There have been discussions on the difference between emotions and feelings among psychologists, psychiatrists and thinkers. Both of them are influenced by contact with different situations. Let us understand the differences between the two.
• Emotions arise in the physical body and are responses of the senses. They help you survive by producing quick reactions to danger, lust, reward, appreciation, surprise etc. They are universally similar across all human species. So if a fly sits on your cheek, your response would be to squat it with your hand and if someone suddenly taps your shoulder in the middle of the night, you would jump up in fright.
• Emotions are physical, instinctual and measurable. They can be quantified by blood flow, heartbeat, brain activity, facial expressions and body movements.
• Feelings are mental associations and reactions to emotions by the individual. They are subjective and are influenced by your personal experiences, belief systems and memories. Between an emotion you experience and the response you give to it, lies your power of choice.
Dr. Sarah Mckay, neuroscientist says
Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.
• Feelings come from mind or heart depending on one’s spiritual evolution. If they get sparked by emotions and affected by thoughts, memories and subconscious beliefs, they come from the mind which can be called ego self. And if they come from that calm centre of your heart that knows and trusts, they arise from your natural self.
• Whether you are reacting or responding to people or situations makes you realise whether you are working with feelings from your ego self or natural self.
• In the gap between emotions and feelings, you have the choice to perceive it as per your true empowered self and have the power to change your life for the better.
• As you learn to master your feelings, you free your true self from the clutches of the lower emotions.