Emotion vs Feeling: What’s the Difference?
Are emotions and feelings the same?
‘It absolutely positively is.’
‘I absolutely positively am.’
Then you will be…
Feelings and emotions are different.
And not being able to spot the difference leads to:
- A feeling of hopelessness.
- Bursts of rage.
Learning to spot the difference between feelings and emotions is a staple of EQ.
By spotting the difference, it becomes easier to control our narrative.
Difference Between Emotion vs Feeling
Emotion = Narrative + Feeling
Feelings are physical sensations.
And emotions are feelings with a story.
You like roller coasters?
‘I love roller coasters.’
What are the feelings you feel at the top of the roller coaster before it is about to plummet down?
‘Rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and butterflies in my stomach.’
What emotion do you feel?
You like public speaking?
‘I hate public speaking.’
What are the feelings you feel right before getting called on stage?
‘Rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, and butterflies in my stomach.’
What emotion do you feel?
Notice, the feelings are the EXACT same for roller coasters and public speaking.
However, one caused joy while the other caused terror.
Just because the feelings are the same does not guarantee the emotions are the same.
How to Control Emotions
‘So, what do I do with this information?’
Hopefully, it inspires you to build a familiarity with the body.
Familiarity melts away a fear.
While unfamiliarity creates it.
A reason public speaking is a big fear is because it leads to strong sensations in the body.
Plus, there are a herd of mopey folks who ask:
‘Are you nervous for your upcoming talk?’
Further creating a negative narrative towards the act.
This is one of the scenarios where it’s best to:
- Know the feelings.
Knowing the feelings starts off with shutting up and sitting with the feelings.
Where exactly are the physical sensations?
The more detailed the awareness is of the body, the more the narrative is going to be favorable in the future.
Often, the emotion defaults to negative due to past conditioning and unfamiliarity.
Someone may be scared but has no clue why.
When you ask them to feel their feelings, they are like:
‘Wow… I was being silly. There really is nothing to be scared of.’
How to Understand Feelings
There are multiple ways to understand feelings.
There is body meditation.
Body meditation is when we focus on the physical sensations of our body for an allotted time.
Normally, the beginner’s method of meditation is to focus on the breath.
When the mind wanders away, make yourself aware and gently bring it back to the breath.
While with body meditation, the target is our body, not the breath.
Set a timer and enter the meditation without expectations.
This will allow random tingling sensations to be embraced.
Body meditation doesn’t only have to be done in a quiet room.
It can be done in life.
Turn down the music and tune into the body.
‘What’s another time to get to know the feelings?’
During tough moments.
One of the best times to get to know the body is when it’s charged up.
After some kind of MASSIVE loss.
The bigger the loss, the bigger the chance to build emotional intelligence.
When we shift our focus from:
- Dwelling on the loss -> Tuning into the body
The loss becomes a blessing in disguise.
Because it’s hard to know the feelings when the body feels neutral.
After a loss, the body feels feelings far from neutral.
In that charged state is when a person learns the nuances of the feelings.
Using Emotions & Feelings to Improve Bravery
What defines bravery?
If someone went to the store to buy groceries, is that a brave act?
‘Because that’s an ordinary act.’
What defines ordinary?
It’s an activity that doesn’t generate any unusual feelings.
One reason I entered Toastmasters a few years back was because I felt a lot of charges in my body before a speech.
I thought it would go away once I got more practice.
However, the charges didn’t go away much.
The feelings did fade one day when I heard I was going to be speaking at a graduation event for 5 people.
I can do that in my sleep!!
Not a stressful act at all.
I showed up filled with food, in a tight suit and gave the talk.
I thought I did a good job.
But the host (also a good friend) told me the talk was flat.
‘You feeling okay, Armani? There wasn’t any magic in this talk.’
What was different? I thought.
Oh, I know…
Feelings become a blessing when we use it to become brave.
The more we run toward the physical sensations (rather than away), the more we realize we have a source of:
Building Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a field that is difficult to learn in a formal atmosphere.
The theory can be learned, sure.
But to truly learn emotional intelligence, requires having 1 part of life where things are somewhat chaotic and unbalanced.
If every action in the day is similar to going to a grocery shop, then it will be difficult to spot the difference between:
- Emotion vs feeling
During hardships, battles, and conflicts are when the body is charged.
During that stage of high charge, the person realizes they have no choice but to tough it out.
At that moment of toughening it out, they realize:
‘Whoa, if I have no choice but to tough it out, how about I do it with an observing attitude rather than a mopey attitude?’
And at that moment is when they understand their emotions in depth.
For more practical insights to level up your EQ, be sure to check out the:
This bundle will teach you how to:
- Build emotional intelligence.
- Unlock creative ideas.
- Express your ideas with confidence.
- And tell better stories.