Before you run off to create a list of strictly positive words, it’s essential to understand that real life does not consist of solely positive emotions.
Feelings are best understood as a subjective representation of emotions, private to the individual experiencing them. Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative. Paul Ekman’s research findings led him to classify six emotions as fundamental: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.
- Compare Ekman’s list to Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of 72 Emotions (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion) and on any given day, ask yourself which of the 72 emotions did I experience today? What am I feeling now at this moment? Then capture the associated physical sensations in your body related to each feeling. Perhaps journal your answers and look for patterns.
- Matching the correct words to your sensations is what I call ‘Emotional Literacy.’ Unfortunately, most are somewhat emotionally illiterate and don’t take the time to gain insight into the connection between their emotions, motivations and behaviours.
- Gaining a heightened sense of self-awareness offers you an opportunity to be conscious of how you typically react to your perceptions of a situation.
I discovered years ago that when I’m getting angry about something, and energy builds-up (tingling sensation) around my chest, that progresses up to my head. Unfortunately, once the feeling reaches the top of my brain, it’s too late because I get rather rude and aggressive to the offending person.
Over the years, I have learned that breathing, re-framing, and removing myself from the situation to diffuse the energy build up before it reaches my head is critical in healthily managing my behaviour!
Wheel of Emotions
- Affection, Anger, Angst, Anguish, Annoyance, Anxiety, Apathy, Arousal, Awe
- Confidence, Contempt, Contentment, Courage, Curiosity
- Depression, Desire, Despair, Disappointment, Disgust, Distrust, Dread
- Ecstasy, Embarrassment, Envy, Euphoria, Excitement
- Fear, Frustration
- Gratitude, Grief, Guilt
- Happiness, Hatred, Hope, Horror, Hostility, Hurt, Hysteria
- Indifference, Interest
- Jealousy, Joy
- Loathing, Loneliness, Love, Lust
- Panic, Passion, Pity, Pleasure, Pride
- Rage, Regret, Relief, Remorse
- Sadness, Satisfaction, Self-confidence, Shame, Shock, Shyness, Sorrow, Suffering, Surprise
- Terror, Trust
- Wonder, Worry
- Zeal, Zest
Do you battle to get a handle on your emotions? Or maybe you can’t seem to overcome the pain of past experiences. Many people struggle with a variety of self-worth issues, but they don’t have robust strategies to detach themselves from negative thinking or destructive emotional attachments. Without helpful methods to cope with destructive emotions, you can’t truly heal. — I can help!
What emotions (feelings) are you experiencing now, and how do you typically react to those emotions?
What range of emotions did you experience today and or/do you want to experience tomorrow?
How did I react to a specific emotion and did my reactions serve me well?
Consider These Related Articles