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Learning How to Identify Emotions at All Ages

Emotions are the one thing that make us stand apart from other living beings.  Yet again and again I find so few people know how to identify their emotions, let alone express them.  I myself have a hard time really pinpointing what I am feeling at any given moment, but the sheet for emotions helps a lot.

Not learning how to acknowledge, accept, and express feelings in a healthy way leads to all kind of addictions and problems in society.  Emotions not expressed become toxic.  I think people with ADHD / ADD are especially at risk for this because our minds move so quickly that by the time we start to focus on one another has popped up.

So I think we need to try extra hard.  Create little tips and cheat sheets that remind us how to differentiate them, and what their intensity is so we know how important the feeling is to our actions. The linked chart does a really good job of breaking up emotions — not just by type but by intensity.  If we are feeling sad, are we feeling only slightly sad or extremely sad?  And how do we communicate that to others?

I’m sharing this today because it has helped me, yes, even a 38-year-old.  We need to constantly check in with ourselves and how we are feeling to get clues about our life.  Are we acting out of fear, love, or anger?

What other tools help you really recognize and express emotions in a healthy way?

Learning How to Identify Emotions at All Ages

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Learning How to Identify Emotions at All Ages. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Apr 2010
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