It can be so easy to get caught up in your emotions as we are experiencing and feeling them. Truthfully, most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with, but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. Did you know the English language has over 3,000 words for emotions?! That in itself can be overwhelming to find the word to help express how you are feeling…
Here are 7 tips for success + an Activity Sheet to help you verbalize how you are feeling in situations.
Allow Yourself to Feel
Societal pressure causes a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to emotions. They encourage people to shut down their emotions, often expressed through statements like, “Big girls don’t cry,” or “Man up.”
Let’s have a chat, These outdated ideas are harmful and in no way are they helpful.Everyone has emotions and everyone expresses them differently. Emotions are part of the human experience–and you have every right to feel every emotion and express yourself, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, race, political affiliation or religion.
Don’t Ignore How You Are Feeling
“Stop Bottling up your emotions” how many times have you heard that one?! Ive heard it enough that I wish I had a dollar for each time 😂 When we try to push our feelings aside without addressing them, we are giving them the power to become bigger, stronger and more likely to “explode” at some point in the future.
Now, sometimes emotions do not need to be processed right away, but you still need to acknowledge their presence and remind yourself that you are not defined by the feelings that you are feeling in that moment.
Talk It Out
I cannot stress this enough. Find someone you trust and confide in them about your emotional state. You are not a burden… I am going to say that again… YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN FOR SHARING YOUR EMOTIONS WITH SOMEONE! You are not inconveniencing them, instead you are showing them that you are emotionally intelligent and connected to your body. Also, when having these conversations it is important to tell someone if you just need them to listen or if you need their input and advice. This gives the person you are sharing with a sense of what you are needing instead of leaving them guessing.
Build Your Emotional Vocabulary
“How are you feeling today?” Good, bad, sad, mad, mehh, fine. These are common words we use to describe our emotional state but at the root of all of these basic emotions are SO MANY MORE WORDS that better describe how we are feeling. Try building your emotional vocabulary by writing down as many “Feeling” words that you can think of and think of a time you felt this way. This is a great activity to do with children and to make a wheel of emotions like pictured below! I have an emotion wheel printed out and in my journal so each day I am able to get to the root of my true emotions.
Consider The Strength Of Your Feelings
When thinking about how intense your emotions are you may begin to realize that the emotion you first thought you were experiencing could be better described with another word. This is creating emotional awareness and emotional intelligence.
An example might be: Sometimes you think you are experiencing stress or you feel stressed out when the true emotion we are experiencing is something a less severe like annoyance over a situation. Another example would be feeling angry over a situation but in reality it is a stronger and deeper emotional feeling like betrayal. There are layers to our emotions which is why the emotional wheel is so helpful when identifying your feelings.
See A Mental Health Professional
If you are trying to become more in touch with your emotions but are having trouble dealing with them, then I highly reccomend seeing a mental health provider like a counselor or therapist! These professionals have been trained to help you identify your emotions and help you cope with your emotional well-being.There are some free or low cost options are also available. Your employer might have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offer a limited number of free counseling sessions, and your Human Resources department can help you access this resource. If you don’t have an EAP through work, the leaders of religious organizations like churches, synagogues and mosques often have experience with counseling.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help because it is one of the bravest things you can do. Attached is an activity sheet from Mental Health America called What’s Unerneath This is a great resource to help not only yourself but your family communicate their emotions and teach your children how to properly talk about their emotions! Check it out, print it out and have it be a source of conversation at the dinner table!
What’s Underneath Tool Kit Page This is a great activity for you and your family to open up the conversation about mental health and find comfortable ways to talk about emotions and dig in deeper to the 3,000 words that the English language has to describe emotions!
Grace M Dirig