How do you feel right now?
If your answer is along the lines of "cold", "hungry", or "itchy" - you are describing physical feelings which is easy to do. Putting your internal feelings into words is not as easy, especially when we use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably.
Definitions of Emotions and Feelings
"Emotions are physical and instinctive. They have been programmed into our genes over many, many years of evolution and are hard-wired. While they are complex and involve a variety of physical and cognitive responses, their general purpose is to produce a specific response to a stimulus.
Emotions can be measured objectively by blood flow, brain activity, facial expressions, and body stance. Emotions are carried out by the limbic system, our emotional processing center. This means that they are illogical, irrational, and unreasonable because the limbic system is separate from the neocortex, the part of our brain that deals with conscious thoughts, reasoning, and decision making.
Feelings take place inside our heads. They are mental associations and reactions to an emotion that are personal and acquired through experience. (There are over 4,000 feelings listed in the English language.)
The emotion comes first and is universal. What kind of feeling(s) it will then become varies enormously from person to person and from situation to situation because feelings are shaped by individual temperament and experience.
Being able to clearly identify how we are feeling has been shown to reduce the intensity of experience because it re-engages our rational mind."*
The introspective quiz below...