Emotions – Live Well Centre

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Emotions can be really hard to deal with. Sometimes they can be upsetting, scary, or confusing – especially if you’re not sure why you feel the way you do.

What are emotions and feelings?

First let’s look at the difference between emotions and feelings.


This is how we feel about something, and how our body reacts. For example, if we’re scared, we might feel our heart beating faster or notice our hands shaking.


This is how we experience our emotions and give meaning to them. They are different for everyone. For example, you might associate your hands shaking with feeling anxious.

Listening to your emotions

It’s really important that we don’t avoid or ignore our emotions. They’re there to tell us something.

For example, if you’re walking down a dark alley at night, you may be scared of what dangers could be there in the dark. In response, your body shifts into high alert. Your heart rate may rise in preparation for a fight or flight response. In this situation, fear is there to keep you safe by getting your body ready to protect yourself if you’re in danger.

One of the best way to explore your emotions is to write it down. The emotion wheel can be great for this.

The emotion wheel

1. Write down a list of thoughts and feelings. These can be things you’re feeling now, things you might feel in the future, or things you’ve felt in the past.

2. Attach a colour to each thought or feeling. To remember them, you can draw a squiggle of colour at the side of each thought or feeling (creating a key).

3. Draw a large circle in the middle of your page.

4. Now, decide on the proportions (amounts) for your thoughts and feelings, and fill in the circle with those colours. For example, if you feel angry a lot of the time, you might decide to have at least half of the circle in the ‘anger’ colour. If you also feel sad and scared sometimes, you might have some of your circle in ‘sad’ and ‘fear’ colours – but smaller amounts than ‘anger’.

5. Once you’ve completed your colour wheel, think about:

  • which emotion you’d like to feel more
  • what would you need to do, or change in your life, to make that happen

You can also download the emotions worksheet to use.

Unfortunately the PDF is not accessible, but you can do this activity without it – the instructions are available above.

If you want to explore your emotions further, you can contact our team, or find more worksheets on Mind’s website.

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