Let’s Talk About Different Types of Basic Emotions!


Emotions and feelings these words may seem to have the same definition. But if we go close to these words, the clarity is not the same as what we think. I will explain the above mentioned words here.

Different Types of Basic Emotions

Feelings- You can experience both emotional and physical sensations, for example we may feel cold because of weather and similarly we may emotionally feel cold too. It is something that we sense when we are hungry or thirsty.

“Feelings are mental experiences of body states, which arise as the brain interprets emotions, themselves physical states arising from the body’s responses to external stimuli. (The order of such events is: I am threatened, experience fear, and feel horror.) – Antonio Damasio Neuroscience Professor at The University of California”

Emotions- You can feel emotions through emotional experiences in your life. Emotions are conjoined with thoughts, actions, experiences, desires and beliefs.

“Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind- Dr.Sarah Mckay Neuroscientist & Author “

Emotions play out in the theater of the body

I hope now you are clear about these two terms. Now, let’s talk about what are the types of basic emotions.

There are different types of emotions that are depending on the way we interact or have influence on any situation. Hence, many times we may think that we are ruled by emotions and feelings. It is because the perceptions we have, choices we make or actions we take, every single step have emotions involved in them.

Psychologists have also tried to understand kinds of emotions, therefore in 1970, a psychologist Paul Eckma observed 6 types of basic emotions that are experienced by humans and they are happiness, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise and fear. Later on he added excitement, pride, embarrassment and shame on the list of types of emotions. While researching more on this topic, I got to know there is another type of emotion in psychology known as “Combining Emotion” or “Wheel Of Emotions”.  Refer to the below image for more information.

type of emotion in psychology

This term is introduced by Psychologist Robert Plutchik, according to the wheel of emotion, all basic emotions are related to one other. You can also check which emotion can turn another one in a clear and easy way. You can also understand by combining which color will create shade, you may get confused between mixed or complex emotion for example joy and faith can conjoin to create love.

We will discuss more about Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions.

Primary: The primary level circle indicates the basic type of emotions: trust, surprise, joy, sadness, anticipation, disgust, surprise and anger.

Opposites: Now understand, every primary emotion has a reverse emotion. Such as fear is reverse to anger, ecstasy is the opposite of grief, anticipation to surprise and so on.

Combinations: As you can see the faded petals [no color] it represents combinations of two primary emotions. For example, disgust and remorse gives remorse, similarly joy and anticipation offers optimism.

This is the classification of Wheel Of Emotions. If you have any questions related to this let me know in the comments below.

Now we will talk about the different types of basic emotions in psychology and in general too.

Various Kinds Of Emotions:

Anger: violence, hostility, resentment, wrath, irritability, fury, and outrage.

Shame:  regret, guilt, contrition, chagrin, remorse, and embarrassment.

Sadness: depression, grief, melancholy, gloom, despair, sorrow and loneliness.

Disgust: scorn, contempt, distaste, disdain, revulsion, and aversion

Fear: anxiety, fright, nervousness, dread, apprehension, and panic.

Surprise: wonder, amazement, astonishment, astound, and shock.

Joy: enjoyment, thrill, delight, bliss, relief, pride, happiness, and ecstasy.

Interest: devotion, acceptance, affection, trust, kindness, love, and friendliness.

8 types of basic emotion

All the emotions that we feel are made from the above types of emotions. There are more of this kind and we get them from our family members, friends and other people who are surrounded by us.

Now as we know about different types of emotions, I want you to understand about feelings too. I know, I have already shared the difference above but again to get the precise understanding of these words, here I am going to create a comprehensive table between feeling and emotions.

Feeling determine how to live Emotions determines our likes & dislikes
Determination between right & wrong way Good & bad actions
Emotions matter External world matters
Long term attitude Initial attitude
Anticipation action Immediate action
Permanent Temporary

I hope with the help of this table, you are able to understand the difference between them two. It has been seen that people sometimes may connect both words together and trust me it won’t make any difference.

1. Happiness


We people strive most for happiness. This is a pleasant emotion that brings various types of feelings such as joy, gratification and a sense of gaiety. You can identify this emotion in facial expressions [smiling], body language [relaxed stance], vocal [pleasant and upbeat tone of voice]

There are various proven scientific ways that can help to stay happy all the time. I am mentioning some of them in the below series.

