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An emotion is an objective state that exhibits itself in many ways like behavior, facial expression, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress-hormone levels. Broadly speaking, we know that there are a limited number of discrete human emotions, mainly joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, hate and desire.
New research on human emotions reveals that they are not isolated into fixed slots, but are fluid, subjective, and can take a cue from the way we describe them, altering themselves accordingly.
If our emotions are constructed by our minds, it means they can also be de-constructed or even reconstructed.
The brain loves to identify, tag, or label all the feelings and emotions that are being experienced.
New studies show that changing the name of the emotion can change the feeling that is produced by hearing that emotion, and the brain may be able to create or make up emotions that don't have a label yet.
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When asked to explain in words what emotion is, we may come up with ideas that feel right, such as "sensitivity to events," or "your mind's reaction to experience," but fundamentally, emotions are intangible and the definitions offered are not good enough for science.
Words like "joy" and "rage" describe a set of complex processes in the brain and the body that are not always related.
Humans have always experienced boredom and loneliness and a need for acceptance. The feel of feelings is the same as it has always been.
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How we interpret emotions is the result of our cultural context.
When boredom or loneliness is interpreted as something that is wrong and that should be avoided, then the feeling of boredom or loneliness becomes painful.
The word "boredom" did not even exist until the mid-the 1800s. When people were not mentally stimulated, they did not take it as a sign to find something to engage the mind.
Boredom does not have to be an affliction. It can be a gift of mental calmness to be filled with a richer interior life.