Positive Emotion Words People Use.
Let’s dive right into Point A: which emotions are positive.The list of positive emotions that people experience is nearly endless. Not all of these words refer to emotions as scholars understand them, but they are the words most often used by people in describing their own emotions, which gives us a good foundation for positive emotions as they are commonly experienced.
Joy – a sense of elation, happiness, and perhaps even exhilaration, often experienced as a sudden spike due to something good happening.
Gratitude – a feeling of thankfulness, for something specific or simply all-encompassing, often accompanied by humility and even reverence.
Serenity – calm and peaceful feeling of acceptance of oneself.
Interest – feeling of curiosity or fascination that demands and captures your attention.
Hope – feeling of optimism and anticipation about a positive future.
Pride – a sense of approval of oneself and pleasure in an achievement, skill, or personal attribute.
Amusement – a feeling of lighthearted pleasure and enjoyment, often accompanied by smiles and easy laughter.
Inspiration – feeling engaged, uplifted, and motivated by something you witnessed.
Awe – an emotion that is evoked when you witness something grand, spectacular, or breathtaking, sparking a sense of overwhelming appreciation.
Elevation – the feeling you get when you see someone engaging in an act of kindness, generosity, or inner goodness, spurring you to aspire to similar action.
Altruism – usually referred to as an act of selflessness and generosity towards others, but can also describe the feeling you get from helping others.
Satisfaction – a sense of pleasure and contentment you get from accomplishing something or fulfilling a need.
Relief – the feeling of happiness you experience when an uncertain situation turns out for the best, or a negative outcome is avoided.
Affection – an emotional attachment to someone (or even a pet), accompanied by a liking for them and a sense of pleasure in their company.
Cheerfulness – a feeling of brightness, being upbeat and noticeably happy or chipper; feeling like everything is going your way.
Surprise (the good kind!) – a sense of delight when someone brings you unexpected happiness or a situation goes even better than you had hoped.
Confidence – emotion involving a strong sense of self-esteem and belief in yourself; can be specific to a situation or activity, or more universal.
Admiration – a feeling of warm approval, respect, and appreciation for someone or something.
Enthusiasm – a sense of excitement, accompanied by motivation and engagement.
Eagerness – like a less intense form of enthusiasm; a feeling of readiness and excitement for something.
Euphoria – intense and all-encompassing sense of joy or happiness, often experienced when something extremely positive and exciting happens.
Contentment – peaceful, comforting, and low-key sense of happiness and well-being.
Enjoyment – a feeling of taking pleasure in what is going on around you, especially in situations like a leisure activity or social gathering.
Optimism – positive and hopeful emotion that encourages you to look forward to a bright future, one in which you believe that things will mostly work out.
Happiness – a feeling of pleasure and contentment in the way things are going; a general sense of enjoyment of and enthusiasm for life.
Love – perhaps the strongest of all positive emotions, love is a feeling of deep and enduring affection for someone, along with a willingness to put their needs ahead of your own; it can be directed towards an individual, a group of people, or even all humanity.
This list captures a good deal of the positive emotions we experience, but it’s certainly not an exhaustive list—I’m sure you can think of at least one or two more!
Now that we have an idea of the kinds of emotions we’re talking about, we can move on to another important question: what’s the point?
Part 3 to continue,