  • Write down for the things you are grateful for
  • Think positive thoughts
  • Be kind and help others
  • Feed your soul and mind
  • Take beauty sleep

However there are various reasons too that can make your happy face to sad one, and they are mentioned below:

  • Lack of gratitude and passion
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Passive entertainment
  • Digging past deeds
  • No achievements or fix goals

2. Anger


Anger is considered as a negative and powerful emotion both. It is differentiated as a different type of feeling antagonism, agitation, hostility and frustration for others. Anger can be identified in facial expressions [glaring or even frowning], body language [turning your back or a strong stance] vocal [yelling or speaking in a gruffly way] aggressive behavior [throwing objects, hitting, kicking] physiological responses [sweating or shortage of breath]

As I said above, anger is negative but powerful because it motivates you to find solutions from the situations that are irritating you. It also helps your relationship to bring more clarity.

Everyone have their own reasons of getting angry, but mainly they are depend on the below reasons and factors:

  • Threatened or injustice
  • Losing your patience
  • Not appreciated
  • Current situations [factor]
  • Past experiences [factor]
  • Upbringing issues [factor]

Here I am mentioning some bonus tip to control your anger –

  • Express your emotions on paper- I know when you are red in anger this can’t be done but understand your anger is a trap it is killing you inside.
  • Repeat a mantra- Relax!!
  • Music is your friend
  • Stop talking and go away
  • Talk to a friend

3. Fear


After Anger, fear is another strong emotion that is necessary for survival. Whenever you are caught in a danger, a sense of fear kicks in and you either fight or become more attentive. This response makes your heart beat faster, tense your muscles and alert your mind for sudden circumstances.

Fear can seen through facial expressions [raised or tensed upper lid, widened lips and eyes], actions [hide or flea] and physiological reactions [rapid respiratory and heartbeat]

There can be many reasons to have or feel fear, every person has their own cause for the same. There are various benefits of fear too that we shall discuss in the next article. Here below are some effective tips to overcome fear.

  • Become aware about your fears
  • Understand those emotions that are associated with fear
  • Do breathing exercises
  • Ask for help or talk to a friend
  • And the most important, live in present

4. Surprise


Surprise emotion has many forms, when you get something special you get surprised, when you share a secret with your friend and he tells them to another person you get surprised. In a nutshell, surprises have many situations and forms. This emotion is also described by Eckman in a wheel of emotions. You can identify surprise from facial expressions [opening the mouth, raising the eyebrows, widening the eyes], verbal reactions [gasping, sometimes crying, yelling or screaming] and physical response [jumping or clapping]

As I said above this emotion is a bunch of feelings and has many forms. So, Here I am mentioning some amazing ways by which you can either surprise or give happiness.

  • Finding bucks in an old jeans pocket!
  • Those few minute foot massage from your loved one
  • A stranger with genuine smile
  • Getting cuddles before starting your day
  • Laughing till your stomach hurts
  • Receiving an email with old cute photos
  • Accomplishing small victories

Now it is time to give a surprise!

  • Plan a fun-filled day
  • Make a surprise dinner
  • Arrange a weekend trip
  • Create a photo frame

5. Sadness


Oh sad! This is sadness, an emotion that is often characterized as a transient emotional factor. There are different types of feelings that are associated with sadness and they are grief, dampened mood, disappointment, hopelessness and disinterest. Sadness too comes from time to time and if this emotion is prolonged it turns into depression. Sadness can be identified through crying, going into an isolation state, quietness, lethargy and so on.

If you are sad, follow the below mentioned effective ways to deal with sadness-

  • Walk in nature
  • Meditate
  • Talk to your friend or any supportive family member
  • Listen to music
  • Cry to pour out your sadness

6. Disgust


Disgust is also introduced by Eckman and can be identified in a number of ways such as through physical reactions [retching, vomiting], facial expressions [curling the upper lip, wrinkling nose] and turning from the object. Disgust owns different types of feelings such as unpleasant smell, taste or reactions.

Here I am mentioning the ways to overcome disgust:

  • Remember to breathe
  • Control your thinking, don’t let your feelings to manipulate your thoughts
  • Use your thoughts and imagination in a healthy way
  • Don’t judge!

What You Think About These Emotions?

Emotions are important as they make us feel alive and energetic. We have various feelings for others and oneself. Therefore, I brought this blog to your attention so that you can understand emotions in a better way.

I hope you like this article and have shared it with your friends and family. If you have any questions related to this blog let me know in the comment section below.

You may like These Also:

1. How To Turn a Bad Day Into a Good Day

2. Best Mindfulness Books to Learn Mindfulness

3. Quick Tips On How You Can Become An Alpha Male

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