Basic Human Emotions – A List that can help you in knowing various emotions

The human body consists of both body and soul. The soul experiences various mental states like happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, and sorrow. These all states of mind are generally termed as basic human Emotions in psychology. Our brain produces emotions by combining bodily perception and cognitive appraisal. And the end result is what we see all around us.


Currently, there are two scientific ways to understand emotions.

1. Cognitive Appraisal theory:

The intuition about the level of meeting your goals with the current situation is emotion. According to this theory, when you meet your goals emotions termed as happiness. Similarly when the goals are not being achieved the evaluation is sadness. While anger is the reaction that aimed at whatever is blocking the goal to accomplishing.

2. Bodily perception theory:

According to this theory changes in your body conditions like hormone level, heart rate, breathing rate, and perspiration define emotions. Based on this point of view happiness is not a kind of judgment but a kind of psychological perception. While anger and sadness are the reactions of different psychological stages.

So, the term emotions can be defined scientifically as:

A neural impulse that motivates an organism to action, by encouraging an automatic reactive behavior for the survival mechanism to meet various kinds of needs, this automatic behavior is the result of evolution.

Basic Components of Human Emotions:

After understanding the definition of emotions it is easy to divide this term into its basic components. The basic components of emotions are:


Feelings are pretty much significant. They stimulate the nervous system, increase psychological processes in the cardiovascular system, and increase or decrease blood pressure and sexual urge.


Cognition makes us emotional in anyways. It influences and evaluates a certain situation that generates emotions.


The behavioral component includes vocal, postural, facial, and gesture responses.

The Basic Emotions:

The basic emotions are produced in response to ecological changes and challenges. Each basic emotion is a part of a distinct neurological circuit. According to Paul Eckman Universally six basic emotions experienced in all human cultures.

The six basic emotions list includes:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Disgust

This list of emotions was expended later by adding excitement, amusement, embarrassment, pride, contempt, relief, guilt, and shame in it. According to the latest study done in 2017, there are 27 types of different human emotions including basic emotions.

The basic human emotions psychology:

Psychologically, when emotions combine they generate feelings. Famous psychologist Robert Pluck explained this in a ‘’wheel of emotions’’. This wheel is similar to the color wheel. As primary colors combine to form secondary colors, so, in the same manner, basic emotions provide the base to produce complex emotions. It means a combination of basic or elaborated emotions results in some more complicated and complex emotions. For example happiness, trust, and care combine to create love.

Most of the emotions are a blend of two or more emotional feelings. Here let’s take a deeper look at some of the very basic emotions and their impact on our behaviors.


Happiness is defined as:

Experiencing some persistent positive emotions like joy, pleasure, pride, and interest or minimum negative emotions such as sadness, anger, depression, and anxiety.

Overall happiness is about positive emotional experiences. It is also a fact that happiness does not show the absence of negative emotions. Happiness cannot omit negativity from a person’s life but the frequency of experiencing negativity might be lesser than others.

Nobody can avoid life’s stressors. Regardless of where a person is, what he does, or how he lives everyone has his/her definition of happiness. But the common thing in all the definitions of happiness is the acceptance of the uncertainty of life and life’s situations like a natural part of life.

Happiness can be expressed through:

  • The cheerful or pleasant tone of voice
  • Soft facial expressions like smiling
  • Calm and controlled body language

Although, happiness is a basic emotion but the things that create happiness in our lives mostly influenced by the culture in which we live. Many of us consider health and happiness are connected. Others consider the presence of wealth as a symbol of happiness, and very few of us find happiness in helping and supporting others. Every explanation of happiness is correct in its meanings.


An emotional state composed of feelings of grief, sorrow, disappointment, dull and down mood swings, and disinterest is termed as sadness.

