The Ultimate List of Emotions To Better Understand Yourself And Others

Have you ever wondered why you have emotions?

Why do you feel happy or sad? Why do you experience awe or tenderness?

Sometimes, it’s hard to define your emotions or to put into words exactly how you’re feeling.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of emotions — to give clarity to the variety of feelings you and those around you may have.

Let’s explore the reason this list of emotions and feelings can be useful for you.

Why Do We Need Feeling Words?

The words we use to describe emotions help us identify and communicate the various components of a feeling.

Sometimes emotions are so intense, confusing, or overwhelming that we’re at a loss for how to express them or even identify them.

Feeling words may not entirely reflect the depth and breadth of our inner worlds, but they are the best tools we have for harnessing our feelings, understanding them, and sharing them with others.

They can also help us better understand and empathize with others.

A list of feeling words can be the perfect resource when:

  • You can’t identify exactly what you are feeling and need the right word to encapsulate it.
  • You want to communicate with someone (verbally or in writing) what you are feeling.
  • You are telling a story, writing a book/poem/play/blog/song and need just the right word.
  • You want to improve your emotional intelligence to better understand yourself and others.

Recognizing, identifying, and sharing emotions is essential to our self-awareness and personal growth. It’s essential for healthy relationships in our personal and professional lives.

young man in large crowd singing list of emotions

Emotions are capricious and fickle. Words harness emotions so that we can interpret and share them.

You may remember saying to your own children when they were flooded with emotion, “Use your words.” Using words can help children and adults alike prevent conflict, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.

When our physical expressions of emotion betray us, words can come to the rescue with their solid and practical presence.

What Are The 8 Basic Emotions?

Renowned psychologist and emotion researcher, Robert Plutchik, suggested there are just eight basic emotions:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Anticipation
  • Trust
  • Joy

He argued that each of these emotions triggers behavior with a high survival value, such as our fight or flight response to fear.

But these eight emotional words don’t express the range of all the feelings we experience. They don’t reflect the subtleties of our complex feelings.

That’s why we’ve included 400 words on our list — to better help you grasp the variety of emotions you and those around you are experiencing.

What Are Emotions and Why Do We Need Them?

Emotions are biological states that are connected to your nervous system. They are triggered by mental and physical stimuli such as thoughts and experiences.

Emotions let you know what to do in a given situation. They can help you avoid danger or a potential threat.

If your heart jumps as soon as your car swerves to the side, that’s your cue to tighten your grip on the wheel and steer in the right direction.

  • Emotions also motivate you to take action. If your abusive relationship has been making you increasingly angry, that’s your cue to set boundaries (or, in the worst-case scenario, get out of the relationship).
  • Emotions also clue you in on your likes and dislikes. If you feel angry because your colleague is taking credit for your hard work, you may want to sign the projects you send your boss next time.
  • Emotions also help others to understand you and what you feel. Your expressions, body language, and words all reflect your inner world to those around you.
  • Emotions are crucial to effective communication. You can let someone know whether their behavior is acceptable by displaying a specific nonverbal cue. By the same token, others can let you know how they feel using similar nonverbal cues.

Granted, emotions manifest differently for different people. Some may show enthusiasm for sports but not video games, while others may be the opposite.

(Don’t have time to read the whole article? Click on image below to download the complete list of emotions as a PDF).

Some may be genuinely scared of horror movies, while others may view the same as pure entertainment.

In any case, being aware of how you feel at any time is a vital skill.

When you’re able to put a name to an emotion before it gets the better of you, your feelings and emotions can serve as a guide (rather than a hindrance) to living your daily life.

To start developing this skill, grab a pen and paper or some other note-taking device, and look at the emotion list below.

Choose one word from the emotions list that describes how you feel right now. Write the word down and reflect on it.

Why do you feel that way right now?

What do you think is the best course of action given emotions and feelings?

Is it the right course of action from a logical perspective?

