It was interesting, I was reading about how humans have six universal emotions.
These emotions are considered largely involuntary responses to stimuli, and they are:
As I thought about these out of the six emotions, only happiness is the straight out good one. Hey, who doesn’t want to be happy (maybe only an ascetic, but that’s because they parodoxically get a type of happiness out of being unhappy)?
Then, I thought about surprise and that is sort of a toss up–it can be a good surprise or a bad one. Most of the time, people don’t like surprises and would rather have an element of control over what is coming, when, and how. So I would throw surprises in the you can keep it pile.
And while the other four emotions–anger, fear, sadness, and disgust–may be helpful at times (in protecting us physically and emotionally), they all have negative connotations and implications.
Anger usually means someone has hurt or slighted us. Fear impies that that there is something dangerous or scary to be feared out there. Sadness is the opposite of happiness, so it’s a non-starter. And disgust is attributed to something vile or revolting and is usually something we want to get away from as quickly as possible.
So, six primary human emotions and only one–happiness–makes us feel–happy!
Thinking about emotions as colors, we can feel blue (sad) or fiery red (anger), what about green (with envy)? Uh, wonder why this emotion was missing from the list, but I would add it as number seven for universal emotions.
Unfortunately, envy means we feel less than or jealous of the next person, so this is another one that doesn’t make us feel very good.
Maybe then expectations for how much happiness in life we should or can have should be tempered knowling there are six others to keep us busy and feeling–other things. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)