111 thoughts and quotes on the theme of emotions

Are our emotions a sign of fragility or strength? It seems to depend on what we do and how we live. What is certain is that our emotions are of considerable importance in life. These 111 quotes on the theme of emotions demonstrate how their intensity, management and expression can have a powerful impact, negative or positive, on life.

1. Quotes about the wealth that emotions represent in life

What would your life look like if you didn’t feel any emotions? These quotes about emotions describe how they can be a source of richness and intensity in life.

  • “People with well-developed emotional skills are also more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of mind that foster their own productivity.”  Daniel Goleman
  • “It was better to suffer but to know strong emotions and feel alive, than to never feel anything, neither joy nor pain, nor any emotion at all.” Thomas Raphaël
  • “The start is a mystery, the end a revelation. But in the interval are emotions that make life truly rich.”  Christian Bobin
  • “The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.”  Soichiro Honda
  • “We perceive, learn and create through emotions. They are of great value and offer an immense advantage.” Cécile Bost
  • “Emotion is the chief source of consciousness.”  Carl Gustav Jung
  • “The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another.”  Jack Kornfield
  • “A life without emotion is a lost life.”  Roger Fournier
  • “Undisciplined emotion enriches consciousness.”  Clément Pansaers

2. Quotes about the importance of knowing how to manage your emotions in order to feel good

111 quotes about emotions

The following quotes show us that in order to live a serene and happy life, we have to know how to channel and control our emotions.

  • “The person who masters himself through self-control and discipline is truly undefeatable.”  Buddha
  • “If you can exercise good control over your emotions, you have a head start in the race towards happiness.”  Daniel Desbiens
  • “When we learn to manage our emotions long enough to stop and shift our attention to the quieter message of the heart, we can gain a wider perspective on any situation, often saving ourselves from hurt, frustration and pain.”  Doc Childre and Howard Martin
  • “It is not that people need to avoid unpleasant feelings to feel content, but rather that stormy feelings do not go unchecked, displacing all pleasant moods.” Daniel Goleman
  • “Freedom does not mean fighting against or suppressing troubled emotions. That would be another form of tyranny.” Jack Kornfield
  • “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event control your emotions.” Buddha
  • “Handling an emotional crisis leads to greater wisdom and results in lifetime benefits.”  David R. Hawkins
  • “Out of control emotions make smart people stupid!” Daniel Goleman
  • “When you lose your self-control, you lose your freedom.” Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach
  • “Fear of life is really the fear of emotions. It is not the facts that we fear but our feelings about them.” David R. Hawkins
  •  “A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.” Oscar Wilde
  • “Knowing how to manage emotions… Daily work.”  Elisabeth Nedelec

3. Quotes about the power of emotions on your state of mind and physical well-being

We are not really conscious of it, but our emotions make us who we are, physically and mentally. They affect how we look at the world. That is what the personalities who penned or said the following quotes appear to tell us…

  • “You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”  Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behaviours.” Anthony Robbins
  • “Some emotions turn out to be so powerful, happy or unhappy, that they break us.” Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
  • “I see the world through the filter of my emotions, whatever their strength. The filter is always there, and so is the world.”  Esther Rochon
  • “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.” Vincent Van Gogh
  • “Emotions are the bridge between the body and the mind”. Christophe André
  • “I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou
  • “We do not choose the emotions that upset us. It is instinctive, spontaneous and never calculated.”  Graham Greene
  • “In the beginning was the emotion.”  Louis-Ferdinand Céline
  • “The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.” Khalil Gibran

4. Quotes about expressing emotions

Knowing how to express your emotions appropriately is an extremely precious social skill for your personal and interpersonal balance. The following quotes share this idea. But they also take into account how difficult it can be to express emotions that are sometimes too strong for us to be able to explain them.

  • “Expressing emotions is like removing the black clouds blocking the sun to allow flowers to grow.”  Tanya Sénécal
  • “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Sigmund Freud
  • “Emotions lack words.” Victor Hugo
  • “Silence is more traumatic than shared pain. Emotions that cannot be spoken dig a trench between people who love each other.” Isabelle Filliozat
  • “There are emotions that cannot be defined.”  George Sand
  • “The most beautiful emotions are the ones you cannot explain.”  Charles Baudelaire
  • “Emotion is the movement of life inside you. It is a movement that comes from within and is expressed without. It is the movement of my life and it tells me and those around me who I am.” Isabelle Filliozat
  • “There are moments we are not enough for the abundance and depth of emotions. How much then do we envy those who can describe them and share them with others.  Cécile Fée
  • “When negative emotions are suppressed positive feelings become suppressed as well, and love dies.”  John Gray
  • “Emotions are made to be shared.” Marc Levy
  • “We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.” Leo Buscaglia
  • “Man needs emotions. He often seeks the opportunity to shed tears.”  Pierre-Jules Stahl

5. Quotes about the role emotions play in the arts and on creativity

quotes about emotions

The following quotes bear witness to the liberating potential of art when it comes to finding how to express emotions. Conversely, they also teach us that emotions play a fundamental role in creativity, because they are often its very essence.

