Emotion Wheel

Emotion Wheel of the 8 Basic Emotions

If you want to enhance your understanding of emotions, Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions is a beautiful tool.

While reading about the impact of our emotions on neurochemistry, I came across the best-selling book by Chip Conley called “Emotional Equations”.

In the book, Conley distills the essence of complicated emotions down to simplified equations.

One of his favorite equations, as he states, is:    Despair = Suffering – Meaning

As I sat on that thought for a bit, I flipped around in the book to find Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions.
This Emotion-Wheel looks like a color wheel and depicts the relationships among the eight primary emotions aligned in sectors .

Primary Emotions: Anger, Anticipation, Joy, Trust, Fear, Surprise, Sadness and Disgust.

Intensity:  The cone’s vertical dimension represents intensity – emotions intensify as they move from the outside to the center of the wheel.

For example, a feeling of boredom can intensify to loathing if left unchecked.

This is an important rule about emotions to be aware of in relationships:  left out of control, emotions can intensify.

Relations: Each circle sector has an opposite emotion. The opposite of sadness is joy, and the opposite of trust is disgust.

When I finished reading “Emotional Equations”, I dove in a little further into my curiosity to find a wonderful web article from 6seconds.com

Their article summarizes the idea that – by recognizing, labeling, and navigating emotions, we can develop mental strategies that can strengthen behavior modification efforts.

Learning how to react to situations in life starts with understanding the underlying emotions that get stirred up.

As the author describes, “the emotions with no color represent an emotion that is a mix of the 2 primary emotions. For example, anticipation and joy combine to be optimism. Joy and trust combine to be love. Emotions are often complex, and being able to recognize when a feeling is actually a combination of two or more distinct feelings is a helpful skill.”

I’m going to quote the 6seconds – writer’s 3 take-homes regarding emotions because they are spot on with what I know.

“1. Most of the emotion that disturbs our mind has incorrect perception as its basis – there is a gap between appearance and reality.
2. The antidote to wrong perception is compassion – to have genuine care and concern for the other person because it is from this place that we close the gap between what we think we see and what is really happening.
3. We are wired for empathy”

We don’t think feelings – we simply feel them.  Our inner thoughts though, can shape how we feel, so it’s important to be aware of our own thought patterns.

A “gut feeling” is to always be trusted, but it doesn’t have to take over our thoughts and cause upset.  We can think about that feeling. Take a step back, slow down and decide if it makes sense or not. Based on that, we react – either by doing something or doing nothing. But mastering the awareness of feelings, trusting them and consciously choosing a reaction can make a real difference in life.

Keep supporting those with an intense curiosity to grow and improve. By sharing with and learning from each other, so much more knowledge can be gained surrounding the impact of emotions and our reactions on our quality of life.