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  • Kevin Patton

Name That Emotion

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Emotions are normal and everyone experiences them; but, when we are distressed, it can feel as if our brain has been hijacked and the distress can be so intense that it can be overwhelming and we struggle with the emotion as well as the situation.

When we experience really strong emotions, we can get caught up in old patterns of unhelpful and unworkable coping strategies such as using substances, self-harming or unhealthy eating habits.

Emotions, thoughts and what we do (or feel the urge to do) are all linked and become vicious cycles. Changing one part of the cycle will help improve the situation and work as a positive move.

If we can identify and name the emotion we are feeling, we can begin to understand why we react the way we do – in our thoughts, our physical reactions and behaviours. Then we are in a better place to stop the cycle or break out of it. We can learn re-focus on what will move us towards the person we want to be living the life we want to live.

So, next time you feel an emotion, name it and decide what to do first, before acting on automatic pilot.

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