Please feel free to print this out. Emotions Wheel
This is how I (Steve) have used this resource:
- Start with the six big categories (Love, Joy, Peace, Sadness, Fear, Anger) and see if I notice one or two of those hitting home for me. If I am struggling to even notice that, I sometimes use the physical descriptors on the outer part of the circle to help me identify what I’m feeling.
- After I notice what big category or two I’m feeling, I use the word list to get more specific. Am I feeling anxious-afraid, or panicked-afraid? Feel free to add new words to your lists. This is just a starter page.
- Once I feel like I have a pretty accurate noticing of how I’m feeling, I try to notice how it makes me feel to know that. For example, if I come to the conclusion that I am ticked-off-angry at God, I might notice that now I feel guilty about that.
- Now I just tell God what I noticed: “God, I’m noticing that I’m pretty ticked-off at you for ________________. And just saying that makes me feel guilty. I don’t want to be ticked-off at you, but I’m angry. _________________ really hurt me. Where are you in this?” Hebrews 10:22 talks about drawing near to God with a “true heart” – an “uncovered” “non-mask-wearing” heart. Use this time to tell God everything you have experienced about _________________ that is making you ticked-off-angry.
- Now it is time to listen to God’s Spirit who loves to speak to you. Keep the eyes of your heart and your spiritual ears open to the Spirit’s response. Write down what you notice and compare it to the character of God as revealed in the scriptures. Talk with a trusted friend about what God shares with you and listen for what the Spirit says through them. Search the scriptures and find God’s words for you in what you are feeling.
- I have found that God is faithful, compassionate, creative, and full of grace for me when I honestly share what I notice about myself…even when I don’t understand what I notice.
FYI…I have discovered that I often have two simultaneous feelings (one of the lighter emotions [love, joy, peace] and one of the darker emotions [sadness, fear, anger]). Not every day, but most days this has been true. When you do this, you might be tempted to think, “I did something wrong.” Don’t judge what you find, just bring it to God and listen to what he has to say. If you find yourself judging what you find, tell him that too!