Some people love to talk about their emotions and others don’t. That’s OK, it’s just part of what makes us tick. For some, revealing their inner feelings and thoughts is so far from even a possibility that they would rather scale a brick wall. Regardless of where you are with sharing your feelings, there’s an important part of emotional and psychological health in knowing how to do it and, from time to time, practicing that skill.
Oftentimes emotions are a tangled web of thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which can include the experiences brought about by a particular mental illness. Did you know there are about 500 words in the English language to describe emotions and feelings? No wonder it’s so difficult to talk about! Although it can be hard to distinguish between some emotions, starting with the basics is a good place to begin.
Depending on your source, researchers say there are between four to six primary emotions. The important thing isn’t which research theory you want to go with, but the ability to boil the intricate jumble of emotions down to something that is manageable and a good starting place.
Here are the six “classic” emotions: Happiness, Surprise, Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust
This probably isn’t a grand revelation for many of us. However, the important thing is what you do with it. Keeping a journal of how you felt each day can help get you into the pattern of identifying emotions.
Mental Illness Can Make It Hard To Identify Emotions
For some who experience the difficulties of severe mental illness, the basic ability to identify these six emotions is a huge step. This can be confounding for loved ones who do not experience mental illness. Once we know what we’re feeling, it’s easier to know how to respond to it, and in some cases, to know how to share it.
If you have a loved one with severe mental illness and difficulty identifying emotions who is willing to work on it, identifying the basic emotions can be a good building block for many other coping skills and strategies for moving forward.
At the PTI, we have several tools and ideas that can help you and your loved ones in this process, and, most importantly, we understand that it’s a process. We’re here to partner with you for the long haul and we value each of our clients as people first. We are a one-stop shop for most services needed for mental health care and accept all major insurance carriers. Both of our offices in the Northshore/ Covington and Baton Rouge are standing by and ready to help you overcome your barriers to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and any other mental health related issue. Give us a call today to find out more about our services.
If you’re the type who’s into the scientific background of researching emotions, you might enjoy this short article from The Atlantic.