How are you feeling right now? No, really. Like how are you feeling? Specifically. One thing I’ve been hearing from people a lot lately – especially after the events of January 6th – is that they don’t even know anymore. Their feelings are so jumbled up, they are so raw, that they can’t even connect to their emotions.

Personally, I’ve always had trouble naming my feelings. And part of that problem (part….) is a basic lack of vocabulary. It’s hard to name things when you don’t have the right words.

And if you don’t have the right words for your emotions, it is hard to connect with what you are feeling. Which makes self-awareness more difficult. It also makes it harder for you to communicate what you are feeling to others, which makes it hard to connect to others.

Luckily, having the right words is actually an easy fix. ENTER THE EMOTION WHEEL. There are so many versions of this out there. This one is from the Junto Institute.

So next time you are feeling all the feelz, and they are starting to get overwhelming, pull out this wheel. Start by finding a word that resonates – maybe you start in the center and work your way out (I tend to gravitate to the middle circle myself) – and look at the emotions that are more and less specific than the one you picked. Find the ones that define your feelings right now.

Knowing your emotions is an important step in connecting with yourself and with others. It’s just a start to a much larger process, but it is an important start. As Hermione Granger famously said “fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” When we name something, we gain some power over it. We start to give it hard edges; it becomes more tangible, more finite.

So, how are you feeling right now?

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