Emotions Wheel


Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing emotions, both within oneself and when interacting with others. But emotions are slippery things, and we don’t always feel in control the complex realm of emotions that can occur in our lives.

The emotions wheel offers a visual representation of a range of human emotions. The emotions are categorized into six primary feelings, each broken down in a set of more specific associated emotions. 

As with so many things in life, mastery begins with awareness. Focusing on what you are feeling helps you become more self-aware of your own emotions, enabling you to better manage stress, make better decisions, and respond to challenges with composure. Using a feelings wheel helps you identify the emotions you are feeling at a deeper level, giving you a moment to focus on what you are feeling, ask yourself why you are feeling that way, and pause to consider where you will go from there.

Use the tool below to help you better understand and move through your emotions. 

Reflection Questions

When you next find yourself experiencing a strong emotion, reflect on the questions below, using the emotions wheel to help guide you.

1. What emotions immediately resonate with me in this moment?

2. What past experiences come up for me in this moment?

3. Where do I feel these emotions in my body?

4. What one thing can I do to calm these emotions?

5. What story can I write or re-write to alleviate any mental or emotional suffering I am feeling as a result of these emotions?

Things to Remember

When using the wheel, it is important to remember three things about human emotions:

1. Emotions are impermanent. No matter how intense, they are temporary. Never make a permanent decision in a short-term emotional state. This too shall pass.

2. Emotions do not reflect who we are. They simply reflect our reaction to experience, and present themselves because of the story we attach to that experience.

3. Emotions are wonderful messengers. There is wisdom in everything we feel. When we can consciously observe what we are feeling, we learn more about ourselves.

It is time to activate your most joyful life.

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