Positive Mind Works

Positive Mind Works


So researchers have put their heads together and after much debate decided there are 6 primary human emotions…

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Trust
  • Anticipation


Although a quick google search will, of course, provide a wide variety of answers similar to this (6 basic emotions, 7 , 9 and 10) there is also a lot of overlap and a basic consensus on there being 8. What is most interesting is not the exact number or how we classify these but rather the bigger picture. Taking a look at the list above see if you can count how many of these emotions we would judge to be “negative” … hmmm, yes, quite a few right, half or even just over half.

So when we consider that at least of half of all human emotions are mostly (considered by us) to be difficult, negative, or challenging; then we understand much more about what it is to be human. Ouch right. It is inevitable we will experience these emotions. Experiencing a full range of these emotions, this is what living a FULL human life is about.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming message from media and or marketing these days is that we should “be happy” , we deserve to be happy, we earn our happiness, and we are in charge of our own happiness. Whilst I am will never discourage anyone from making a positive change in life to be happier, I also strongly warn against this totally unrealistic notion that we can eliminate some or all of these basic human emotions from our everyday emotional experience.

Rather than eliminating negative emotions we can learn to notice these difficult emotions, and find ways of naming these emotions (how often do we try to help our children to do this!).  Noticing and naming is actually a really useful skill in the world of emotional intelligence. Being able to do this not only feels helpful but actually works on a physiological level by soothing our brains. I won’t go into the neurochemistry here but if you are interested just write to me and let me know, it’s a fascinating subject and one which I am always happy to discuss. In the meantime… good luck noticing and naming it!


You may also like to read:

How to Strengthen your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

How to Support Your Kids through Grief

10 Evidence-Based Tips for Taming Temper Tantrums