If you think about a particular emotion, how many words can you use to express it? How many words do you know to express a different side of an emotion? There are more than you might think.
I recently stumbled across a list of feelings with the associated words, and the list is BIG! For example, according to this list, happiness can be expressed with 19 different words, such as joyous, cheerful, merry, jubilant and so on. If you are depressed, you can also express that in 19 different words (lucky choice), such as lousy, ashamed, miserable, terrible, dissatisfied and so on (Source: http://www.psychpage.com)
Although I find that list a little “messy”, I got intrigued by the idea of correctly labeling a certain emotion. Our feelings are not all-or-nothing. There are different aspects that can express a different side of the overall emotion. I think our emotions are just like cocktails. If we’re a little upset and we throw in some bitterness, the feeling of inferiority, some frustrations and some impulsiveness, we have a ticking bomb.
So what do words do? What’s their purpose? Well, I think that if we manage to use the words closest to our real feelings, we’re increasing the chance to have a better understanding of ourselves. Also, this will help us communicate as accurate as possible the state of our inside universe, which will grant others the possibility to do something to help us. It’s like going to the doctor. If you cannot locate the pain, the doctor cannot help you.
It seems that whatever we do, we get back to a better communication. We all know that time has the power to heal us, but it seems that words can do that too, and faster.
How specific do you get when you try to express your emotions?