What are feelings: list, types, and examples


In this article, I will explain what feelings and emotions are, the difference between the two, and some examples of feeling situations.

Table of contents

People throughout our lives experience infinite feelings, which tend to manifest themselves in the polarities of positive feelings or negative feelings.

Feelings make us human, they make us people, and therefore understanding their meaning and the types of feelings we can experience will help us better understand ourselves and establish closer and healthier relationships.

For this reason, in this article I will explain what feelings are: types, list and examples of them.

a frustrated girl

1. Feeling and emotion

What are feelings and emotions? It is common to place emotions and feelings on the same plane, and it is not surprising, since there is a close relationship between the concept of feeling and emotion, however, although the two processes depend on each other, they are different states.

Therefore, before being able to understand feelings and their types, it is especially important to know what differentiates them from emotions.

What are emotions?

The definition of emotion is a reaction of our body, psycho-physiological, cognitive and behavioral, which leads us to react in a certain way to an external agent, such as being happy to receive good news or internal, such as being sad to remember a bitter memory.

Emotions appear instantaneously in the face of the event and have a short duration, tending to be situated in polarities of positive emotion or negative emotion.

What are feelings?

Feelings are a state of mind that occurs in relation to external inputs, considered the mental expression of emotion. Where do feelings come from? When the emotion is processed in the brain and the person is aware of said emotion and the state of mind that it produces, it gives rise to the feeling, for this reason the origin of the feelings are the emotions defined and valued rationally that will determine our state of mind.

Feeling and emotion: The difference

Although both emotions and feelings are the result of an irrational process in the face of the subjective way of perceiving a given situation, emotions maintain a basic and primitive unidirectional pattern, that is, the emotion appears immediately and spontaneously after the presentation of the stimulus.

On the contrary, reflexive processes intervene in feelings, on which the person becomes aware of her state of mind and what it is that he is feeling, allowing him to be valued.

Having understood the difference between emotions and feelings, we are going to focus exclusively on feelings.

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2. Types of feelings

People can experience many feelings that lead us to different states of mind, however their division has focused on their polarity, establishing a classification around positive and/or negative feelings based on the response they cause in the person.

Types of positive feelings

Positive feelings are pleasant feelings that produce a perception of well-being in the person and lead to feelings of pleasure. Positive feelings contribute greatly to preserving our physical and mental health, because they help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. On the other hand, they help mitigate the appearance of negative feelings.

Types of negative feelings

Contrary to the positive ones, the negative feelings produce sensations of discomfort in the person and when they are unpleasant. It is convenient not to confuse negative feelings with bad feelings.

Negative feelings are also useful and functions. Sometimes, we try to get rid of them, although they are necessary for our development and progress as people.

However, it is important to correctly manage negative feelings, because contrary to positive ones, they can be the precipitants of high levels of stress and anguish and thus generate physical or mental health problems, such as the development of a depressive disorder, and/or anxious.

3. List of sentiments

Let us now know the main feelings grouped in the two classifications: positive and negative feelings.

Positive Feelings List

There are many positive feelings that we can experience throughout our lives, which can broadly be grouped into the following feelings:

  1. Happiness: happiness is a primary emotion that is understood as a feeling of absolute satisfaction, which is born from another emotion and makes us value the environment that surrounds us positively.
  2. Love: love is a feeling towards someone or something and the desire is born that that person or thing have all the good it can have, brings out the best of ourselves.
  3. Euphoria: Euphoria is the highest expression of joy, which leads to an increase in our energy and makes us look at life in a much more positive way.
  4. Hope: have faith in achieving what one longs for.
  5. Motivation: reaction of enthusiasm and energy before a duty or an action.
  6. Passion: feeling that is intimately related to love and tends to appear in the sexual sphere.
  7. Satisfaction: feeling that occurs after the completion of something well done, which stimulates confidence and security about ourselves.
  8. Fun: focus our attention on an action that makes us pass the time pleasantly and brings us well-being.
  9. Well-being: state of balance between the somatic and psychic levels of the person.
  10. Enthusiasm: feeling that is born before the motivation in front of an event.

List of negative feelings

In the same way as in positive feelings, there are many negative feelings that we can experience, however we must not forget that learning to live with negative feelings and giving them the importance and dedication they deserve will help us grow as people.

The different negative feelings that we can find broadly are the following:

  1. Anger: feeling of disgust towards someone or something, which causes a bad disposition towards the object that generates anger.
  2. Anger: is a primary emotion that is due to a high intensity of anger.
  3. Fear: distress caused by the perception of a danger that can be real or imagined.
  4. Worry: a state of restlessness that appears in the face of a problem or circumstance.
  5. Sadness: a feeling that causes emotional pain and causes great discomfort, which can trigger pessimistic thoughts and a tendency to cry.
  6. Guilt: responsibility that the person assumes for a fact or action, which carries a negative connotation.
  7. Stress: state of mind of being overwhelmed by the perception of feeling overwhelmed by a certain circumstance.
  8. Frustration: feeling that arises from the impossibility of completing what was needed or desired.
  9. Indignation: feeling that comes with anger for considering a fact or action as unfair.
  10. Shame: discomfort in the face of an event about which the person has felt humiliated, or in anticipation or fear of being ridiculous.
  11. Vulnerability: feeling that encompasses feelings of fragility, helplessness, sensitivity and insecurity, which trigger a global feeling or perception of vulnerability.

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4. Feelings: examples

Let us now see some examples of very frequent feelings that can appear in our daily lives:

  • We receive an e-mail where our boss informs us that we must go to work on Saturday. In the first place, we may experience an emotion of anger, but after becoming aware of what we are feeling, feelings of sadness may appear for not being able to do what you had planned with your partner or anger for having to go to work on a weekend.
  • We found out that two of our friends have been invited to a party to which we were not invited. In the first place, emotional responses of indignation may appear, but after understanding the situation, feelings of vulnerability may appear, where we feel insecure and wonder why we have not been invited.
  • They notify us that they are going to promote us at work. For example, it could be that our expressed emotion is not what is expected, reacting with a rather apathetic tone. By processing the news and understanding how we feel, we can be aware of the feeling that it gives us, which can be a feeling of stress and fear, in the face of the challenge that we face.

These are some of the many examples of feelings about which we can find ourselves, where we can observe that emotions and feelings are two different processes, about which the initial reaction, the emotion, may not have the same emotional tone as the feeling, once the information has been processed, and we have become aware of how this information or fact makes us feel, which is where the feeling is born.


  • Fredrickson, B.L. (2004). The power of good feelings. Mind and Brain, 8, 74-78.
  • Marina, J.A., & Penas, M.L. (1999). Dictionary of feelings . Barcelona: Anagram.
  • Tables, AA (2004). Regulation of conflicts and feelings. Peace and Conflict Handbook, 201-222.
  • Pallares, M. (2010). Emotions and feelings . Marge Books.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.