  • “A work of art that did not begin with emotion is not art.” Paul Cézanne
  • “Music is the language of emotions.”  Emmanuel Kant
  • “Style has no importance: the emotions you express are what counts.”  Björk
  • “Technically, I’m not a guitar player, all I play is truth and emotion.”   Jimi Hendrix
  • “Art of every sort, according to my previous contentions, is an attempt to rationalise some emotional conflict in the artist’s mind.”  Robert Graves
  • “We never play music to win or lose something, simply to express emotions.”  Dan Ar Braz
  • “The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place.” Pablo Picasso
  • “Acting essentially requires feeling.” Charlie Chaplin
  • “If the actor does not shake up reality to go deeper into emotions or laughter, he is no longer an artist.”  Michel Serrault
  • “The entire secret of art is perhaps knowing how to order disorderly emotions, but to order them in such a way that you can feel the disorder even better.”  Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz
  • “Art is the revelation of exquisite sensibility.  Paul Cézanne
  • “Artistic emotion ends when analysis and thought intervene.”  Max Jacob
  • “The actor is like one of those glass balls with snow inside: he spends his time shaking emotions up and down.”  Gary Oldman
  •  “A song is an emotion plus an equation.”  Guy Béart
  • “The emotion born from a work of art is a mystery.”  Pierre Sakhinis
  • “The entire talent of an actor consists of making the audience feel emotions that he himself does not.”   Sacha Guitry
  • “Romantic novelists like me exist to make people feel emotions, not for them to think.”  Barbara Cartland

6. Quotes about the impact emotions have on leadership, actions and success

As we enter the era of artificial intelligence, people are becoming aware of the importance of soft skills in how they go about things. Emotions are what set human beings apart. In the following quotes, we can understand how important it is to value them. By instilling authenticity to the things we commit to, we nurture personal success and give back to the community.

  • “All great discoveries are made by men whose feelings run ahead of their thinking.”  C.H. Parkhurst
  • “Your emotions are the fuel and the active force that will breathe life into your vision, your desires and your thoughts, and make them real.”  Ronna Herman
  • “When leadership is played on the twin scores of reason and emotion, it is a powerful engine that gives men and women the energy required to go beyond the limits of what is possible.”  Guillaume Poitrinal
  • “Recall that thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions, and actions lead to results.” T. Harv Eker
  • “Everything you do is triggered by an emotion of desire or fear.” Brian Tracy
  • “Emotions feed us and keep our dreams alive.” Daniel Desbiens
  • “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Carl Gustav Jung
  • “Emotions are signals that are here for a reason. Positive emotions tell us that our needs are satisfied or are on the way to being satisfied. Negative emotions that they are not satisfied. Listen and reflect to what is happening with our fundamental needs in order to act.” Buddha
  • “When competition is fierce between two rivals, the winner is the one who has better control over his emotions.”  Ardashir Vakil
  • “An imbecile is a person who reasons when he should be feeling.”  L. Pauwels
  • “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”   Simon Sinek

7. Quotes about the importance of understanding and recognising your emotions

Understanding and recognising your emotions, both negative and positive, helps you to better control them and free yourself from their grip. Working on identifying your emotions offers better self-understanding and better understanding of others. That is what the following quotes about emotions teach us.  

  • “If you want freedom from your emotions, you have to have real and immediate knowledge of your emotions.”  Arnaud Desjardins
  • “When you stop recognising your emotions, you stop understanding the meaning of your experiences.”  Nathaniel Branden
  • “Once we recognise what we are feeling, once we recognise that we can feel deeply, love deeply, feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our life produce this kind of joy.” Audre Lorde
  • “The more people learn to tackle their afflictive emotions, the more individuals will achieve peace of mind, and the more individuals achieve inner peace, the greater are the prospects for peace in the world.” “We need to understand how destructive emotions affect us and constructive emotions can help us, so that we can maintain our peace of mind.” Dalai Lama
  • “The events of everyday life inspire feelings in us, emotions that we must learn to consider as materials with which we can work.”  Omraam Mikaël Aïvanhov
  • “Behind every negative emotion is a value that has been mistreated and a need that is not satisfied. This absence causes the unease.”  Geneviève Krebs
  • “In an instant, strong emotions can offer us something it would have taken years to discover.”  René Chicoine
  • “The garden of emotions is a garden that must be tended to and the weeds regularly removed.” Daniel Desbiens
  • “Once emotion arises, it becomes the truth for the moment. Why? Because it’s there. So I cannot deny it.  Swami Prajnanpad

8. Quotes about emotional intelligence and empathy

quotes about emotions

Emotional intelligence is an incredible advantage when it comes to living in society. Having emotional intelligence means knowing how to read, express, decipher, recognise, accept and share emotions. It demonstrates empathy and deepens our relationships with others. The following quotes invite you to develop this intelligence of the heart.  

