The Positive Lexicography Project

The Positive Lexicography Project

It aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of ourselves, by capturing many ways of expressing good feelings from across the world.
It is directed by Tim Lomas at the University of East London, who is working towards getting many "untranslatable" experiences get in our daily vocabulary.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

... that depend on particular circumstances:

  • Desbundar (Portuguese): to shed one’s inhibitions in having fun
  • Tarab (Arabic): a musically induced state of ecstasy or enchantment
  • Shinrin-yoku (Japanese): the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally
  • Gigil (Tagalog): the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished
  • Yuan bei (Chinese): a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment
  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit): the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived.
  • Natsukashii (Japanese): a nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer
  • Wabi-sabi (Japanese): a “dark, desolate sublimity” centered on transience and imperfection in beauty
  • Saudade (Portuguese): a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away either spatially or in time – a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist
  • Sehnsucht (German): “life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realisations of life, even if they are unattainable.
  • Dadirri (Australian aboriginal): a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening
  • Pihentagyú (Hungarian): literally meaning “with a relaxed brain”, it describes quick-witted people who can come up with sophisticated jokes or solutions
  • Desenrascanço (Portuguese): to artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation
  • Sukha (Sanskrit): genuine lasting happiness independent of circumstances
  • Orenda (Huron): the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces such as fate.

    It's our capacity to distinguish between the particularities of our emotions. This then determines how well we cope with life.
    Some of us use different emotion words interchangeably, while others are highly precise in their descriptions.

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    RELATED IDEAS

    Suffering

    The deepest form of suffering is a feeling of extreme dissatisfaction about the impermanence and the insubstantiality of everything around us.

    Buddhism mentions suffering as inevitable as long as there is desire, lust and a sense of coveting/craving in our lives. Once we grasp this fully, we stop craving and struggling in hope and fear.

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    IDEAS

    Our feelings can surprise us

    Although we think that we know how we feel, the sensations of anger, anxiety, hunger, or illness are more alike than we realize.

    We may sometimes misinterpret those signals with grave consequences. But there are some practical ways to gain control of our feelings.

    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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