Monday, September 17, 2018

Happy, happy, joy, joy!



I was lying awake the other night with my thoughts whirling, and decided I needed a more positive frame of mind.

I thought back to my counselling days, and how children were being taught the main emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. The only one of those that is really positive is happiness, and that seemed to be selling us a bit short. Surely there must be as many positive emotions as negative ones? I tried thinking of all the positive feelings I could.

Not all of them fit neatly into a single English word but then why should they?

Here are some of the ones I came up with:


  • happiness
  • satisfaction
  • competence
  • doing something that matters
  • complete absorption in a task (what's sometimes called "flow")
  • euphoria
  • peace
  • comfort
  • affection
  • amusement
  • hilarity
  • being among friends
  • enthusiasm
  • delight
  • excitement about something you like
  • feeling accepted
  • feeling validated
  • feeling valued
  • feeling loved
  • enjoying cuteness (kittens!)
  • feeling like you're floating away among the stars and your body doesn't exist any more
  • mastery
  • curiosity
  • the feeling you get when you learn something new
  • the feeling of a lightbulb moment
  • the feeling you get when you do something you didn't think you could do
And then I fell asleep.

Which ones did I miss?


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