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DBT Self-Help Resources: Emotions List

Using an Emotions List to help Label an Emotion

Some people are more adept at labelling their emotions than others. Some people just can’t seem to name what they are currently feeling. They might say that they felt bad or upset, but pinning down what that actually means for them is more challenging. Many people walk around in this kind of emotional fog.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are feeling, you can’t do much to change it. People who can name their emotions are more capable of managing them, so it is important to become more familiar with your emotions and learn to identify them.

Once you are more capable of naming your emotions, you’ll have more choices in terms of what to do with an emotion if it makes you feel uncomfortable and you would prefer to at least reduce its intensify. Many people with emotion dysregulation grow up without learning this important information, so for some people it takes a lot of time to get the hang of naming their emotions. Be patient. If you get frustrated, reframe this process as if you are learning a new language. In fact, that’s exactly what is happening: you are learning the language of emotion.

Anytime you are unable to identify the emotion you are experiencing refer to the Emotions List. Reading through it, you should be able to find a word that closely describes the emotion that you are experiencing.

        

(Source: capaldilieu)

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