5 Quick Tips to Learn How to Identify Your Emotions

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Feelings are complex and often difficult to identify. We want to help you learn how to identify your emotions. For the next few weeks, use this list to develop the skills to recognize and name your feelings.

  1. Physical​ ​sensations:​

Feelings typically involve a body reaction, such as increased heart rate, changes in breathing, sweating, trembling and even shaking. Examine your physical response to the situations. Recognize the change in the body. Is there tightness in your chest, sinking feeling in your stomach, or increase in your body temperature?

  1. Location:​

Recognize where you feel the sensation in your body. Do you feel it in your chest, stomach, neck, head, or other parts of your body?

  1. Intensity​ ​and​ ​duration:​

On a scale 1-10 (with 10 being most intense), how intense is the sensation and feeling? How long does it last?

  1. Thoughts:​

​Feelings are influenced by thoughts and perceptions. What were you thinking?

  1. Give​ ​it​ ​a​ ​name:​

Now it is time to identify the feeling. Give the emotion a name. You can use the list of emotions on the back of this page for help.


Make a habit of writing down these 5 steps, keep the paper in your purse or pocket. This will evolve to you understanding your emotions and better understanding yourself.

About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653