March 8, 2021

How to Recognize Emotions and What to Do with Them?

A major part of your psychological health is healthy communication. This is the reason people going through psychotherapy often call it the talking cure. The ability to find and name your emotions and not find yourself overwhelmed is called emotional intelligence or self-awareness. 

It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but there are different ways of recognizing emotions, understanding them and learning to deal with them. Because your body uses a defense mechanism that helps hide your feelings, it may not be easy to detect exactly how you're feeling. Opening up and speaking of your feelings is a process done in two steps.

Identifying Emotions

Emotion is a powerful feeling you get from your mood, relationships with other persons, or circumstances. Even though the word emotion can seem like vague and all encompassing, categorizing it makes it simpler to understand. For example:


  • Feelings - feelings are the perception of your body's state, such as your heart pounding in fear.


  • The urge or an impulse to act - for example, when you're angry, your first reaction is to shout or hit.


  • Your thinking or thought pattern - your thoughts are your inner conversations. One example of your thinking process is depression. When you're depressed, your thinking becomes repetitive and slow.


  • Attention - this is when you focus on a specific thing, such as when you're anxious, your focus narrows, and you only think that something will go wrong.


Recognizing an emotional state

Emotional recognition is an essential part of your interpersonal relationships. To help recognize an emotional state, you can use the circumplex model, which defines your emotions by using two variables, arousal and valence, to identify which emotional state you are in. If you follow the steps below, you'll be capable of identifying your emotional pattern.


  1. Ask yourself how are you feeling at this moment? Does it feel good to be you right now? Rate your valence on a scale of -5 to +5 unpleasant to pleasant; this enables you to describe your emotional events in detail.


  1. What's taking place in your body? Are you feeling good, agitated, restless, energized, or lethargic? If you were to exercise, how'd you feel about doing it? Then rate yourself on a scale of -5 to +5 about your state of arousal or energy level.


  1. Why did the situation happen? This is the perfect time to pinpoint why you're in such emotional turmoil. You mustn't miss this crucial step because it allows you to evaluate events that occur around you that go into determining your emotional state.


  1. Identify and label your emotions - Identifying what emotion you are experiencing will allow you to detach yourself from it.


  1. Realizing your emotion's impermanence - All emotions you feel are impermanent because they will appear and disappear at different times depending on the situation. Allowing yourself to witness and identify them will help you to cope better.


Now that you have done that- you can use an emotional state chart to identify your emotions.

If you do not have access to an emotional state chart, you can search on Google to find an example and follow it. You can also use a journal to log your emotions.

Managing your emotional state

To manage your emotions effectively, you must learn how to recognize them accurately. People often try to ignore their emotions, which allows them to build up. The result of denying your emotions is a lack of self-awareness. Often, people have trouble identifying their emotions and end up at the mercy of an adverse emotional reaction. To identify what's happening, you should:

Identify what is causing you to stress

Identifying what caused you to feel the way you do. It helps to take a day from each week or month and deconstruct your feelings. You should pay close attention to situations where you feel have no control, because when you have no control, it can lead to a negative emotional reaction. 

How therapy can help with expressing your emotions 

Children are taught how to display their emotions; what is appropriate and inappropriate when growing up. These emotions differ depending on the home, school, and environment where they grow up and spend their time. A combination of emotions is used to assess the situations that are faced daily.

Using these emotions is how you develop your personality. Emotional recognition is how you cope emotionally in this world. Sometimes these emotions get overwhelming, which can cause you to seek counseling. An example of counseling is anger management; where a trained therapist helps you to express and control your anger.

Grief and bereavement therapy sessions help people who have suffered a loss and don't know how to cope with the overwhelming flood of emotions that accompanies such an event. While these are some of the reasons people seek therapy; there are other reasons as well. 

Individual Therapy

A trained professional therapist helps people work out their personal issues, especially when they have difficulty coping. These sessions also help with mental illnesses. Individual therapy allows for the patient to confidently talk to a professional about the problems they're facing. It doesn't always mean that the problem will disappear, but it equips them with the necessary tools to cope.

Emotional Therapy

In this type of therapy, the therapist encourages the patient to collaborate actively. The emotional therapy process allows the patient to move from lacking emotional awareness to recognizing emotions they are feeling and coping with them. It is believed that avoiding the decision-making process can cause more harm than good. 

Therapy sessions are there to assist with emotions that are inside of you, but you have difficulty expressing. Even if you don't feel the need to seek therapy, sometimes it can help you uncover emotions buried deep within. Because emotions are deeply layered, these therapy sessions allow you to locate them.

Therapy sessions afford you a safe, comfortable space to express your emotions. You get to unpack all your pent-up feelings and look deeper within yourself.