As we grow up, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. Knowing our
feelings help us know what we want and make choices. It helps us relate
to other people. Even difficult feelings (like anger or sadness) help us know
Paying attention to feelings is a skill that anyone can practice. Here are some
things to try:
Notice and name your feelings. To start, just notice how you
feel as things happen. Say the name of the feeling to yourself. For example, you might
say, "I feel proud" when a class presentation goes well, "I feel disappointed" at
not doing well on a test, or, "I feel friendly" when sitting with a group at lunch.
Track one emotion. Pick one emotion — like joy. Track
it all day. Notice how often you feel it. Every time, make a mental note to yourself
or write it down. Is the feeling mild, medium, or strong?
Learn new words for feelings. How many different feelings can
you name? Try thinking of even more. How many words are there for "angry"? For example,
you might be annoyed, mad, irate, or fuming.
Keep a feelings journal. Take a few minutes each day to write
about how you feel and why. Writing about your feelings is a way to express them.
You can also make art, write poetry, or compose music that captures an emotion you
Notice feelings in art, songs, and movies. Pay attention to what
the artist did to show those feelings. How do you feel in response?
The more you are aware of your emotions, the more they help you know yourself and
understand the people around you. Noticing and talking about feelings is a healthy
way to express them. It keeps difficult feelings from building up.