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INTRODUCTION

Many people use the words “feelings” and “emotions” interchangeably, as we do throughout the text, but there are important distinctions and several theories drawn from more than a century and a half of research, beginning with Charles Darwin. To summarize, feelings are cognitive and internal while emotions are “expressed” and visible.

Paul Ekman has described 15 distinguishable emotions1:

  1. Amusement

  2. Anger

  3. Contempt

  4. Contentment

  5. Disgust

  6. Embarrassment

  7. Excitement

  8. Fear

  9. Guilt

  10. Pride in achievement

  11. Relief

  12. Sadness/distress

  13. Satisfaction

  14. Sensory pleasure

  15. Shame

These emotions are all visible and discernable from one another by facial expression and other nonvocal cues.

Feelings are the conscious, subjective experience of emotion, and are more nuanced and numerous. Examples of some feelings are listed in the following pages.

This dichotomous approach to feelings and emotions may be useful to you as a beginning student because it gives you visible sign posts for emotion that you can observe in patients and see yourself exhibit on video recordings. You can then process the feelings your observations trigger in you, thereby increasing your personal awareness and improving your mindful practice.

EXAMPLES OF SOME FEELINGS

Abandoned

Afraid

Aggravated

Agitated

Alienated

Alive

Alone

Amazed

Ambiguous

Ambivalent

Amused

Angry

Annoyed

Anxious

Appalled

Apprehensive

Ashamed

Astounded

Astonished

At ease

Awed

Awkward

Bad

Bashful

Betrayed

Bitchy

Bitter

Blamed

Blissful

Blocked

Blue

Bored

Bothered

Bugged

Bummed-out

Burdened

Calm

Capable

Captivated

Cautious

Challenged

Charmed

Cheated

Cheerful

Childish

Clever

Combative

Comfortable

Committed

Compassionate

Concerned

Condemned

Confident

Conflicted

Confused

Consumed

Contented

Contrite

Controlled

Creative

Crummy

Crushed

Curious

Deceitful

Deceived

Defeated

Defiant

Degraded

Dejected

Delighted

Depressed

Despair

Destructive

...

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