Our brain decides how to steer the emotions to particular stimuli and the reaction to a particular situation differs from person to person. All body parts exhibit the emotions felt in human bodies.  The amount of happiness or fear a person feels is reflected by the appearance and behavior the human body exhibits.

Excitement and Happiness feel similar but more often than not, excitement is followed by happiness or sadness. For someone to feel happy or sad, he/she usually has to go through a phase of excitement or restlessness.

A team of Finnish scholars has identified the parts of our body that feel a particular emotion and that are all over the body from head to toe.

“Emotions prepare us for action. The mechanisms of such survival responses rely on numerous synchronized changes in cardiovascular, skeletomuscular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, endocrine and exocrine, and autonomic nervous systems as well as on distributed neural circuitries in the brain.” – Bodily Maps of Emotions Are Culturally Universal.

Different emotions felt in human bodies

Although people respond differently to different situations but the body parts that feel the emotions are pretty much similar to all humans.

A team of researchers led by neuroscientist Lauri Nummenmaa has been working to find out what part of our body actually senses the emotions that humans feel as a response to certain stimuli.

As a part of the same research, they published a body map that shows 14 basic and non-basic emotions as illustrated in the image below.

Image: www.pnas.org

The team in 2015 published a finding where they explained how people let each other touch based on the bond they share.

The blue-outlined black areas highlight the taboo zones, where a person with that relationship is not allowed to touch.

For this, they looked into a large number (100) of feelings and divided them into categories like Cognition, Sensation, Homeostasis, Physiological, Illness, and Psychiatric disorder. More than 1000 participants were surveyed for this experiment. This experiment further narrowed the categories into five types.

  1. Positive feelings
  2. Negative feelings
  3. Cognitive process
  4. Somatic state and illness
  5. Homeostasis

The result was explained in the image below where all 100 emotions were explained by the participants and mapped in the different body parts.

Apparently, the heartbeat was felt on the left chest, relaxation throughout the body, orgasm and sexual arousal in the groin area and brain, and coughing in the chest through the nasal cavity. Similarly, hunger was felt in the stomach, sleeping throughout the body, memorizing in the brain, so and so forth.

Besides these, positive and negative emotions were also showing remarkably similar characteristics. For instance happiness, pleasure and love were similar, and so were a disappointment, disgust, loneliness, and shame.