7-Level Emotionally Mindful Scale (aka 7-Level EMS)

One who practices the art of moment-by-moment, non-judgmental awareness of their emotions or feelings.


This is a repost from June 2020, with a few minor updates, including changing the name of the scale from 7-Level Emotional Scale to 7-Level Emotionally Mindful ScaleTM (aka 7-Level EMS). Like the original post, the purpose of this post is to provide an overview and understanding of the 7-Level Emotionally Mindful ScaleTM.


Let’s start with a high-level overview of our 7-Level Emotionally Mindful Scale (aka 7-Level EMS). Within our emotional scale, there are seven different levels containing a total of fifty-seven emotions. For each level, there is a corresponding number (rating) that ranges from -3 at the bottom (lowest level) to +3 at the top (highest level). You’ll also notice that within six of the seven levels the emotions are divided into two rows.

7 Emotional Levels

Seven levels were chosen in order to keep the table simple for reference and application, yet provide an adequate number of levels to create an emotional scale with a range of numbers (ratings) for effective measurement of one’s emotions at any given moment, and over time.

Positive (+) or Negative (-) Emotions by Level

Within our 7-Level EMS, each level is assigned a rating (number) ranging from +3 at the top (highest level) to -3 at the bottom (lowest level), with a middle level at 0. As you can see from looking at the table of emotions, the higher the positive number, the stronger the positive emotion. Therefore, the lower the negative number, the stronger the negative emotion. We consider the emotions at the 0 level as neutral, balanced, and our baseline from which to measure the other emotions.

57 Emotions

Our 7-Level EMS does not include all the emotions that one might feel or experience. However, to keep the scale manageable and effective to use, we’ve selected the 57 emotions most commonly identified and used on a variety of emotional scales today.

Defining the List

Since this post is intended to be a reference post for future use, we’ll provide a general definition of each emotion on the scale. A variety of online dictionaries were used when compiling the list of definitions for the emotions listed below: Merriam-Webster, Oxford Dictionary, and Cambridge Dictionary. We also took the liberty to modify the definitions to help make them easier to read and understand.

We encourage you to spend some time reviewing this list of emotions and their definitions. For each emotion, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Have I ever felt or experienced this emotion? If so, when?
  • Have I experienced this particular emotion recurring over and over again, either recently or sometime in the past?
  • Is this emotion triggering anything for me right now, either positively or negatively?

7 Levels of 57 Emotions with Definitions

+3 Positive Emotions

PassionAn intense or driving conviction; a strong liking or desire for, or devotion to, some activity, object, or concept.
Empowerment The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.
FreedomThe power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
ExcitementA feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness; a heightened state of positive energy.
LoveAn intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something.
JoyA feeling of great pleasure and happiness; a source or cause of delight.
AcceptanceThe action or process of being received as adequate or suitable; the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable.
TrustFirm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.

+2 Positive Emotions

CourageMental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty; to be brave and confident enough to do what you believe in.
EnthusiasmIntense and eager enjoyment, or energetic interest; a strong desire to be involved.
EagernessWanting very much to do or have something, especially something interesting or enjoyable.
WorthinessFeeling secure; deserving to be treated or regarded in a specific manner; knowing within that you have sufficient value or importance; the quality of being good enough.
HappinessA state of well-being and contentment; a state of feeling, showing, or causing pleasure.
AppreciationA feeling or expression of admiration or approval; recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something; understanding that something is valuable or important.
CompassionThe state of showing kindness, the act of caring, and a willingness to help others; to be thoughtful and decent.
ConnectionA relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else; the state of being joined or connected in some way.

+1 Positive Emotions

BeliefSomething one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
ConfidenceA feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities, powers, or qualities; a state of self-reliance.
ResponsibleA state of being able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations; to take ownership of one’s own actions, current situation, or future outcomes.
InspiredA state of being outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration; of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse.
HopefulnessA state of inspiring optimism about a future event; to believe that something desired will happen.
OptimismThe quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen; hopefulness and confidence about the future; to anticipate the best possible outcome.
Positive ExpectationA strong feeling that good things are going to happen in the future; a belief that what’s ahead will be good, not bad.

0 Neutral / Balanced / Baseline Emotions

ContentmentA state of being at peace with where you are and what you have; the state of being content.
SatisfactionThe condition of having a desire or need fulfilled; the pleasant feeling you get when you receive something you wanted, or when you have done or are doing something you wanted to do.
StillnessThe absence of movement or sound; a state of being calm or tranquil.

