement, amazement, emotion, amazement, embarrassment, alienation, ...

Sense of emotion

There are no good or bad feelings that we should encourage or avoid. All emotions can in themselves be considered expedient. The question of emotions plays a prominent role in relationships: the human being is first and foremost a social being. Without feelings he is already dead!

What is the purpose of feelings?

  • They help us survive, and this is especially true for fear, which indicates a danger to us and concentrates all energy so that we can protect ourselves (flight, fight, ...).
  • They are used for communicationwhich can be determined just by observing the non-verbal, just as the facial expression reveals something about the emotions of the interlocutor.
  • They are good pointers to what is important to usso that we recognize what we consider to be important and respond to our physical needs (breathing, sleeping, eating, drinking). Emotions also give us information about our further needs (security, affection, social contacts, appreciation, recognition, autonomy, meaning, coherence).

Know how to deal with your feelings

We look for pleasant emotions and are happy to accept them (joy, love, ...), while we prefer to control or avoid less pleasant emotions, such as fear, anger or sadness. Despite the efforts to suppress them, they do not give up, they do not want to give way or allow themselves to be erased from memory. Rejecting or ignoring these emotions can have a whole range of negative effects (excessive demands, various pains, lack of concentration, tiredness, uncontrolled streams of thoughts, states of fear, relationship problems, ...). While we are unable to “control” the emotions, we can still develop the ability to distinguish our own feelings one at a time and use them to guide our actions. In today's parlance, we refer to emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize emotions, deal with them, express them and use them constructively.

Expressing one's emotions is a good means of mastering them

Due to our culture, our upbringing and our gender, we have learned to more or less bypass feelings, to guard against hiding or denying them. What we have learned here, of course, does not serve the flow of emotions and leads to a strong awkwardness in the way we express ourselves to other people. It is certainly not easy to appropriately and appropriately express one's emotional state to others, but it is nonetheless important that we learn just that.

If the emotions respond with all their energy, but are not expressed, there is a risk that the feelings will overflow, that they will discharge in a brutal, uncontrolled, even violent manner in an outburst of anger.

Certain communication techniques, such as non-violent communication, facilitate conflict resolution and enable an exchange in which the needs of all participants are taken into account. To this end, nonviolent communication relies on benevolence towards oneself and others. And since it is impossible to remain completely emotionless or to change the physical signs of emotions (for example, blushing with anger), it is still possible to adapt one's behavior ("I am angry with this person, but I refrain from berating them"). A first way is to focus one's attention on the sensations that are going on in the body. By breathing slowly (inhaling / exhaling) we calm ourselves and can think about appropriate behavior. This is suggested in many relaxation techniques.

Emotions in youth

Aggressiveness, impulsiveness, withdrawal, anger, euphoria, self-mutilation, mood swings, risk behavior, ...: The youth is often characterized by unstable psychological and emotional behavior.

Scientists today agree that this behavior is closely linked to fluctuations in the hormones that are currently acute in this phase of life, but also to the development of the brain, since in this phase of life a considerable difference in maturation can be observed between two systems: the limbic System (responsible for emotions, center for reward, regulation and mood) and the prefrontal cortex (center of reflection, planning, inferences, ...). It is as if the connections between these two areas of the brain are no longer in sync, so that judgment, attention and impulse control are impaired.

Because of this, teenagers are more prone to mental health problems (anxiety, depression) because they are not yet able to deal with their (exuberant) feelings or stress as adults. At the same time, they are more inclined to take any substance (drugs, alcohol) in order to temporarily suppress or soften the emotional sensations. It makes all the more sense to offer young people the opportunity to express their feelings, and even to encourage this expression, so that they can distance themselves from circumstances or events in adolescence.