Hope – the neglected emotion

Hope is essential to fulfillment in life. 

However, it appears that Hope is underrated and overlooked by the experts.

There is disagreement regarding which emotions should and should not be on the primary list.

Professionals also have contrasting opinions regarding the relationship between emotions and feelings.

Try searching for “basic human emotions” or “basic human feelings”. You will see what I mean!

Most websites describe the same 4 emotions: Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Happiness. However, Hope is nowhere to-be-seen. Neither is Love!

Hopeful woman

Why is Hope missing?

Could it be because Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Happiness are a part of most people’s emotional experiences, but Hope and Love are not? I doubt that!

Maybe it is because we frequently recognise these feelings, but we are not so familiar with the feeling of Hope and Love. Unlikely!

Or, perhaps these emotions and potentially others are overlooked. Much more likely.

A piece of a jigsaw puzzle in red representing hope

What is Hope?

Hope is a scale of emotions and feelings:

  • Hopelessness and despair – at one end
  • Optimism and confidence – at the other

Describing Hope in degrees makes it easy for everyone to acknowledge the feelings. In other words, we all know the sensations associated with doubt and lack of Hope and, in contrast, how we feel when we are full of enthusiasm and Hope.

Researchers in office rethinking primary emotions

Further research into human emotions and feelings is required.

Should the list of primary human emotions and feelings be reconsidered regarding possible additions?

  • Do emotions and feelings have opposites and degrees in between?

For example, sadness is the opposite of happiness. Therefore, this could be considered an emotional scale.

  • Misery and sorrow – at one end
  • Exhilaration and delight – at the other

Understanding each emotion and individually describing them on a continuum would help us to realise that each emotion has a third element! The middle of the scale.

For instance, it is obvious when someone experiences an emotion at either end of the scale. They strongly display it. However, it is not easy to identify feelings when their emotional experience is closer to the middle because their emotions and feelings are not so intense. Therefore, we observe a milder response.

Everyone knows that emotions and feelings are variable. Sometimes we are UP, and sometimes we are DOWN. And, sometimes, we are neither up nor down.

Girl looking in mirror recognising her feelings

The trick is to recognise our emotions and feelings.

This way, we can better manage our emotional state.

Daniel Goleman called this Emotional Intelligence.

Thanks to Goleman, educators now recognise that emotional intelligence is as vital to learning as intellectual ability or IQ. As a result, tens of thousands of schools incorporate “social and emotional learning” in their curricula.

You may also like this post about Managing your emotional wellbeing & happiness | Mindscreen

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Helping Children Flourish

Gav Devereux

Author bio

Being diagnosed with dyslexia, labelled remedial, and regularly told that I was a “stupid boy” affected my self-esteem.

Worse still, I carried low self-worth into my adult life. Yet, later, when I learned how to challenge my destructive mindset, I began to feel happier.

I thought, if I can change my way of thinking, anyone can!

And so, in 1996 I founded Mindscreen and began developing resources to help children to believe in themselves and go after their dreams.

That’s how the Mindscreen experience® came into being. I hope it helps your children as much as it has helped me!