It does seem to me that happiness and anxiety both stimulate feelings inside of us, but does this answer the question, “is happiness an emotion or is anxiety an emotion? Let’s see…
It does seem to me, and maybe to you, that emotions stimulate feelings inside of us that we express through body language and vocally. But, is this true? Let’s see…
Are We Defining Happiness And Anxiety As An Emotion?
I believe that in order to know if happiness and anxiety are emotions, then we need to define “emotion.” Don’t you agree?
Have you ever heard anyone define emotion as energy in motion? It sounds catchy and looks correct, but my research doesn’t truly fit this narrative, I am sad to say.
According to Lexico, the origins of the word emotion go back to mid 16th century (denoting a public disturbance). Then there is French émotion, coming from émouvoir meaning to ‘excite’. There is even a version based on Latin emovere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + movere ‘move’.
So What is the Definition of Emotion?
Check out the screen shot of the definition of Emotion. Notice there are two definitions?
The first says that emotion is “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.”
Another definition comes from VeryWellMind. It states that, “in psychology, emotion is often defined as a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior. Emotionality is associated with a range of psychological phenomena, including temperament, personality, mood, and motivation.”
So… What is a state of mind or a state of feeling?
Basically, according to Merriam-Webster, the definition of “State of Mind” is a person’s emotional state or his or her mood.
And when I looked up the definition of “state of feeling,” I was directed to the Merriam-Webster definition of “Emotion” where it is once again used in a definition that closely resembled the VeryWellMind definition.
Do You Remember What A “State” Is?
The word “State” has many definitions, but we are going to focus on the first definition in the picture and use the Verbdefinition to state what it is; “The particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time.”
So, if you find yourself in Romance, then at that time you are in the state of romance. You are experiencing romance and it brings up emotions related to romance like love, and desire, and passion, and so on.
If you find yourself in trouble, then you are in the state of trouble at that specific time. I won’t describe trouble for, we all know what it is.
Does this all make sense?
All Right, Enough About Emotions and States, We’re Talking About Happiness and Anxiety
OK…OK I will get there, but let us tie this together.
So, according to the definition, Emotion is a complex state of feeling. Like, his state of emotion effected his choice or she was in an emotional state.
OK, we can also conclude that an emotional state is also a person’s state of mind: by its own (state of mind) definition.
Alright, so emotions can be complex states, we will get back to this…
According to Lexico, the definition of Anxiety is basically a feeling of worry about something coming up. I am sure we all have felt anxiety in our lives. So, what is the emotional state being experienced?
That’s right; worry, nervousness, and unease are some feelings or emotions that can be expressed while experiencing Anxiety.
So, Anxiety is a complex state of felling just like emotion?
Anxiety is a state of being.
When you experience anxiety, you don’t just experience one emotional state. No, you get nervous, your stomach hurts, your head hurts, you bite your nails or do some other quirk. We all experience anxiety practically the same with a few variants.
Truthfully, its the same for happiness.
Happiness is a state of being that is very complex. It is so complex that often times you don’t even know why you are happy or not happy, you just are. You may not realize it, but at that moment you are feeling many emotions that all help you experience the State of Happiness.
I wrote a post last year about being happy. You can check it out for more information about why happiness is a state and not a feeling.
I know you may disagree and say you can feel happiness, but let’s look at the definition.
How do you like that? Happiness is the state of being happy. Happy is one of the feelings you feel while in the state of happiness. Pleasure, fulfillment, abundance, acceptance, and all the other great feelings can be there in the state of happiness as well.
So, the Verdict is!
Is Happiness an Emotion?
Is Anxiety and Emotion?
In my opinion, the answers to both questions are NO!
See, these states of being can trigger emotions when we experience them, but what these states truly are, are complex groups of emotions that contribute to make up the whole. Like pleasure, fulfillment, abundant, accepted, and happy are some feelings associated with happiness to help make up its whole. Make sense?
I Love to Be Wrong!!
I love to be wrong because it reminds me there is still more to learn!
That’s why I love to use the dictionary so much!
Please Please Please!! Do me a favor. If you come across a definition claiming happiness or anxiety as an emotion, then please paste a link to it in the comment section. I would really like to learn more about this.
Do you feel like you are suffering from an over-abundance of Negative Self Talk? Check out this free PDF from Living for the Better called Eliminating Negative Self-Talk.
Need some help finding happiness in your life?
I promise you it is there even if you cannot feel it yet.
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==>I would love to hear your experiences, questions, and thoughts about this subject, so please feel free to leave a comment below. I normally respond within 24 hours. Feel free to share this information with anyone you think will benefit from it. Talk with you later, Greg<==