How do I feel?

Are you kidding me? I’m a guy!

Most of the time I couldn’t answer that question if you paid me, accept when I’m angry, when I’m frustrated. No problems with those feelings.

“How do you feel?” “How are you doing?” These questions get asked a lot, but do you often wonder how to answer them? Maybe you don’t know how you feel. Or you just don’t have the words to describe your emotions. Life is complicated, and sometimes simple words seem to fall short. 

If you’re blanking on how to answer those questions, there are tools to help. This week, I describe the feelings wheel in my video, The Feeling Wheel Changes Lives. 

If you can at least identify that you’re simply mad, sad, scared, peaceful, powerful or joyful, you can use the wheel to understand the nuances behind those feelings.

Maybe you realize that you’re not just sad, but ashamed. Or that your fear is actually deep insecurity. Knowing the specifics of your feelings helps you figure out why you feel this way, and how to process it. 

If you know yourself and your feelings, you’ll have a better sense of control in your life.

You can’t calm your anxiety, for example, if you don’t know you’re anxious in the first place. And the feelings wheel provides a great tool: the ability to speak to what’s going on inside you. 

Once you’re familiar with the words on the wheel, there are other ways to connect with your emotions.

These include meditating, examining your physical reactions to feelings, and avoiding judging how you feel.

I’ve got a challenge for you.

Go online, print out a picture of the feeling wheel. Put it in your pocket, wallet, wherever. A few times a day, look at it and identify at least 2 feelings you’re having right then and there.  

Do that for a week, then answer me this question: Which of the 72 feelings do you feel the most? And which primary feelings are they coming from?

By Matt Burton