Is there a Difference Between Feelings and Emotions?

By Anna Kuyumcuoglu | therapy
Posted: March 5, 2024

Emotions are Different than Feelings

Now with the understanding that love is not to be a part of our emotions, we can beginto make a separation between our warm inner heart-filled feelings and our emotions. In general, as we speak about ourselves or situations, we use the words ‘emotions’ and ‘feelings’ interchangeably, as if the experience of ‘emotion’ is almost the same as the experience of ‘feeling’.But emotions are definitely not the same as feelings. As you explore your inner world you will soon observe that emotions and feelings are different. In reality they are diametrically opposite experiences. 

The experience of a feeling is a world apart from the experience of an emotion.

The vital difference between emotion and feeling is that emotions have their roots in the past, and feelings relate to the present moment. Emotions represent our feelings whichwere not previously expressed [They were suppressed, repressed or reacted to.], and these accumulate with time.Indicators of EmotionHow does an emotional experience feel? What do we experience in ourselves, in our bodies, when we are in emotion? 

Below is a list which describes the experience when suddenly the level of emotion rises and love equally as suddenly evaporates. Emotion is easily and immediately recognizable in the following experiences:

1. The sensation of separation or disconnection from the other person, as if a wall comes down between you, or you feel paralyzed.2. It is difficult to meet the eyes of the other person, you avoid eye contact, or they appear to be far away in the distance.3. You blame the other person for the situation or for your unhappiness.4. You use the words ‘you never… do such and such’ or ‘you always… do such and such’; you talk about the other person, not yourself.5. You become withdrawn and closed.6. Your body is contracted, paralyzed, numb, sometimes with pains.7. Your vision becomes narrow and cloudy.8. You are exhausted, low in energy, and wish to sleep.9. You are protective and defensive.10. You experience abandonment and rejection.11. You experience loneliness and sense of being incomplete.12. You are self-righteous, with the attitude that ‘I am right’ and you refuse to give up until the other person admits you are right.13. You experience yourself as being misunderstood or taken for granted.14. You like to argue, discuss, fight and challenge the other.15. Your mind is very active, full of negative thoughts and doubts.16. The themes occur in repeating patterns, same issue again and again.17. You experience helplessness and you are a victim of your situation.18. Your outlook on life is hopeless and depressing.19. You get tense and prickly (like a hedgehog) and the other person cannot do or say anything right.20. The emotional state of separation/disconnection continues for hours or days before a return to harmony.21. You try to change the other person.22. You want to get revenge by saying or doing unkind, unloving things to them.23. You react from ego, pride.24. It is an unconscious pattern—you don’t realize why you are acting this way.25. The reaction relates to some incident/experience lying in the past.

From now on, when one or some of these symptoms are present in you, you will begin to have the insight that you are in emotion; that something from the past has come into play here and now and taken over the show.

In a way you were taken hostage by the emotions temporarily.It is helpful to remind yourself repeatedly that when you are emotional, the situation has little to do with the present. The emotion is resurfacing in the present of course, but you feel disconnected from the present. There has been a dramatic shift in your perception as a by-product of the accumulated and unresolved past which we all carry around with us, to a lesser or greater degree.However, we do not understand how our emotional side, which pops up from time to time, creates shadows of darkness or unhappiness in our lives. We have no inkling of how to view or deal with this ‘shadow aspect’ of ourselves.The understanding of emotion, and its roots in the past, is the missing piece in our self-awareness. When we begin to acknowledge that there is an

 ‘Feeling vs. Emotion” by Diana Richardson and Michael Richardson

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