Positive and Negative Emotions

What are Positive and Negative Emotions

During the course of the day, there are many emotions that we can experience. Emotions are part of the natural condition of the person and these can be classified as positive emotions or negative emotions. The “ negative ” connotation does not imply that they are emotions that we should not have or that they are bad for us, all emotions, whether positive or negative, help us in our development and shape us as people.

It is normal for all of us to prefer that there be a prevalence of positive emotions in our lives, however, the most important thing for the functioning of people is that a balance be established between these two classifications of emotion.

If you are interested in knowing what emotions are and which ones would be considered positive or negative emotions, keep reading this article from Psychologyorg, where we will expose positive and negative emotions: definition and list.

What are emotions?

What are emotions? Emotions are considered an affective state that produces a set of organic changes at the physiological and endocrine levels. The emotion is experienced instantly, appearing at a certain time and with the tendency to act in positive or negative polarities. On the other hand, it sustains a quick duration in the term. Its origin is normally influenced by an external experience, on which an assessment process is established, which reproduces automatically influenced by our past evolutionary and personal experiences. The functions of emotions can respond in an adaptive, motivational, or social way.

  1. Adaptive: prepares the organism to adapt to the action that precedes, that is, it adapts the behavior to the action that must be carried out according to the environmental conditions.
  2. Motivational: stimulates or decreases the motivation to direct ourselves to a certain objective.
  3. Social: maintains a predictive component, causing outsiders to intuit minimally how we are going to act and that one can see it in others, which contributes to interpersonal relationships.

Types of emotions: positive and negative

As we have previously established, emotions can come under two different classifications: positive and negative emotions. What are positive and negative emotions?

Positive emotions

Positive emotions refer to the set of emotions related to pleasant feelings, which understand the situation as beneficial and are maintained in a short time. Examples of positive emotions are pleasure or joy, among others. Positive emotions help increase attention, memory, awareness, and information retention and allow us to maintain several concepts at the same time and how they relate to each other. Faced with this, it should be noted that positive emotions are mobilizing, that is, when we experience them we feel more like doing things and we perform better.

Negative emotions

Negative emotions direct to the set of feelings that evoke unpleasant feelings and assess the situation that is shown as harmful, which allows the person to trigger their coping resources. Negative emotions warn us of certain circumstances considered a threat or challenge. Examples of negative emotions are nervousness, anger, or despair, among others. Negative emotions increase our awareness by helping us to focus attention on the problem that is presented to us, while also being mobilizing.

Both types of emotions are normal and necessary. However, the predominance of positive emotions leads to a healthier and happier life, while the presence of more negative than positive emotions leads to stress and overwhelm, which can cause problems to intensify.

Positive and Negative Emotions

List of positive and negative emotions

There is a large number of emotions that can be classified into the connotation of positive emotions or negative emotions. What are positive and negative emotions? Below is a list of the most frequent positive and negative emotions.

List of positive emotions

  • Acceptance: availability to approve a specific situation.
  • Affection: feeling love for someone or something.
  • Gratitude: the feeling of esteem towards someone who has done something for us and we have the feeling of wanting to return it.
  • Joy: a feeling that manifests itself from a good state of mind, brings satisfaction, and is accompanied by a smile or laughter.
  • Love: the feeling of affection towards someone or something, which brings us closer to happiness.
  • Well-being: state in which the person finds himself in a well-functioning balance between his bodily and mental life.
  • Fun: focus attention on entertainment that generates a sense of well-being.
  • Enthusiasm: born from a passion for something or someone.
  • Hope: confidence in achieving what is desired.
  • Happiness: the feeling of absolute satisfaction.
  • Joy: very intense emotion generated by something that you like a lot.
  • Humor: a state that allows us to focus attention on the funny side of what happens to us.
  • Illusion: to be hopeful about something or excited about it.
  • Motivation: reaction to what we have to do that stimulates us to do it with more enthusiasm and energy.
  • Passion: comes from love and tends to manifest itself in the sexual sphere.
  • Satisfaction: effect that is born from the fulfillment of something, well done and that helps to increase confidence and self-confidence.

