If you have done any work on dealing with difficult feelings, you may have come across The Feelings Wheel. You can see a typical one here at the Calm Blog. It can be a useful tool in helping you precisely describe what you are feeling. For example, you might think you are often fearful, but if you think about it more, it could be a range of feelings you are experiencing, from insecure to nervous to scared (all similar but different in degree). Being able to be precise about your feelings, especially your negative feelings, can help you deal with them.
The problem I have with some versions of the Feelings Wheel is that the feelings listed are predominantly negative. That’s ok for self help or therapy: you are trying to deal with negative feelings and having more ways to describe them is helpful.
I think it is good to have a range of ways to describe positive feelings, too. Even if you aren’t feeling them, it’s good to have a way to determine feelings that you would like to have. That’s why I was happy to find the Wheel below at the site YouthSMART, because it portrays more positive feelings. If you said you wanted to be more loving or joyful, it may mean feeling more Passionate or it may mean feeling more Excited. Having that vocabulary of feelings can help you move in a better direction, I believe.
You can argue that there is only so much room on such a Wheel and I agree. What’s important is having a tool to help you understand what you are feeling and how you would like to feel. I find the wheel above is good for that.
(Image: link to image at YouthSMART.)
Last week Dr. Aaron T. Beck died. He lived a century. As the Times said, his
brand of pragmatic, thought-monitoring psychotherapy became the centerpiece of a scientific transformation in the treatment of depression, anxiety and many related mental disorders
I’d argue he did as much if not more for the health and well being of people than any doctor or scientist.
I highly recommend reading this: Dr. Aaron T. Beck, Developer of Cognitive Therapy, Dies at 100 – The New York Times. I was fascinated to see the pushback he received over time, and how he fought back against. Truly a great man.
Wait a second, you say. I am not a teen with anxiety, and I don’t know any. Fine, read this anyway: How to cope with teen anxiety | Psyche Guides
We all have a mix of bad feelings at all stages of our lives. You are likely reading this on a Monday: don’t tell me you don’t have some bad feelings right now. 🙂 The good news is that techniques used in CBT can help you deal with those feelings, whether you are somewhat anxious or depressed.
Not only that, but I think CBT can help people with feelings like being bored, disappointed or frustrated. Feelings you may feel weighing on you that don’t make you feel good. You can use it to shake yourself our of your current mindset which may not be helpful to you and move you into a better mindset.
Take those emotions that don’t make you feel your good self and move towards some better ones. Hey, it’s Monday: a good day to take a crack at it.
All the best.
(Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an effective way to deal with many forms of anxiety and depression. I’d argue it can help people with their thinking in general. If you are looking for tools to help you with it, here are two sets of resources:
- Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Workshop
- CBT Worksheets (includes this PDF comes).
(Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash)
Sometimes – ok, often – I will be down and despairing and I will strongly feel I will never be happy again. When I think that, I fall back on my six month rule.
For my six month rule, I think of the times in my life I’ve been happy and I picture that time. Then I picture the time six months earlier. In that earlier time, I think: could I have predicted that I would be happy six months later? The answer is no, I never could. Then I ask myself: is my ability to predict any better now? And the answer again is no. Then how can you predict you won’t be happy again in the future, I wonder? And I have to answer: I can’t. For me that is enough to break out of my negative fortune telling about the future.
Maybe I won’t be happy in six months. Maybe I will be worse. Who knows? I sure don’t. So I get in with things and hope and work for the best and I stop trying to predict the future and I stop letting this predictions determine the way I feel right now at this moment.
If you are using CBT to deal with your mood, consider this app: Moodnotes: a Thought Journal, Mood Diary, CBT App.
It helps you quickly capture your mood, but it also help you deal with distorted thinking that contributes to poor moods or worse.