Like happiness, it is also experienced by every individual in their life in their down times. A severe or prolonged sadness may result in depression. Sadness can be expressed as;

  • Lethargy
  • Crying
  • Isolation from others
  • Avoiding happy gatherings and dampened the mood

This state of mind is also a complex one and no one can exactly explain the reasons for being sad and depressed. Sadness triggers the peripheral nervous system and produces many observable reactions in the brain. Sometimes people consider sadness and depression as co-terms but both have a significant difference.

Depression is a particular mental state that shows poor mental health and it is diagnosable. While the sadness is not a mental health problem and it is also not diagnosable. Depression is a prolonged condition that can remain for days, weeks, moths, or even years but the period of sadness can not exceed some minutes.


Surprise can be explained as:

An instant feeling of amazement, astonishment, and wonder that appears when something unexpected happens.

Surprise can be positive, negative, or neutral that can generate some other emotions dramatically. It can be characterized by;

  • A physical response such as sudden fear, jumping or getting shocked
  • Facial expressions like the widening of eyes, opening the mouth.
  • Verbal expressions may be yelling, screaming, or weeping.

The surprise is a kind of emotion that triggers fight or flight response in response to adrenaline burst.


Fear is an emotional response to a quick or immediate threat.

Fear is the main generator of fight or flight response. It is one of the most powerful emotions that are essential for survival. Indicating expressions are:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Muscles get tensed
  • Redness in eyes
  • Prepares effectively to deal with the situation

Every individual experiences fear differently. Some people are less sensitive to a certain kind of fear and others may be more sensitive to it. Repeated exposure to the same fear gradually decrease the intensity and increase the familiarity to reduce fear and anxiety.


The most powerful and strong emotion that generates feelings of antagonism, annoyance, and displeasure is called anger. It is another emotion included in the list of the basic human emotions of psychology.

Anger can be displayed by:

  • Gruffly and yelling speaking tone
  • Turning red or start shivering or sweating
  • Hitting, kicking, or throwing objects
  • Trying to attack others

Although, it is a kind of negative emotion and mostly it is destructive but sometimes it can be used constructively too. It helps you to be clear about your relations and motivates you to fight back with the issues and find the solution to the problems bothering you.

In the case of uncontrolled anger, the results could be abuse, violence, aggression, and harm to themselves or others.


Disgust is a strong but negative feeling of disapproval. Sometimes it’s a kind of feeling like nausea, the revulsion of sickening feeling, or loathing.

It can be expressed by:

  • Wrinkled nose
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Protruded tongue
  • Lowered brows
  • Keeping yourself away from disgust object

Mostly this reaction produces because of fatal or harmful food. Unpleasant taste or smell of food, poor hygiene, blood, death, rot, or any kind of infection can also trigger disgust. It may be a kind of body response to prevent it from transmittable or contagious diseases.

Emotions, emotions & some more emotions:

Emotions are the designers of our behavior and thoughts. Our daily life emotional experiences influence our actions and both large and small decisions that we take in our life. In addition to it, emotions help us to thrive, avoid danger, and survive. Apart from the basic human emotions of psychology, there are some other emotions that are known to be derived by these emotions.

Our emotions control the behaviors that help others to understand us or vice versa. They are the tools or resources that connect us meaningfully with the social world around us. But the most important thing is to control emotions at a particular level. It is good to be emotional but emotions must be in your control not you are in the control of your emotions.

Understanding your emotions, then reacting according to the situation in a positive way is the science everyone needs to learn. A person with controlled feelings can be more strong and successful in his/her life. Otherwise negative emotions can ruin the lives of others as well as ours.

What you suggest about it?

Please let us know about your thoughts of being emotional and what you think about experiencing emotional trauma. Can an emotional phase be the game changer in anyone’s life? What you want more to know about this topic. Your suggestions can be really helpful for discussing emotions in further detail. So, make sure to give your opinion in the comments section below.

Log Kya Kahein Gay: Log Kya Kahein Gay provides a platform to discuss ideas and opinions about the culture and social ethics of our society.
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