7 Amazing Steps For Identifying Your Emotions 

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t really know what’s going on inside of you? Do you seem to jump from one mood to the next? Do you act impulsively, and you aren’t sure why?

Identifying your emotions can help you better understand yourself, your behaviors, and your overall emotional well-being. This work can be a key part of your mental health. Let’s get some top tips for attuning to your feelings.

Look at a Feelings Wheel or Chart

One of the simplest ways to start identifying your emotions is by visually looking at the different kinds of emotions. You can practice this technique by printing out a feeling wheel and referring to it several times a day.

It’s important to remember that you can feel several emotions at one time. For instance, you might feel jealous of a friend’s exciting promotion but happy for her success. Or, you might feel sad when someone you love dies but relieved that they are no longer struggling from their debilitating medical condition.

Become Aware of Feelings in Your Body

Our bodies often react far more intensely to emotions than our minds do. It’s why we might clench our firsts when we feel angry, cry when we feel sad, or experience chest tightness when we feel anxious.

You can practice becoming more aligned with your body by integrating more body awareness in your daily life. Consider engaging more in meditation or progressive muscle relaxation- notice the parts of your body that feel stiff, tired, or achy. Think about the emotions that arise when you engage in certain physical activities, like yoga or running, or even basic housework.

Pay attention to how your body might feel at different times of the day. When you identify having a certain feeling, scan your body- is it confirming that same emotion?

Use Creative Expression

Drawing, poetry, photography, dance- these are all fantastic mediums to identify and express your emotions. Many people rely on art to help them better understand themselves.

The next time you aren’t sure how you feel, consider breaking out crayons and paper. Allow yourself to draw whatever comes to mind. Do you notice any themes? Any emotions that arise? Any fears?

Even if the creative expression doesn’t reveal the entire story, it may provide some telling clues about your inner world.

Journal Regularly

There’s no doubt that journaling has numerous mental health benefits. Committing to a regular writing practice can help strengthen your emotional intelligence.

If you aren’t sure how to journal, remember that you don’t need to follow any overly rigid rules. Instead, consider these basic tips:

  • try to write every day (at the same time, preferably).
  • get yourself an attractive journal with a nice pen.
  • if you want to type instead of hand-write, make sure you keep your document protected with a password.
  • avoid worrying about spelling or grammar.
  • just write whatever comes to mind at that moment!

Talk Freely Without Expectations

Sometimes, we don’t know exactly how we’re feeling until we start interacting with someone else. Then, through vulnerable dialogue, we learn more about ourselves and our emotions.

This is why having a solid support system is so critical. You need compassionate, non-judgmental friends who genuinely care about your well-being. You also need to feel safe sharing your thoughts and feelings with them.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, take the plunge and call a friend. You can start the conversation with a simple, I’m just feeling a bit off right now. Can I talk to you about it? Chances are, they will be eager to support you in any way they can.


If you don’t already meditate, it’s a good idea to consider adding this practice into your daily routine. Even just a few minutes of deep breathing can make a tremendous difference in how you feel.

In addition, meditation may help you become more aware of your body sensations, emotions, and physical state. Learning to let go of outside distractions- while leaning into your breath- allows you to become more connected with your authentic self.

You can start meditating by simply setting a timer, closing your eyes, and taking several deep breaths. Or, you might prefer following a guided script- these scripts offer prompts and suggestions during your meditation practice.

Identifying Your Emotions with a Therapist

Feelings can be tricky, but therapy may augment your journey towards strengthening your emotional intuition. Therapy provides a supportive, professional environment for you to be yourself- without any pressure or expectations.

You might find that talking about certain issues helps you understand your feelings better. Similarly, you might learn how specific patterns trigger different emotional responses.

No matter your life circumstances, identifying and working through challenging emotions can help you feel more empowered in your daily life. Contact me today to learn more!

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

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