Here is the ultimate list of emotions to help you identify your feelings:

AFRAID

Agitated

Alarmed

Antsy

Anxious

Apprehensive

Cautious

Concerned

Cowardly

Distressed

Dread

Edgy

Fearful

Foreboding

Frazzled

Fretful

Frightened

Guarded

Hesitant

Horrified

Hysterical

Jumpy

Nervous

Panic

Paralyzed

Paranoid

Petrified

Restless

Scared

Shaken

Skeptical

Startled

Stressed

Tense

Terrified

Timid

Trepidation

Twitchy

Uptight

Vigilant

Wary

Worried

ANGRY

Aggravated

Animosity

Annoyed

Antagonistic

Antipathy

Bitter

Bothered

Burning

Choleric

Cold

Consternation

Contempt

Cross

Disgruntled

Enmity

Exasperated

Frustrated

Furious

Grouchy

Harassed

Hostile

Ill-tempered

Impatient

Indignant

Irritated

Irate

Irascible

Mad

Miffed

Moody

Nasty

Offended

Outraged

Peevish

Perturbed

Pissed

Resentful

Petulant

Rage

Rattled

Resentment

Sour

Testy

Tetchy

Vexed

Vindictive

Wrathful

COURAGEOUS

Adventurous

Audacious

Bold

Brave

Capable

Certain

Cocky

Confident

Comfortable

Daring

Determined

Fearless

Free

Grounded

Gutsy

Powerful

Proud

Resolute

Strong

Superior

Tenacious

Tough

Valiant

Vehement

Worthy

DISCONNECTED

Adrift

Alienated

Alone

Aloof

Bored

Conflicted

Consternated

Cranky

Denial

Detached

Disillusioned

Disinterested

Distant

Distracted

Empty

Groggy

Hollow

Jaded

Indifferent

Isolated

Lethargic

Listless

Lost

Neutral

Numb

Powerless

Preoccupied

Puzzled

Reluctance

Removed

Resignation

Resistant

Sheepish

Shut Down

Sluggish

Sullen

Torn

Uneasy

Withdrawn

DISLIKE

Abhorrence

Aversion

Detest

Disdain

Disgust

Envious

Grudging

Hate

Repugnance

Revolted

Scorn

EMBARASSED

Appalled

Apologetic

Ashamed

Chagrined

Compunction

Contrite

Flustered

Foolish

Guilty

Humbled

Humored

Inferior

Inhibited

Mortified

Pathetic

Regretful

Repentant

Shame

Self-conscious

Sorry

Submissive

Useless

Weak

Worthless

ENERGIZED

Alert

Alive

Animated

Aroused

Bouncy

Curious

Fanatical

Fascinated

Feisty

Fervor

Gung-ho

Gusto

Hyper

Intense

Psyched

Pumped

Snappy

Sprightly

Thirst

Titillated

Vindicated

Zeal

Zest

GRATEFUL

Blessed

Fortunate

Gratified

Relish

Savor

Thankful

Touched

HELPLESS

Awkward

Baffled

Challenged

Clueless

Complacent

Disturbed

Exhausted

Fatigued

Fragile

Impotent

Incapable

Needy

Overwhelmed

Pathetic

Perplexed

Powerless

Resigned

Sensitive

Trapped

Victim

HOPEFUL

Anticipation

Craving

Desiring

Eager

Encouraged

Expectant

Hankering

Optimistic

Trusting

HURT

Agony

Betrayed

Humiliated

Pained

Stung

Suffering

Suffocated

Tormented

Tortured

Traumatized

INSECURE

Bashful

Befuddled

Bewildered

Cynical

Confused

Doubtful

Possessive

Shy

Woozy

INTROSPECTIVE

Absorbed

Brooding

Contemplative

Engrossed

Enlightened

Inspired

Interested

Meditative

Nostalgic

Pensive

Reflective

Solemn

Stirred

Wonder

JOYFUL

Amused

Awed

Bemused

Bliss

Blithe

Bonhomie

Bubbly

Buoyant

Carefree

Cheerful

Delectation

Delighted

Delirious

Ebullient

Ecstatic

Elated

Enchanted

Enjoyment

Entertained

Enthusiastic

Euphoric

Excited

Exhilarated

Exuberant

Felicitous

Genial

Giddy

Glad

Gleeful

Goofy

Happy

Humorous

Invigorated

Jocular

Jocund

Jolly

Jovial

Jubilant

Liberated

Lighthearted

Lively

Lucky

Merry

Mirthful

Mischievous

Motivated

Passionate

Perky

Playful

Pleasure

Positive

Proud

Rapture

Reassured

Relieved

Sanguine

Satisfied

Silly

Sunny

Thrilled

Triumphant

Upbeat

Vibrant

KIND

Caring

Compassionate

Cordial

Earnest

Empathetic

Pitying

Self-loving

Sincere

Sympathetic

Succor

Tender

Thoughtful

Vulnerable

Warm

Welcoming

LOVING

Accepting

Admiring

Adoring

Adulation

Affectionate

Ardor

Attached

Attracted

Captivated

Devoted

Enthralled

Felicitous

Fondness

Fulfilled

Infatuated

Intimate

Intoxicated

Present

Protective

Safe

Sensual

Warm

Worthy

