Words To Describe Those Weird Feelings We All Get

Pronoia

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to....help you? The opposite of paranoia, pronoia, is the creeping feeling that people are out to help you.

(Fun fact: Authors such as Philip K. Dick adopted the word to express a kind of radical positivism, and it appears to have first been used in the 1960s, by Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. Wired Magazine revived it in the ‘90s, as did some corners of rave culture.)

Ilinx

Have you ever wanted to use what little power you have to turn someone else's world upside-down? Like swapping your roommate's salt for sugar? Or, putting the wrong colored caps on all your teacher's sharpies? Ilinx might fit you.

Ilinx is a disruption of perception with vertigo or disorientation. Over the years, it has morphed to describe an urge to create a kind of minor chaos or upset. So, try to tame that feeling of ilinx next time you have a raging desire to drop glitter from the balcony at a ballgame.

Cherophobia

Happiness is a difficult quest (just ask that old guy sitting on the mountain top pondering life’s Big Questions), but some people are cursed with a specific fear of happiness. That is cherophobia, and it’s often imbued with a foreboding sense that something bad will happen if you experience pleasure or joy. 

Eudaimonia

When you're hot, you're hot. Eudaimonia is that feeling you get when you have discovered your "best self," whether that means something grand like landing your dream job, or something simple, like being surrounded by people you care about, or finally figuring out how to fold a fitted sheet.

This ancient Greek philosophical word was used originally to describe the attainment of “happiness,” colored and defined by a person’s ethics and virtue (as opposed to success and wealth).

Abience

Abience is the strong urge to avoid a person, thing or object. More specifically, it describes the desire to withdraw from or avoid new experiences. This might explain the urge to stay home with Netflix instead of seeking “a fun night out,” which, frankly, we completely understand.

Adience

Yes, adience is the opposite of abience, it's the desire for an experience, and acting on that desire by seeking it out. When you experience adience, you might call up that over-the-top friend you haven't spoken to in months just to see what excursion they suggest. Racing down a hill in shopping carts? We're in.

Hypnagogia

Hypnagogia is that weird feeling somewhere between awake and asleep. It's not exactly an emotion, but if you find yourself foggily confused at 3:00 a.m., wondering where you are—asleep, awake, or in a parallel universe—don’t panic, it’s just a bit of hypnagogia.

Finifugal

We've all experienced this feeling before: Finifugal is the resistance to an end of something.

This arcane-sounding word was coined in the 1800s and infrequently used during the last century, the word makes sense if you break it down: fini is Latin for “end” and fugal is Latin for “flight.”  If you’re feeling a bit finifugal at the moment, just hit the “back button.”

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