Avoid bad feelings. Suppress and move on. Emotions can’t hurt you when you don’t feel them…It doesn’t take a psychologist to guess where this is going.
Because of course, feelings you don’t feel don’t simply go away. They don’t seep into the ground never to return again. In fact, it’s more like the water cycle. Whatever the earth absorbs eventually comes back as rain. Except in this version of the water cycle, the more water that goes unused and unprocessed, the bigger the storm. Water you ignore comes back with fury, demanding your attention, raining big, angry drops on your head.
If I can’t pinpoint exactly how I’m feeling, but know, at the very least, I feel “bad,” I can then move on to the next layer. (Do I feel Bored, Busy, Stressed or Tired?) Then, I can even go one step deeper. If I feel Stressed, do I also feel Overwhelmed or Out of Control? Do I feel both? Even if there isn’t one “perfect” label to sum up how I’m feeling, it sets me in the right direction. It gives me some language to talk about how I feel. It’s better than “nothing.”
According to American psychologist Dr. Robert Plutchik, humans can experience 34,000 distinguishable emotions. He developed a wheel of emotions that looks a little different than mine, which you can find here. As stated in the resource about navigating Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, the “deeper” you get on the wheel, the more intense the emotional response. No matter what your Wheel of Emotions looks like, the concept is still the same — humans are capable of so many vast and complicated emotions. Identifying them is a practice. Dealing with them can be a strength. I included a bigger (and hopefully easier to read) version of my Wheel of Emotions below so you can take a look: