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Words to Describe Emotions

Do you ever have a thought or feeling that is hard to describe, and you wish there was a word for it? Turns out often times there are words to describe very complicated emotions, if not in English, then in another language. Words like this are an interest of mine. For some time now I have been wanting to make a blog post that presents some of my favorite obscure/foreign words for emotions.

Unfortunately when blogging, sometimes it can be hard to track down the copyright holders of images to ask for permission to use them. Recently I came across a blog: wordstuck.co.vu which curates words like these and presents them in gif images. After looking over this blog I found many words I haven’t encountered yet, so I decided to make several blog posts, maybe once every other month, with a few words that capture emotions that are difficult to describe.
All gif images in this blog post were copied with permission from wordstuck.co.vu . Enjoy! ^_^

Schadenfreude is one of those words that describes an emotion everyone feels at some point but is ashamed or embarrassed to say.
The musical “Avenue Q” captures schadenfreude in song. Warning: this video has some swearing and crude humor in it.

Kind of the opposite of Schadenfreude. Firgun describes the feeling of joy and happiness for something good happening to another person.

One of my favorite obscure words. Petrichor is the smell you get outside right after it starts raining. This is one of those smells that is inexplicably pleasing to many people.

Another one of my favorites, Karoshi is a Japanese word that refers to death by over work. I first learned of this word in college when a professor was talking about the way salmon swim upstream to bread and then die, literally from overworking themselves. Karoshi is a real thing in Japan, where it is common for people to work long hours.

I collect images with inspirational, motivational, or insightful quotes that I send to clients when they are in need or I have something that captures an emotion they might be feeling. This image is my single most used image. I think we’re all a little bit broken and wounded by hurts in our past. Through openness, exploration, love, and therapy when needed, our traumas can grow us and make us stronger, more self aware individuals.

On a related note, Sankofa is a word that pretty much means that its is healthy to explore your past so that you can better understand yourself and live better in the now. This word is typically depicted by a bird reaching towards its back to retrieve an egg it left there, as if to return to something that was left behind and left unhatched.

What do you think? Do you have some favorite words that describe how you feel? If you are struggling with difficult emotions, give me a call and we can talk about how therapy might be helpful for you.

Joe Borders, MFT
Counseling and Therapy in Roseville and Sacramento
(530) 448-6602

1722 Professional Drive,
Sacramento, CA 95825
775 Sunrise Ave., suite 110
Roseville, Ca 95661
More about counseling and therapy with me


contribute your thoughts ^_^