In order to understand the hidden feeling and the unmet need and to use your feelings to inform your decisions and create connections with others, it’s important to be able translate what is happening in that moment and how you’re feeling, to yourself and to others.

Interwoven throughout the course are elements that are designed to enable you to develop and hone your ability to put language to felt experience, so you can turn emotions and sensations into feelings and clarity. If you’ve grown up in a household where these conversations don’t really happen, it can take time and practise to develop this language so be patient with yourself.

 

 

Tools and tactics for language development:

  • Journaling: to express freely thoughts, emotions and experiences, an outlet to make sense of and untangle these aspects of yourself helping to develop emotional vocabulary and self-awareness. This makes it much easier to then express this to others.
  • Body Scan Meditation: this came up in the Mastering Emotion-Regulation module and helps create language of emotion by coming to recognise how emotions are held in the body and experienced physically, warmth in the stomach for joy, weight and tightness in the chest for anxiousness. Go back and repeat this practise.
  • Creative Expression: utilise outlets such as drawing, music or dance to express yourself. We’ll explore this further in a subsequent module. It can provide alternative ways to express how you feel if words alone feel inadequate, particularly true for somatic and bodily held emotions.
  • Therapeutic Writing prompts: in the Mastering Emotion Regulation module, we explored specific ways to journal including sentence starters to help prompt exploration of specific feelings and experiences. Can be particularly helpful if you’re not sure where to start at that particular moment of perhaps you’re new to this way of processing and expressing yourself.
  • Letter Writing: letter writing to yourself when you are experiencing conflicting emotions can be a powerful way to detangle the confusing jumble of emotions. For example, writing a letter from the part of you that feels hurt and upset, to the part of you that is critising yourself for not doing or being better can allow you to externalise your emotions, and provide a sense of relief and catharsis. Look back at the Decoding Anxiety Module for a reminder on how to do this.
  • The feelings wheel: whether you’re expressing yourself verbally or in a written form one aspect of identifying and clarifying how you feel is attaching the descriptive term to the emotion or physical sensation so you can fully know how you feel. To help you become adapt at doing this, I have a super useful tool, the feelings wheel, that we’ll look at in the next section.

 

Engaging in these exercises regularly will help develop your self-awareness and your ability to notice, articulate and process your emotions to improve your emotional intelligence and communication skills, both with yourself and others. This awareness and sense of knowing yourself better, will naturally help you to feel a sense of calm and safety and reduce that anxiety that can be troublesome.