Processing feelings and emotions has been difficult for me. My childhood home environment provided little nurturing in this department. As an adult, frustration left me longing to be like Spock. If confronted with an emotional event, I would just lift one eyebrow and say, “fascinating,” and leave it at that.
Learning to recognize, acknowledge, and express what I am feeling is hard, but well worth the effort. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take the challenge. I started with an illustration of The Feelings Wheel. Developed by Dr. Gloria Willcox in 1982, the wheel is a way to put words to emotions. By defining feelings, we increase our emotional awareness and transform negatives into positives.
In place of judging ourselves for having sad or negative feelings, we can process what is at the root of our emotions and begin healing. Instead of keeping everything bottled up and about to explode like a shaken soda pop, the feelings wheel helped give myself permission to feel and express feelings positively.
Although it sounds simple, putting words, not judgements, on how we are feeling is freeing and helpful, especially in a journal. Defining specific feelings allows us to focus on what is most important for our mental health.
This month’s Action Sheet will be a different take on the feelings wheel. It includes Bible references to help find God’s encouragement. Download the original feelings wheel from the makers of the Calm App here.
Just like Spock, I learned that recognizing and expressing my emotions is an essential part of being human, of being me!
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Hebrews 4:14-16