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Feelings can be confusing things.  It is very common to feel a range of things all at once, and have trouble sorting them out.  It is also common to “mask” a difficult feeling with another one – for example, hiding sadness and hurt with anger as a defence.

What we usually term as “negative” emotions (such as sadness, anger, fear) are usually stronger and more obvious than positive emotions (such as joy, awe, pride) which tend to be gentler and more fleeting – even though they usually occur in pretty much equal numbers.

However, negative feelings can be useful.  They can alert you to a problem, such as someone crossing a boundary or something not being right for you.  They can also be helpful in providing the energy you need to change things.  However, if you struggle to identify exactly what you are feeling then it can be difficult to decide exactly what you want to do about a situation.  It can also be hard to put feelings into words when you need to explain them to someone else for support or help.

Enter the “Feelings Wheel”!  There are examples here and here.  You can use these wheels to pick out words which you think apply to how you are feeling and move inwards to find the ‘root’ of the feeling or outwards to look at emotions and behaviours which might link to what you are feeling.

As always, take it with a pinch of salt – if it feels wrong to you then that is okay.  This is just a tool to help you along and doesn’t know you better than you know yourself!