Emotions vs Feelings

The Difference Between Emotions and Feelings

What is the difference between emotions and feelings?

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While emotions are associated with bodily reactions activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain, feelings are the conscious experience of emotional responses.

Our emotions are like the car’s engine; feelings are like the frame.

Emotions are the core – raw data, a reaction to the present reality, whereas feelings can be created in our head based on events of the past or fears of the future— not necessarily the truth of the situation.

Listening to your bodily emotions, informed by your sense perception, helps you connect to the reality of your present experience rather than to stories. From your truth, you can make decisions that are right for you.

  • You can connect and name your feelings-asking.
  • Explore your sensations during different nervous states, comparing ease to fight, flight, or freeze mode.
  • Do some breathing exercises, release with movement, hug yourself or get one from someone else, find a quiet space, etc.

How to develop emotional awareness

  • First, connect to the visceral messengers in your body.
  • Then bring your hands to that area of the body, perhaps the heart or the abdomen, and release any muscular constriction by softening and exhaling. Just stay with your feelings – ask what your emotions are signaling you.
  • Breathe in and out. This acknowledgment is both an act of kindness and a way to regulate your nervous system.
  • Next, notice if you would feel better by shaking, stretching, or sighing out the energy of that emotion.
  • Practice this safe, easy and powerful practice regularly.

People who have experienced trauma can be more emotionally numb. However, by slowly connecting to their raw emotions, they can begin to “name it so they can comfort and heal it.” There is so much power in evoking, embracing, and evolving through self-acknowledgment, especially when it’s gentle and warmhearted.

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Until next week, God bless you, and may the universal light surround you.


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