Emotions Versus Feelings Explained Simply

Emotions Versus Feelings – All You Need To Know

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between emotions versus feelings, unpacking exactly what they each mean and how we can use this information to more effectively navigate life.

Emotions Versus Feelings

Emotions are information. Feelings are interpretation.

Emotions are unconscious reactions to external stimuli. Feelings are conscious reactions to internal stimuli.

Emotions are generated to inform us about our environment and thus are objective. For example, loneliness is a signal that we need a sense of belonging. Feelings are generated when we assign meaning to our emotions and thus are subjective. For example, aloneness means we enjoy our own company.

Emotions are generated by sensations in the body. Feelings are generated by thoughts in the mind. For example, the feelings we refer to as anxiety and excitement have the exact same biochemistry ― what determines which one we feel is our perception.

Table Summary

Below is a table summarising the differences.

Physical ResponseMental Response

Summary (TL;DR)

Despite being used interchangeably and despite being intimately linked, emotions and feelings are different. The former are information of our environment. The latter are interpretation of our emotions.

Understanding the differences puts us in a position to better harness both and allows us to better navigate life.