Dearth of Language for Emotions

If you are reading along in Onward and have immersed yourself in emotions this month, you no doubt are understanding emotions and their role more. Elena Aguilar shares a key to cultivating our resilience: “Learn to recognize your emotions as messengers, as potential sources of energy, and as a fact of human existence. This allows you to pause when emotions come barreling in and to understand what they want to tell you.”

But wouldn’t it be cool to have more words to define the different types of emotions we feel? Take for example the emotion of love. Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty, Greek three, and English only one. This article explains exactly what is wrong with this. In it, author Robert Johnson explains that “The first difficulty we meet in discussing anything concerning our feelings is that we have no adequate vocabulary to use. Where there is no terminology, there is no consciousness. A poverty-stricken vocabulary is an immediate admission that the subject is inferior or depreciated in that society.” As frustrating as this is, know that the work that you are doing with Onward can help counteract this.

The more we change how we think about emotions the more we will change how we experience them.