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Emotional Awareness is Your Personal GPS

ei: emotions chart

[You have a copy of the chart in Materials Tab)

To identify and understand one’s emotions, you need to have a vocabulary of feelings. This enables you to accurately label one’s emotions and those of others and distinguish between different complex emotional experiences. Research shows that the ability to label emotional experiences with a high degree of specificity (i.e., being able to explain different emotional experiences with detail and accuracy) slows down the reactivity of emotional expression.  

A strong emotional vocabulary enhances emotional regulation and expression. This enhances communication. Without the ability to name one’s emotions it becomes more difficult to receive the type of support that is most helpful.


The goal of this exercise is to increase your level of emotional awareness. The exercise invites you to define feelings or emotions in terms of the thoughts that usually accompany them.


This exercise is invaluable for gaining more clarity about upsetting thoughts, especially when one may not know why one is upset.

This exercise can be a valuable first step in helping you share their emotions and feelings by helping you name them first.

This exercise can be combined with (brief) mindfulness exercises. For instance, doing a short meditation like the “3-minute breathing space” before engaging in the exercise can help you get more in touch with present feelings and emotions.

Download the exercise. This is a powerful activity and it will help to transform any emotions that are stuck or not serving you. Emotions do not die. They stay stored up in our body, mind and spirit and drains precious energy.