List of negative emotions

  • Boredom: state of mind that arises in the face of a lack of distraction or stimuli.
  • Overwhelmed: feeling that implies an emotional charge which produces fatigue.
  • Anguish: state of mind that involves restlessness, which arises as a result of worry or suffering.
  • Anxiety: state of restlessness, which involves a high physical and mental excitement.
  • Disgust: the feeling of displeasure related to something or someone, which produces rejection.
  • Guilt: feeling of accountability for an occurrence or action, of a negative disposition.
  • Disappointment: the feeling of disappointment. It arises before a situation that does not turn out as the person expected.
  • Despair: arises from the loss of patience, when it is considered that what the person is facing is irreparable or due to the impotence of being able to overcome it successfully.
  • Disgust: feeling produced before a result that was not what was expected or desired.
  • Stress: feeling overwhelmed in a certain situation, due to the demand for performance.
  • Frustration: incapability to achieve a goal or desire.
  • Outrage: irritation against an individual or action for being believed unfair.
  • Anger: primary emotion that indicates very great anger against a person or situation.
  • Fear: suffering due to the perception of threat
  • Concern: state of concern about a problem or situation.
  • Anger: the feeling of anger that tends to be accompanied by the expression of this anger: shouting, sudden actions, violent behavior, etc.
  • Remorse: feeling guilty for an action taken.
  • Grudge: hostility towards someone, due to some previous cause with said person that could have harmed or offended you.
  • Sadness: the feeling of emotional pain, caused by a triggering factor that entails thoughts with a pessimistic tone, vulnerable, and a tendency to cry.
  • Shame: discomfort due to an action in which the person has felt humiliated or for fear of being able to make a fool of himself or that someone else does.

Read Also: 25 psychological Manipulation Techniques Psychologyorg


What are positive emotions?

Positive emotions are emotional states characterized by feelings of happiness, joy, contentment, and other pleasant sensations. They typically lead to an uplifted mood and a sense of well-being. Positive emotions play a crucial role in enhancing resilience, creativity, and overall psychological and physical health.

What are negative emotions?

Negative emotions are emotional states characterized by feelings of distress, sadness, anger, fear, and other unpleasant sensations. These emotions can lead to a downcast mood and can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health if not managed effectively.

What is positive and negative emotion theory?

Positive and Negative Emotion Theory is a psychological framework that focuses on the distinction between positive and negative emotional experiences. This theory suggests that positive and negative emotions are distinct constructs with unique underlying processes and functions. It explores how these emotions influence behavior, cognition, and overall psychological well-being.

What is the difference between positive and negative affect?

Positive affect refers to the experience of positive emotions such as happiness, joy, and excitement. Negative affect, on the other hand, refers to the experience of negative emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger. Positive and negative affect are often measured as separate dimensions of emotional experience.

What is the importance of positive and negative emotions?

Positive emotions contribute to psychological resilience, social connectedness, and overall well-being. They promote adaptive coping strategies and enhance problem-solving abilities. Negative emotions, while often unpleasant, serve as important signals that highlight potential threats or challenges. They can prompt individuals to take action to address these challenges and protect themselves.

What causes negative emotions?

Negative emotions can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stressful situations, negative thoughts or interpretations, unmet needs, past traumas, interpersonal conflicts, and changes in one’s environment or circumstances.

How many negative emotions are there?

There is no definitive list of negative emotions as emotions are complex and can be experienced in various ways. Common negative emotions include sadness, anger, fear, disgust, shame, and guilt. However, emotions are subjective and can vary from person to person.

Why are negative emotions stronger than positive?

Negative emotions can sometimes feel stronger than positive ones due to evolutionary factors. In ancestral times, negative emotions like fear and anger played a crucial role in survival, helping individuals respond to threats and dangers. This evolutionary emphasis on negative emotions might lead to heightened sensitivity to negative stimuli. Additionally, negative emotions can be more persistent and require more cognitive processing, contributing to their perceived intensity.

Are positive or negative emotions stronger?

The perceived strength of positive versus negative emotions can vary based on individual differences, context, and personal experiences. Evolutionarily, negative emotions may have been more pronounced due to their survival value. However, the experience of emotional strength can be subjective and influenced by cultural, psychological, and situational factors.

If you want to read more articles similar to Positive and negative emotions: definition and List, we recommend that you enter our Psychology category.

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