Emotion Checklists: Identifying Your Feelings, Pleasant and Not
When it comes your body or life, not much happens without emotion. To your brain, emotions are essential chemical signals that connect all the systems of your body 24/7, in a complex and sophisticated communication network like no other.
To your mind, or conscious and subconscious self, your body’s ability to transmit signals of emotion and physical sensations help you survive and thrive the myriad of social, intellectual and emotional (spiritual?) challenges of life, which are natural to your own unique growth and development patterns.
How vital is this communication? Quite. As it is impossible not to communicate or to relate, it’s a quality of life matter.
Like it or not, you are a walking-talking communication system. To be alive is to communicate, to relate, and to connect with the world within and around you. Your brain is a relationship organ, which makes you a social being at heart.
In a sense, to fully live is to be completely free to feel the full range of your emotions, pleasant and unpleasant, as action signals or messages that inform your choices, and not judgments of who you are.
To realize that you are not your emotions, however, and rather the conscious observer and creator, you need emotion mastery.
Emotion mastery is the ability to consciously connect and feel, process and regulate your emotions effectively, particularly the painful or unpleasant ones. This task is not easy for most of us, as our painful emotions are all rooted in fear, and our greatest fears are relationship or intimacy fears, such as: fear of rejection, abandonment, inadequacy, and so on.
Mastery of emotions involves whole body listening and makes effective communication with your self and others possible. There are several reasons to develop emotion mastery, to include that emotions:
- Inform your choices.
- Add meaning to life and to relationships.
- Help you to better understand your self, own wants, drives, dreams, etc.
- Facilitates better understanding of others and life around you.
- Matures and grows your wisdom or wise-self.
The foundation for building emotion mastery is an awareness of your inner world of emotions. For example, do you feel and connect to your emotions? Can you identify and feel a wide range of emotions? Are some taboo, ones you believe you shouldn’t feel or insist you’ve never felt? How do you feel or relate to emotions rooted in anger or fear?
Regardless your level of awareness at present, emotions are designed to add multiple dimensions of meaning to your life. They are to your body what electricity is to a lamp or fuel is to a car. The absence of optimal emotion states can leave you stranded, whereas knowing how to plug in or refuel, can keep you energized and on your way to a destination.
In other words, emotions are not just fluff or optional.
They have a physiological effect on your brain and body, for one, because they modulate the body’s autonomic nervous system accordingly. Fear-based versus love-based emotions produce dramatically different results inside you. For example, does a certain event activate overall fear-based emotions inside you (in which case your body is governed by fight-or-flee or sympathetic division of your autonomic nervous system) — or overall love-based emotions (governed by the parasympathetic division).
Translated, this means that, if you aren’t in charge of your emotions and choices in challenging situations in particular, your subconscious mind or body-mind will automatically “choose” how you respond (think, feel, act) — and you may not like the “results.”
Safe to say, communication is the tool of life. And this double-edged sword gives you a choice to communicate in a way that either creates and strengthens your relationships, to include the one with your self, or weakens and tears them down.
Below are two lists of emotion-words that express your feelings and physical sensations. While it is not an exhaustive list, it can be used to deepen your awareness and connection to your emotions and feelings.
PLEASANT — LOVE-BASED EMOTIONS
SECURE: safe, calm, comfortable, relaxed, relieved, trusting
LOVING: caring, warm, compassionate, affectionate, tender, friendly
ENGAGED: energetic, involved, interested, absorbed, fascinated
HAPPY: joyful, glad, pleased, delighted, amused, jubilant
CONFIDENT: optimistic, strong, empowered, hopeful, encouraged
GRATEFUL: appreciative, thankful, touched, satisfied, fulfilled
ELATED: thrilled, exhilarated, enchanted, exuberant, ecstatic
REFRESHED: renewed, restored, revived, invigorated, rejuvenated
SURPRISED: amazed, astonished, dazzled
PEACEFUL: calm, centered, serene, tranquil, still, blissful, mellow
UNPLEASANT – FEAR-BASED EMOTIONS
ANGRY: annoyed, irritated, upset, furious, enraged, resentful
SAD: depressed, discouraged, unhappy, disheartened, despair
SCARED: fearful, frightened, insecure, terrified, overwhelmed
UNEASY: agitated, restless, uncomfortable, unsettled
FRUSTRATED: aggravated, annoyed, exasperated, impatient, irritated
HATE: contempt, disgust, repulsed, enraged, animosity
CONFUSED: puzzled, torn, perplexed, ambivalent, discombobulated
WARY: leery, mistrustful, suspicious, apprehensive, anxious, guarded
VULNERABLE: sensitive, fragile, helpless, reserved, guarded
ALONE: disconnected, cold, alienated, withdrawn distant, apathetic
FATIGUE: depleted, beat, exhausted, cranky, lethargic, tired, weary
GUILTY: liable, regret, remorse, awful, bad, culpable
EMBARRASSED: shocked, ashamed, flustered, self-conscious
PAIN: hurt, agony, despair, devastated, alone, lost, miserable, bitter
Staik, A. (2013). Emotion Checklists: Identifying Your Feelings, Pleasant and Not. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2017, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2013/03/emotion-checklists-identifying-your-feelings-pleasant-and-not/