Is Mood Real?
The fuzzy term “mood” may not mean much. Perhaps, mood refers to sustained
feelings or to an assortment of related feelings that tend to recur or are
prevalent. Feeling states can be euphoric when everything feels good to
dysphoric when everything feels bad. The term “happy” does not refer to an emotion or to a single feeling
but to a recurring feeling state and associated thoughts that are optimistic.
Recurrent positive feelings merge into a nonspecific sense of pleasure and well
being that we call “happiness.” The term “sad” refers to similar but
negative feelings that are associated with pessimistic thoughts and withdrawal
from world events. Sad is usually a response to loss or impending loss.
Humans have a range of attachments to others, animals, objects and even
ideas. The risk of attachment is the possibility of loss. The degree of sadness
is a measure of the relative importance of a loss. Rejection by others is common
causes of sadness and social withdrawal.
The death of a loved one causes grief, the most intense feeling response to
loss. Young humans will grieve over losses which more experienced adults would
consider minor or even trivial. Loss of social status for some, especially
adolescents, is a disaster that triggers death thoughts and suicide attempts
and/ or aggression against others.
Thinking (selftalk) shifts as feelings shift. People notice different
feelings and thoughts when they move through different eigenstates. They notice
that their feelings are linked to their selftalk subjects. The description
“depressed mood” refers to persistent sad feelings and irritability, associated
with gloomy and pessimistic thoughts. A happy person has good feelings
associated productive and optimistic thoughts.
When thoughts shift to negative themes, critical evaluations of oneself and
others dominate selftalk and repeat like endless-loop tapes. The cognitive
styles and structures attached to different feelings may be so distinct and
dissociated from other cognitive structures that different personalities
(eigenstates) emerge in the same person.
Emotions and Feelings
- This book investigates the for-me-ness of
experiences, using psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.
Everyone has some idea what emotions and feelings are but their exact nature
is elusive. We can begin by noting that emotions and feelings are not the same.
Generally, humans are ignorant of internal processes
and invent all manner of imaginary and irrelevant explanations to explain
feelings. The term “emotion” is best used to point to animal and human behavior.
There are a small number of primary emotions and variations that involve
mixtures of emotional displays with other behaviors. Joy, anger, fear and pain
are pure emotions. Other, more complex and derivative experiences act as
interfaces to emotions. Love, jealousy and hate are not emotions. These are
descriptions of complex interactions and evaluations that involve a range of
feelings and interface to true emotions some of the time. For example, lovers
experience a range of feelings and display different emotions at different
times. Euphoria is the benefit of being in love. Sadness and anger are the cost
of being in love. Jealousy, like love, is another complex of cognitions,
feelings and emotions that exist to monitor and regulate close relationships.
The absence of emotional display is highly valued in polite society. Humans have
advanced toward civil and productive social environments that are emotionally
neutral. Emotional neutrality is a requirement for acceptable behavior in school
and work environments.
Emotions and Feelings is available as an eBook download. The book is intended for a well-educated smart reader who is
interested in Human Nature and the daily experience of humans in groups. The author is
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accompany all derivative writings. The author is Stephen Gislason and the
publisher is Persona Digital Books, Sechelt, B.C. Canada.