Feelings vs Emotions: Difference and Comparison

Every person can experience feelings and emotions. This is what makes us living beings.

Whatever happens in life, we react to it, which directly impacts our decisions in life. One thing to notice is that these feelings and emotions also make our life colourful.

Without them, we would be like robots, and life would be so dull. Anger, sadness, joy, excitement, hope and fear all add spice to our lives and influence our behaviour.

The words emotion and feeling are sometimes used in the same context and are used interchangeably. It is common to get confused between these terms, but they are a bit different.

Key Takeaways

  1. Emotions are complex, short-lived psychological states that arise in response to a specific stimulus, involving physiological changes, cognitive appraisal, and behavioral tendencies.
  2. Feelings are subjective experiences that arise from the conscious awareness and interpretation of emotions, described as the mental aspect or perception of emotions.
  3. While feelings and emotions are integral to human experience, emotions represent the initial physiological and cognitive response, while feelings represent the conscious perception and interpretation of those emotions.

Feelings vs Emotions

The difference between feelings and emotions is that emotion is the chemical released in the brain in response to some trigger while feeling is something in response to the absorbed emotion.

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When a human being is subjected to physical and neurological changes, certain chemicals are released in the brain, which compels humans to go into a state called emotion. When those chemicals are processed in the body, we experience a state of feeling.

It could be a physical sensation or an experience in regard to that emotion.


 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonFeelingsEmotions
DefinitionThe feeling is a state of physical sensation or emotional response.Emotion is a state due to the release of chemicals in the brain.
ConsciousnessA feeling may be conscious.An emotion may be conscious or subconscious.
Active Brain PartFeelings originate in the frontal lobe of the brain.Emotions originate in the limbic system of the brain.
TimeFeelings can last for a more extended period.Emotions last for a few seconds.
DealingFeelings need to listen to.Emotions need to be disconnected.
ExamplesHappiness, pain, hunger, and love.Joy, fear, anger, sadness, surprise.

 

What are Feelings?

Feelings are generated as a result of some emotional response. When we try to interpret our emotions, it gives rise to feelings.

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Feelings arise from the frontal lobe of the brain. This part of the brain controls emotional expression, problem-solving and judgment.

Feelings can stay with a person for a long time and can even change the personality of a person. So they impact the psychology of a person and can represent the inner state of a person.

For example, seeing an injured cat on the street might induce feelings of compassion, and you will try to help that cat. In the long run, if the response gets more robust, you might even make an animal organization aware people about animal rights.

Feelings are also said to be physical sensations like touch or warmth. The most efficient way to manage feelings is for them to be listened to.

You can talk to the person responsible for those feelings in you, or you can talk to the person you trust and who can guide you. All of these ways will make you choose your direction and sort out your life.

Feelings
 

What are Emotions?

Emotions are made as a result of the release of chemicals in the brain. There are some stages that the body undergoes when those chemicals are released, and those emotions are experienced.

Our brain constantly monitors us to keep us alive and well. It keeps track of all the experiences, both inner and outer, to provide the necessary treatment to it.

For example, you are walking alone in some deserted area and hear the rustling of leaves on the tree. Immediately, your brain starts predicting and making scenarios.

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You might think it might be some strange animal or a snake, and your brain stimulates the emotion of ‘fear’. Based on your experiences, your brain knows these situations require you to be protected in case it really is some dangerous animal.

So your heart rate increases, and your brain prepares you to run. So, our brain gives meaning to all the experiences and predictions through stimuli called emotions.

Emotions are generated in the limbic system, which is composed of many parts of the brain. Learning to manage emotions is essential so we can continue our life in a healthy way.

When our emotions increase to a high level, it requires us to disconnect from them, so we do not lose control of ourselves.

Emotions

Main Differences Between Feelings and Emotions

Here is a list of some features that differentiate between feelings and emotions:

  1. The Feeling is a state of physical sensation or emotional response. Emotion is a state due to the release of certain chemicals in response to stimuli.
  2. A feeling is conscious, but emotion may be conscious or unconscious.
  3. Feelings originate in the brain’s frontal lobe, while emotions originate in the brain’s limbic system.
  4. Feelings can last longer, whereas emotions can only last for a few seconds.
  5. Feelings need to be listened to, while emotions need to be disconnected from managing them.
  6. Examples of feelings include happiness, bitterness, love and worry. Examples of emotion include joy, anger, attraction and fear.
Difference Between Feelings and Emotions
References
  1. https://www.noldus.com/blog/how-emotions-are-made
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/feeling-our-emotions/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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20 thoughts on “Feelings vs Emotions: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This content offers a comprehensive understanding of the physiological aspects of emotions and feelings. The comparison is enlightening and provides clarity on their distinct characteristics.

    Reply
    • Well said, Fpalmer. The article’s detailed exploration of the physical and psychological elements of emotions and feelings is truly insightful and enriching.

      Reply
  2. While the article provides valuable insights, it would be interesting to explore the role of cultural influences in shaping emotions and feelings.

    Reply
    • I agree, Hall. Cultural context undoubtedly plays a significant part in influencing emotional and feeling responses. It’s an aspect worth delving into further.

      Reply
  3. The article’s illustration of the neurological processes involved in generating emotions is truly captivating. It’s an enriching read that deepens comprehension of these psychological phenomena.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, Steve. The meticulous explanation of the brain’s role in processing emotions provides a profound insight into the underlying mechanisms at work.

      Reply
  4. The differentiation between conscious feelings and subconscious emotions is particularly intriguing. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of these psychological aspects.

    Reply
    • I completely agree, Paul. The article adeptly navigates the nuanced relationship between conscious feelings and the subconscious nature of emotions.

      Reply
  5. While emotions and feelings have significant impacts on human behavior, it’s essential to also address the mechanisms of managing and controlling these psychological states.

    Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more, Joseph. Understanding the regulation of emotions and feelings to maintain mental well-being is a critical aspect worthy of attention.

      Reply
  6. This article is quite informative and sheds light on the complexity of emotions and feelings. I appreciate the depth of comparison between these two integral aspects of human experience.

    Reply
    • I find the explanation of emotions as a result of the release of chemicals in the brain to be particularly interesting. It highlights the physiological aspect of emotions.

      Reply
    • Indeed, Sienna. Understanding the active brain parts and consciousness associated with both emotions and feelings provides a profound understanding of these psychological states.

      Reply
  7. The detailed comparison table is a great addition to the article. It enhances clarity on the differences between emotions and feelings, making it easier to comprehend.

    Reply
  8. The article offers a compelling elucidation of emotions and feelings. It’s essential for individuals to comprehend the distinction between these phenomena for emotional intelligence.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, Hannah. Mastery of emotional intelligence is vital for personal growth and relationships. This article provides a solid foundation for building that understanding.

      Reply
  9. A thought-provoking analysis of emotions and feelings. The article effectively articulates the intricate dynamics between these two phenomena.

    Reply
  10. Absolutely fascinating article! It’s really intriguing to learn about the distinction between feelings and emotions, as well as understanding how they directly impact our behavior and decision making.

    Reply
    • I strongly agree, Davis. It’s eye-opening to realize how emotions are the initial physiological and cognitive response, while feelings represent the conscious perception and interpretation of those emotions.

      Reply
    • I think this article provides valuable insights about the psychology of emotions and feelings. It’s important to understand how they can impact our well-being and everyday life.

      Reply

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