My vocabulary for my feelings contains three words: “bad,” “worse,” and “ouch!” So my therapist decided to expand it a tad and sent me home with a sheet of emoticons listing -- I kid you not, 50 different feelings on one side alone. There are four emotions that start with the letter A alone: angry, annoyed, anxious apologetic. This exercise was helpful to circle the emotions that I’m truly feeling so that I had an accurate, or let’s say “sophisticated” knowledge of my discomfort. Now I can say that I’m peeved in six different ways, and I also know what next steps I may need to do to feel better. For example, if I realize that I am actually hurt by something my mother said – not just depressed in general about my life – I can decide whether or not I want to confront her. Of course, should I do that, I will need to go back to my paper of emoticons and circle a few more.
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