Accepting and Labeling Emotions

No emotion is bad. You are allowed to feel any emotion that you are feeling. Breathe into it and feel it. Describe it. Talk about it. Write about it. Observe it without judging it. In her book, Emotional Agility, Susan David says,

Learning to label emotion with a more nuanced vocabulary can be absolutely transformative. People who can identify the full spectrum of emotion – who realize how, for example, sadness differs from boredom, or pity, or loneliness, or nervousness – do much, much better at managing the ups and downs of ordinary existence than those who see everything in black and white (85).

Think about how different it is to say, “I’m stressed” versus, “I feel lonely and afraid when no one will sit with me at lunch and I’m not sure what to do about it.” Being able to identify and label your emotions will help you understand what goals you can make and what support you may need along the way.

Discussion: What were the last big emotions you felt? How would you describe what they felt like?

Goal: Take the time to notice your emotions throughout the day. When you come home tonight, we can talk about them. Or you can write about them anytime throughout the day. 

Affirmation: You are wonderful and I love you.

References: Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life By Susan DavidE

Author: Mini Gems for Kids

I live in Santa Barbara California with my husband and 3 kids. Reading is a favorite past-time and lifeline in my life. I feel giddy with excitement when I find valuable wisdom and inspiration in books. This is my space to share these life-changing lessons in bite-sized format for my kids. I believe with the right information, they can train their brains to think about life’s experiences in productive, positive and powerful ways.

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