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  • Writer's pictureHayley Stevens

The Feelings Wheel- How Understanding Your Emotions Will Improve Your Mood

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Sometimes it can be difficult to express and pinpoint the emotions we are feeling. Without being able to pinpoint these emotions and put them into words we aren’t able to understand or get to the root cause of why we are feeling a certain way and improve our mood.

The Feelings Wheel was developed by Dr Gloria Wilcox and is great for helping with this! The wheel has six core feelings: mad, scared, joyful, powerful, peaceful and sad. A secondary ring of words helps narrow those feelings down. A third, outer ring gets even more specific. In all, there are 72 adjectives to link to your feelings.

Lets look at an example... Lets say that you have been feeling quite sad. Starting at the inner wheel at 'sad' we can see that this is mostly likely because you have been feeling either guilty, ashamed, depressed, lonely, bored or tired. Getting even more specific you may be feeling remorseful, stupid, inferior, isolated, apathetic or sleepy. By understanding the true emotion we are able to use this to find solution that would make us feel better. For instance 'I am feeling sad because I feel lonely and isolated' could lead to solutions such as taking up a group hobby, or moving in with a room mate or reaching out to friends to meet more.

Understanding your emotions and using words to get to the root of the feeling is extremely empowering and enlightening. It can help with a range of issues such relationship problems, frustrations at work or within friendships groups.

You can also use the wheel to look at how you would like to be feeling in its reflection. For instance if you would like to feel joyful then you need to be experiencing the feelings that lead to that, as shown in the outer wheel and then work out what steps can you take in your life to get there?

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