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.)
If you are in therapy or using some sort of mood log to assess how you feel, I highly recommend this tool: the emotional word wheel. It’s more than a fancy thesaurus. As the creator explains:
I work with people who have limited emotional vocabulary and as a result the intensity of their negative emotions and experiences is heightened because they can’t describe their feelings (especially their negative feelings). That’s why this list is heavily focused on negative emotions/ experiences. Being able to clearly identify how we are feeling has been shown to reduce this intensity of experience because it re-engages our rational mind.
I think it’s great, especially for men of a certain generation who have difficulty assessing how they feel and therefore have difficulty in dealing with it.
Speaking of mood logs, if you are interested in why you want to keep one, see this. Mood logs don’t have to be fancy: you can write your daily moods on post it notes for all it matters. And you don’t have to only write down bad moods: if you note the good moods, you can better understand what makes you feel good and look for ways to replicate that. That’s the goal for people like me.
You can find more on the emotional word wheel all over the Internet. The version I am referencing is here.
It’s easy to let care for yourself slide in a pandemic. But even in normal times it can be a problem. If you find this to be the case, then I recommend this piece. It can help you understand why you aren’t taking better care of yourself. It then helps you understand what good selfcare looks like.
I’d add a base reason for self care is you can only take care of others if you take care of yourself as well. The airplane mask rule is always in effect.
(Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash)
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.
A very good piece for parents to read. How Parental Love Impacts Flourishing Later in Life | Psychology Today
Parenting is a long term play, though it might not seem some days. And some days the effort you put in doesn’t seem to make a difference. But it does. Read that for those days when you wonder if you are doing anything right as a parent.
Despite what the New York Times and others say: ‘Guilty’ Pleasures? No Such Thing – The New York Times, there is such a thing as guilty pleasures.
Usually guilty pleasures arise out of inconsistency or lack of integrity with what you like versus who you are (or think you are). You want to be one way, but you enjoy doing something the other way. People who say they don’t have guilty pleasures are simply saying that the things they like are consistent with how they perceive themselves. Or they are saying that they have no problem with occasionally being inconsistent. That’s fine, but that isn’t everyone.
Feel free to call your pleasures guilty if you want. Just try not to have any that harm anyone or anything other than your desire to be consistent.
Suppose you post a lot of pictures with blue colours in them on Instagram. So what, you say? Well, according to this, What Your Instagram Posts Reveal about Your Mental State (and Why That’s Important) | Social Media Today, it shows you’re depressed. Whaaaaat? you say! In the piece, they state:
…. the researchers asked 166 Instagram users for permission to analyze their posts and also asked whether or not they had a diagnosis of clinical depression from a mental health professional. What they found was that people with depression over-indexed in several categories in regards to their Instagram post composition.
For example, people with depression prefer darker colors and more grays or blues than non-sufferers.
You might think this is not much better than phrenology, and I tend to agree.
Just keep in mind that all those pictures you post are being analyzed by someone to sell you something.
Read the article and decide if you want to reconsider what you post.
A small, handy guide to dealing with your emotions:
While this article, What You Can Control at The Simple Dollar, is financially oriented, it really contains wisdom you can use in general. While this wisdom is obvious once you read it, most of us lose sight of this from time to time. Go remind of yourself of it by reading the article.
While I recommend reading the whole article, but here are some points I pulled from it:
- You can’t control the actions of others
- You can control how you respond to the actions of others
- You can’t control natural forces
- You can control how you prepare for the possibility of natural forces
- You can’t control big expenses, especially unexpected ones.
- You can control how you prepare for those unexpected expenses
When it comes to things completely outside of your control, it’s not very beneficial to you to exert time, energy, emotion, or focus on those things.
In general, actions based on emotion in response to something you can’t control are awful choices.