Kama muta is recognisable by six co-occurring features:
- It is evoked by the sudden intensification of communal sharing – that is, sudden ‘love’ or kindness;
- It is brief (typically less than a minute or two, though it can repeat in rapid succession);
- It feels good (though it can occur in the context of other, negative emotions);
- When intense, it is often accompanied by the same set of physical sensations: a warm, fuzzy feeling in the centre of the chest; moist eyes or tears; being choked up (a lump in the throat); chills or goosebumps; and often a smile and putting the palm(s) on the chest, sometimes saying ‘Awwww!’;
- It motivates devotion and compassion to communal sharing – also known as ‘loving kindness’;
- Depending on the language and the context, it is often labelled with the terms mentioned above.