Building Emotional Awareness

“Name it to tame it.” 

Building awareness of your emotions is important;  knowing what you are experiencing and what you need, to determine where you are going. Being able to name your emotions can sometimes be enough to tame your emotions, this may mean it changes the emotion or lowers the intensity you are experiencing with emotion.

  1. Take a look at the feelings wheel & try to identify emotions on one of the two outer layers; fill in the statement “I feel ____because ____” By using the outer two layers it gives more description to a core emotion you are likely used to identifying with.
  2. Once you’ve identified the emotion ask yourself “what do I need to feel the opposite?”


  • I feel overwhelmed and worried because I have 4 tests coming up. What do I need? I need to structure my time to dedicate specific amount of time for each class.
  • I feel lonely since the end of my relationship. What do I need? I need socialization time & will ask a friend to go to supper

As you learn to become more aware of your emotions, it may be difficult to do in the moment of distress. Putting some time and distance between you and the experience by doing daily self-reflections of your experiences may be more helpful as you build this skill; as you reflect back on an experience often times you can see it from a different perspective.

Kati Schneider

Schneider, Kati M - Embedded Staff Therapist, UCS, College of Business