Feelings and Emotions

Feelings can be hard to make sense of. You might not even know why you feel a certain way. All feelings are OK. You can be furious, or sad, or worried.  You are human and like everyone else you’re going to experience all sorts of emotions in your lifetime. 

Being unhappy, angry or worried is fine. It becomes a problem when you can’t stop feeling like that for no obvious reason. What is good to remember is that while feelings are OK;  it’s what you do with those feelings that really matter.  We want you to be able to cope in the best possible way. Remember we are all unique and special. We ALL feel emotions differently. 

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emotions v feelings

Understanding feelings...

Think of some feelings / emotions - how many can you name?

Can you come up with a feeling word for every letter of the alphabet (“Xcited" for X doesn't count!).

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However, there are some basic emotions:

But of course it's not that simple!

Within these 'basic' feelings there are different strengths of feeling (There is a difference between feeling a bit peeved about something and full on rage)

Feelings words

There's also a huge number of words to describe feelings and their strength

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feelings words graphic 

Mixed Feelings

We can also have ‘mixed feelings’ and experience several feelings at the same time (excited to be going on a giant rollercoaster but feeling scared about it too..).

 mixed feelings graphic

Naming and Taming!

Being able to recognise and understand how you're feeling is a great way to able to manage feelings. Psychologist Dan Siegal says "name them to tame them".

It's also good to be able to name and talk about your feelings with others including trusted adults Especially BIG feelings that can be a bit scary and feel overwhelming.  Sharing them can help you make sense of what maybe happening and make them less overwhelming.

Everyone has feelings and we all feel emotions differently. Remember ‘It’s OK’ to have any emotion (Sad, Angry, Anxious) but it is what you do with those feelings and how you manage them that really matters. Feelings can change and; even if you are feeling really anxious or sad now it CAN get better.


Feelings in the brain and body

You body and brain are connected and our body can give us messages about what we may be feeling. These are called Early Warning Signs.

As well as recognising and understanding our feelings it also helpful to understand the links between how we think, feel and behave

Feeling thoughts behaviours

Find out more about your brain and feelings, thoughts and behaviour

 The "What Am I Feeling?" section of the Toolkit is a quick, not very serious, way to check in with your feelings.

You could use a feelings journal or tracker as a way to get to know your feelings. There are some ideas in the toolkit