  • “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”  Daniel Goleman
  • “Being able to decode and translate another person’s expressions and emotions is an essential element when it comes to understanding what hides behind the words to discover their true beliefs.” Onur Karapinar
  • “Intelligence of the heart is understanding true emotions, expressing them appropriately, knowing how to listen and guide those of other people and demonstrate empathy.”  Isabelle Filliozat
  • “People’s emotions are rarely put into words, far more often they are expressed through other cues. The key to intuiting another’s feelings is in the ability to read nonverbal channels: tone of voice, gesture, facial expression and the like.” Daniel Goleman
  • “Emotional intelligence can be learned.” Daniel Goleman
  • “Empathy is holding your hand out to someone in a hole, not jumping into it to help them get out.”  Agnès Ledig
  • “Emotional intelligence does not mean merely “being nice”. At strategic moments it may demand not “being nice”, but rather, for example, bluntly confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they’ve been avoiding.”  Daniel Goleman
  • “I believe that lack of empathy is behind many problems, and I believe that it’s disrupting our society.”  Joanne Kathleen Rowling
  • “When the majority of people enter a room, they notice the furniture and the people inside it. Period. Hypersensitive people can perceive almost instantly, whether they want to or not, people’s moods, friendships and intimacies, the freshness of the air or, in contrast, they musty smell or the personality of the person who arranged the flowers in the vases.” Elaine N. Aron

9. Quotes about sensitivity and being over-emotional

Emotions can sometime represent a genuine source of pain for people who are very sensitive and emotional. Their hypersensitivity is a source of intense perceptions and feelings. The following quotes bear witness to the roller coaster of emotions that hypersensitive people can experience. Their emotions can lead them to moments of deep torment as well as great happiness.

  • “It is true that I am endowed with an absurd sensitiveness, what scratches others tears me to pieces.”  Gustave Flaubert
  • “The very nature of intelligence is sensitivity, and this sensitivity is love. Without this intelligence there can be no compassion.”  Jiddu Krishnamurti
  •  “A sacred responsibility comes with our sensitivities, which demand more of us than simply retreating into isolation. It’s vital we learn how to avoid feeling overwhelmed so that we can fully shine our power in the world.”   Judith Orloff
  • “If you are not sensitive, you can never be sublime.”  Voltaire
  • “A person who suffers from raw sensitivity feels like they are in the eye of a devastating tornado whirling in on itself, and they feel that it is unlikely they will ever escape.” Saverio Tomasella
  • “Being sensitive means having an inner perception of beauty, having a sense of beauty.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • “The majority of people don’t notice the wail of the sirens, the blinding lights or strong odours, the hubbub and the chaos. Hypersensitive people feel a great disturbance.”  Elaine N. Aron

10. Quotes about respecting the emotions and sensitivities of other people

In most sections of society, emotions are not fashionable. They are often devalued by society. Emotions should be hidden, masked. Individuals who openly display their emotions are often judged. Because of this, many people try to dissimulate their emotions and teach their children to repress them. What do you think about this behaviour? The following quotes may offer some answers…

  • “Respecting the emotions of a child means allowing them to feel who they are, and to become aware of themselves here and now. It places them in the position of subject, it authorises them to show they are different to us. It means considering them to be a person and not an object.” Isabelle Filliozat
  • “Do not despise anyone’s sensitivity. Each person’s sensitivity is his or her genius.”  Charles Baudelaire
  • “The biggest mistake about sensitivity (especially hypersensitivity) is to consider it to be incongruous, embarrassing or worse: “pathological”. Our modern world is too inclined to want to “normalise” everything, and make it morbid, by making us believe, hastily and dishonestly, that everything that does not fit into the “normal” and “standard” boxes is an illness.”  Saverio Tomasella
  • “Helping our children to develop their emotional quotient forces us to develop our own. Help a child to grow, and you will grow too.” Isabelle Filliozat
  • “Humour is a disguise under which emotion can face the outside world.”  Tony Mayer

11. Short quotes about emotions

To conclude, here are some short quotes about emotions in no particular order.

  • “Emotions have no taste for the established order.”  Yukio Mishima
  • “Emotion is the engine of change.”  Olivier Lockert
  • “Simple emotions are the hardest ones to live with.”  Gérard Depardieu
  • “Living without difficulties is living without emotions.”  Simon Lafage
  • “The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.”  Oscar Wilde
  • “Everyone has the emotions they deserve.”  André Suarès
  • “We are never blasé about emotions.”  Hélène Ségara
  • “Emotion is killed by over-analysis.”  Jean Loup Sieff
  • “Save your emotions for the things that deserve them.”  Titu Maiorescu
  • “Love needs patience to become a useful emotion.”  Victor del Arbol

What about you? What phrases and quotes about emotions inspire you and give you pause for thought? Feel free to share your experiences and stories in the comments about the way you handle your emotions and the impact they have on your life.

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