PEACEFUL

Accepting

Calm

Centered

Collected

Comforted

Composed

Content

Ease

Free

Fulfilled

Mellow

Mollified

Open

Pacified

Patient

Phlegmatic

Present

Receptive

Relaxed

Secure

Settled

Sure

Trusting

Tranquil

SADNESS

Aching

Alienated

Angst

Anguish

Blue

Choked

Crestfallen

Crummy

Crushed

Defeated

Dejected

Depressed

Despair

Despondent

Devastated

Disappointed

Discouraged

Dismal

Doleful

Down

Downcast

Excluded

Forlorn

Gloomy

Grief

Heartbroken

Homesick

Hopeless

Hurt

Lonely

Longing

Melancholy

Mournful

Pained

Pessimistic

Remorseful

Sick

Somber

Sorrowful

Teary

Troubled

Unhappy

Upset

Weary

Wistful

Woe

Wretched

Yearning

SURPISED

Amazed

Astonished

Astounded

Breathless

Disbelief

Dubious

Dumbfounded

Flabbergasted

Floored

Quizzical

Scandalized

Serendipitous

Shock

Speechless

Stunned

Stupefied

UNKIND

Crafty

Cruel

Derisive

Greedy

Petty

Selfish

Smug


More Related Articles:

10 Ways To Cultivate Emotional Maturity

How To Love Yourself: 26 Ways To Cultivate Self-Worth

46 Of The Best Motivation Monday Quotes


How will you use this list of emotions?

Emotions (whether positive, neutral, or negative) are important in a variety of ways.

They play a vital role in how we think and behave, compelling us to take action and impacting our daily decisions.

There are three essential components of an emotion:

1-The subjective component of how we experience the emotion.

2-The physiological component which involves how our bodies react to the emotion.

3-The expressive component or how we behave in response to the emotion.

These three elements can play a role in the function and purpose of our emotional responses.

As you identify your emotions using our list of 400 words, you’ll increase your self-awareness, learn better communication skills, and have more empathy for the feelings of others.

Finally, if you’d like to learn how to have deeper intimacy and enhance your relationship, then I invite you to grab this book, which has 201 powerful questions to build a deeper connection with your loved one.

Read the ultimate list of emotions. You will be surprised at the number of emotions and feelings we can all experience as human beings.

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate List of Emotions To Better Understand Yourself And Others”

    • Hi Victor,

      I would love to answer your question, however they way you worded it leaves me a bit perplexed. I’ll try, none the less!

      By asking “SHOULD” they be public educators, in my opinion, almost sounds like you already have a strong opinion about whether they should, or should not. I would like you to think about whether they COULD be a good public educator or not. I believe they most definitely COULD be a GREAT public educator, if they possess the knowledge and expertise to teach the subject they are applying for. That person may not show many emotions to outside world, but he/she still has all the same emotions you and I have. I believe that person would be rational, methodical, and really think before they act, or react. Often in a school setting, especially for young, say 12 to 18 year old students, those years are filled with emotions! Puberty starts it all – for both young women AND young men. They are all trying to fit in, find “their” place in school, and later in life. Deep friendships form, dating begins, jealousies and anger, frustration, competition, both academically and “romantically” comes to the forefront. In these often confusing and complex times, emotions – both good, and bad flare. In such situations, if an educator HAS to intervene, I would MUCH prefer that educator to have and keep, a very level head! It is far too easy to get drawn into all the school age “drama”, so yes, indeed, HIRE, PLEASE HIRE, that cool, calm, emotionally stable educator!!

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