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Learning How to Recognize Your Emotions and Feelings

Learning How to Recognize Your Emotions and Feelings

What are you feeling right now? Answering this question can be difficult for some people when they are not in touch with their feelings. It is not always that easy for them to decipher the exact emotions they are currently experiencing. Part of the cause for this has to do with how our parents taught us about emotions and feelings.

For instance, you grew up in a home where you were taught to suppress and hide feelings considered “bad,” like anger. As you get older, you tend to stick with what you have been taught. There are times when you might get angry at a coworker. Rather than dealing with the emotion you push it aside.

Recognize Your Emotions and Feelings


Anytime you get upset, you continue to push anger down inside. Eventually, you can build up so much suppressed anger you can no longer take it and just explode. The person that triggers the explosion may not actually be the one that should receive it. They just happen to be present when you finally reached your anger capacity.

If you were to examine the causes of your anger, you might start making a list of different events and people that made you mad, such as:

  • The person that cut you off in traffic;
  • The lady in the express checkout with more items than allowed;
  • A coworker that tried to blame you for not getting a project done, etc.

All of these things will eventually need to be released. However, if you knew how to better recognize your emotions and feelings, you can avoid major blowups. Instead, you would learn to address each situation as it arose and deal with anger in each instance.

Doing so not only allows you to determine the underlying feelings that triggered the anger, but also is healthier for you. People that suppress anger all the time are under more stress and anxiety. They tend to have elevated heart rates. When they do explode, there is a risk of triggering a heart attack or stroke if they are not that healthy.

Being Allowed to Feel ALL of Your Emotions

As we become more in touch with our feelings, it gradually becomes easier and easier to express them in constructive manners. For example to express anger, you could do one or more of the following:

  • Scream Into a Pillow
  • Exercise
  • Punch a Punching Bag
  • Walk Away from the Situation and Spend Some Time Alone
  • Use Yoga or Mediation Techniques to Calm Down
  • Take Deep Breaths and Count to 10 or 100

While expressing your anger using a constructive method, it is equally important to think about what made you angry in the first place and identify associated feelings. Oftentimes, it is the associated feelings that trigger the anger. Getting in touch with these feelings and learning how to express them can help reduce how often you get angry.

For further help learning how to recognize and express all of your emotions and feelings, please feel free to contact Toronto marriage, couples, and individual counsellor, Ellen Starr at 416-488-3102 to schedule an appointment today!

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What Our Clients Say

Marc (August 2013, 5 stars)

I’ve been seeing Ellen since 2009 and the experience has been incredibly valuable. I first came to her because I had a lot of doubts about a relationship in. She helped me through a big break up and the rebound afterwards. We even maintained our sessions for a number of years afterwards. Because of her I’m much more in tune with my emotions and needs. I highly recommend her services for anyway with relationship and intimacy difficulties

April 6, 2016

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