-1 Negative Emotions

DisappointmentThe sadness or discouragement that results when your hopes or expectations have not been satisfied, or someone or something that is not as good as you had hoped or expected.
DoubtTo not feel certain or confident about something or someone; to think that something is not probable; a feeling of not knowing what to believe or what to do; a lack of confidence.
WorryTo think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy and frightened.
DiscouragementA loss of confidence or enthusiasm; a feeling of having lost hope; a state of dispiritedness.
SadnessThe feeling of being unhappy or feeling down, especially because something bad or unpleasant has happened.
PessimismThe tendency to see the bad side of things or to expect the worst in any situation; a lack of hope or confidence in the future; an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome.
FrustrationThe feeling of being annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want, or something that makes you feel like this; a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.
ImpatienceThe feeling of being annoyed by someone’s mistakes or because you have to wait; the feeling of wanting something to happen as soon as possible.
IrritationThe feeling of being angry or annoyed, or something that makes you feel like this.
OverwhelmedThe feeling that something is too much to deal with; completely overcome or overpowered by thought or feeling.

-2 Negative Emotions

AbandonmentThe state of being left behind, or left without care and protection; a feeling of having been deserted, cast off, or left alone.
UnlovedA feeling of not being loved; not feeling valued or cherished by anyone.
LonelyAn unhappy or sad feeling because you are not with other people; feeling isolated without any companions.
RejectionA feeling of being turned away, not accepted; feeling dismissed; a feeling of not receiving what one anticipated, desired, or expected.
AnxietyAn uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future; something that causes a feeling of fear and worry.
FearAn unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen.
AngerA strong feeling that makes you want to hurt someone or be unpleasant because of something unfair or unkind that has happened; a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
BlameA state or place where you think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening; assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong to someone; an expression of disapproval or reproach.
JealousyA feeling of unhappiness and anger because someone has something or someone that you want.
ResentmentA feeling of anger or extreme displeasure you hold towards something or someone as a result of being wronged, insulted, or injured unjustly; a bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly ; feeling angry because you have been forced to accept someone or something that you do not like.
HatredAn extremely strong feeling of dislike or disgust; ill will or resentment; prejudiced hostility or animosity.
RageExtreme or violent anger, or a period of feeling such anger; to show extreme or violent uncontrollable anger.
RevengeThe desire or action of inflicting hurt or harm someone as a punishment for harm that they have done to you or someone else.

-3 Negative Emotions

GriefA deep and poignant emotional distress caused by or as if by bereavement; a very deep sorrow; a feeling of great loss or sadness.
GuiltA feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you know or think you have done something wrong, such as causing harm to another person, a feeling of self-reproach for not living up to someone else’s standards or expectations of moral correctness.
InsecureLacking confidence about yourself or your ability to do things well; a nervous and uncomfortable feeling about oneself and/or what others are thinking of you.
UnworthyA feeling of not deserving respect, attention, admiration, or support; a feeling of not being good enough for others, or even oneself.
DepressionThe state of feeling very unhappy and without hope for the future; a state of being marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration; feelings of dejection and hopelessness.
DespairThe feeling that there is no hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation; the complete loss or absence of hope.
PowerlessnessThe condition or feeling of having no power; lack of ability, influence, strength, or power; lacking the capacity to act.
HopelessnessThe state of being without any hope; a sense of having no future; a feeling of complete and utter despair.

Now that you’ve reviewed the list of emotions and their definitions, ask yourself a few more questions:

  • Did I find that I’ve experienced more of the emotions on the positive (+) or negative (-) side of the scale on a recurring on regular basis, or do I feel like I experience a variety of both positive (+) and negative (-) emotions as I go about my daily life?
  • Do I feel that I can relate well to the emotions in the neutral/balanced/baseline (0) level? Am I experiencing these balanced emotions on a regular, consistent basis in my daily life?
  • What emotion or emotions best describes how I’m feeling right now at this moment? Why?

There is a significant amount of content and reference material in this post. We hope you’ll take the time to revisit this post often as both a refresher and a tool for developing your emotional intelligence.

The ability to identify and understand the feeling or emotion that you are experiencing at any given moment and knowing how to manage it will be one of the most important keys to unlocking the door to the joy and passion in your life, and to your Next Big Adventure!

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