Do you use words like stressed, fine, anxious, bad, good or okay to describe how you feel?
Research is showing that even naming or labelling your emotions starts to calm down the nervous system, and people who are able to put their emotions into words with some specificity are less likely to be overwhelmed in stressful situations.
Anxious is not an emotion. If you were to get specific about your emotional state when you feel anxious, what would you come up with? Nervous? Worried? Scared? Afraid?
A study found that individuals who were able to recount a difficult situation in a journal and precisely pinpoint the emotions that arose, seemed to experience less stress and coped better, compared to those who were less able to be specific and differentiate their emotional responses.
Emotional granularity isn’t just about having a rich vocabulary; it’s about experiencing the world, and yourself, with more nuance, more precisely. This can make a difference in your life. There is growing scientific evidence that precisely tailored emotional experiences are good for you, even when describing negative experiences, as evidenced by this study: Unpacking Emotion Differentiation: Transforming Unpleasant Experience by Perceiving Distinctions in Negativity
A great way to expand your emotional vocabulary at the start is to have a list of emotional states to refer to. Have a look at the Emotion Wheel from Junto Institute. It helps to get very precise with mood states.
If you use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), this emotional vocabulary really helps to get specific! Use it the next time you create your EFT Setup Statement and notice what’s different.
Consider attending one of my workshops on Emotional health to learn how acknowledging and mobilising emotions regulates interactions, physical health, and our responses to daily stress. Learn to use your emotions as your guideposts rather than something to manage or control.
Next time instead of stressed, anxious, fine or okay, notice your specific feelings. Maybe you don’t just feel good, maybe you feel cheerful and happy!Share this on by