Stress Mastery: Anger, Fear, Sadness—The Three Primary Human Emotions

by Doc Orman, M.D.

This week, my theme is human emotions.  In my first post, I wrote about jealousy and envy.  In that post I also made the following statement:

“I believe that there are three primary human emotions—anger, fear, and sadness.  I also believe that all of the other human emotions we experience are either variants of these three, or they represent different combinations of them.”

So today, for my second post, I want to expand upon this idea.  Here are just a few of the many human emotions that can be traced back to these three core human experiences. (NOTE: This discussion was excerpted from my book The 14 Day Stress Cure.)

Anger Related Emotions

  • FRUSTRATION—anger at yourself.
  • RESENTMENT—low-grade anger over an extended period of time (lack of forgiveness).
  • HOSTILITY—the tendency to act out angry feelings.
  • IMPATIENCE—anger about time (hurry-up syndrome).
  • ANNOYANCE—mild form of anger
  • IRRITABILITY—the tendency to become angry over trivial events.

Fear Related Emotions

  • PHOBIAS—acute fear reactions precipitated by specific situations, objects or events.
  • INSECURITY—sense of impending loss or disaster.
  • WORRY—excessive concern about the possibility of negative outcomes.
  • JEALOUSY—a combination of insecurity, worry and sometimes anger about the possible loss of something you value to someone else.
  • EMBARRASSMENT—fear that a humiliating secret will be (or was) revealed to others.
  • PANIC—an acute sense of impending doom or disaster.
  • CHRONIC ANXIETY—a chronic sense of insecurity, worry, fear of embarrassment, or any other fear without a discrete precipitating event.

Sadness Related Emotions

  • GRIEF—loss of something valued.
  • DISSATISFACTION—loss of happiness or satisfaction.
  • DEPRESSION—loss of self-confidence, loss of self-esteem, and loss of optimism about the future.
  • DESPAIR—loss of the will or desire to live.
  • HUMILIATION—loss of social acceptance by others.
  • HOPELESSNESS—loss of hope regarding the future.
  • POWERLESSNESS—loss of confidence that you can personally influence a problem or situation.
  • RESIGNATION—loss of confidence that you (or anyone else) can influence a problem or situation.
  • LONELINESS—loss of someone to love, communicate with or relate to.
  • APATHY—loss of desire, enthusiasm, and initiative.
  • BOREDOM—loss of excitement, loss of interest.
  • SHAME—loss (real or imagined) of esteem in the eyes of others.
  • WORTHLESSNESS—loss of self-esteem, loss of a feeling of self-worth.
  • GUILT—loss of self-esteem due to self-blame for a real or imagined crime or wrongdoing.

How Can This Understanding Help You?

So there’s my “evidence” for why I believe there are three primary human emotions and that these give rise to most (or possibly all) of our other human emotions.

How can this understanding benefit you?  Well, if you get really, really good at understanding the hidden (internal) causes of these three primary emotions, you’ll unlock the keys to understanding—and dealing with—a whole host of other related human emotions.

NOTE: For more information about my unique approach to eliminating stress, please visit http://stressmasteryacademy.com

 

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