Welcome to our interactive emotional awareness page. Here, you can use different tools and resources to help build your awareness of different emotions and begin to understand how we can manage them.
How to use this page...
As a rough estimate, this page could take around 45 minutes to complete, but take it at your own pace. It's OK to take less or more time than that. We'd strongly recommend having another way of recording your input on this page as what you enter can not be saved, perhaps you could use...
The notes section on your phone
Go old school with a pen and paper
A separate word document
Before we get started, take time to think about any emotions or feelings that come to mind. There is no right or wrong answer, just jot down as many as you can think of.
Here are some prompt questions that might help:
How did you feel when you woke up this morning?
How do you feel when you're doing your favourite hobby?
How does thinking about the future make you feel?
What emotions do you like to see in others?
Talking or even thinking about emotions can feel intimidating or uncomfortable and it can sometimes take a bit of practice.
Emotions are exciting, messy, complicated, and sometimes appear to come out of nowhere. However, all emotions come from somewhere, and if we can become more aware of our emotions, we put ourselves in a better position to manage them.
WHAT ARE EMOTIONS?
There is still debate when it comes to defining what an emotion is; however, all researchers can agree that emotions affect how we think, feel and act.
When experiencing an emotion, we have a psychological and physical response. Psychologically, we think and feel in a certain way; for example, a positive emotion first thing in the morning could make us feel more calm or optimistic for the rest of the day.
Our physical responses can be seen or unseen. For example, if we're nervous our body may shake or produce sweat (easy to see), whilst we may also experience a faster heart rate, dry mouth or butterflies in our stomach (not so easy to see).
In both examples, emotions will directly affect how we act, which can be helpful or unhelpful. A helpful action might be to talk to someone and seek help. Alternatively, an unhelpful action might be to avoid the issue or struggle in silence.
Emotional awareness is a psychological skill that we all have the capacity to develop and benefit from. To help us build this skill, we can use the MST4Life emotional awareness grid.
We've developed this simple grid to help understand our emotions more clearly.
Going from top to bottom, we have a scale to score the physical intensity of emotion. And, going from left to right, we have a scale to score how an emotion makes us feel. Hover over the boxes below for more detail.
Increased heart rate, fidgety, sweating, butterflies
An unpleasant emotional state
A pleasant emotional state
Fatigue, tired, steady heart rate, muscles feel relaxed
You might notice this grid gives us four categories for which we can think about emotions, these are:
High intensity - comfortable
High intensity - uncomfortable
Low intensity - comfortable
Low intensity - uncomfortable
Using these four categories, we can start to make sense of the many emotions we experience. To the right is space for you to add emotions that fit into each category, you could refer back to the list you made at the start for ideas.
If you have access to a printer you can print your own emotional awareness grid by clicking here.
EMOTIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
In everyday life, we experience a whole range of emotions, sometimes without even noticing them. However, when we become more aware of the different emotions we are experiencing, we can start to understand how they are shaping how we interact with the world around us.
Below are some examples of different emotional states we might experience in everyday life.
High intensity - uncomfortable emotions are usually quite easy to recognise because of the physical responses they can trigger.
We might have these kinds of emotions if we experience a sense of rejection, failure, let down, treated unfairly, or feel passionate about something.
High intensity - uncomfortable emotions can lead us to act irrationally or without thinking.
High intensity - comfortable emotions may be easier to recognise due to the physical responses we experience in this state.
We might experience these kinds of emotions when we feel fully engaged with an activity, are doing something we enjoy, or have a pleasant surprise.
High intensity - comfortable emotions can lift our mood and help us feel more positive.
Low intensity - uncomfortable emotions are not always easy to spot, but you may notice you have a lack of energy and/or motivation.
We might experience these kinds of emotions when we feel disconnected from others, if we've been treated unfairly, or if we feel we have a lack of control over our lives.
Low intensity - uncomfortable emotions can lead us to feel physically unwell & emotionally numb.
Low intensity - comfortable emotions may be the most difficult to spot, by they're typically in moments when we feel in control or at ease.
We might experience these kinds of emotions when we're around people we trust, in moments of success, when we feel capable of completing a task, or when we're winding down.
Low intensity - comfortable emotions can help us think clearly and act effectively.
Hopefully, that gave you a bit of an insight into when we might experience different emotional states and how they might make us feel.
Now might be a good time to think about your average day or week and think about when you experience different emotions. If you can't think of time when you feel any emotional states, perhaps think about when you last felt that way, what were you doing, who were you with, where were you?
Use the grid below to help structure your reflections and thoughts...
See if you notice any patterns between emotional states.
Do you experience more comfortable emotions in the morning or at night?
What effect does your environment have on the intensity of your emotions?
How often do experience low intensity - comfortable emotions compared to high intensity - uncomfortable emotions?
EMOTIONS - TAKING A CLOSER LOOK
Good job so far, we've covered a lot, feel free to take a short break if you need to. This next section is an added extra if you're feeling up to it!
In this section, you have an opportunity to delve into some emotions in a little more detail by reflecting on what it feels like to experience different emotions.
If you really want to challenge yourself, you think of strategies of how you might move up or down on the scale. Some strategies can be found in other tools, such as goal-setting and grounding techniques, just click here.
Pick a few emotions to focus on and ask yourself how intense and how comfortable they are to experience. Below, you can use the sliders to rate different emotions and write down a little more detail to explain why you gave it a particular rating.
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS
We hope young found this interactive page helpful for setting your personal goals. You can keep using this page to reflect on your goals and we also recommended keeping a personal copy as the work on here can not be saved.
Just as a reminder, we also have an emotional awareness tool included in our toolkit, which is FREE to download, just click here.
Finally, we'd love to know what you thought of this page, how helpful did you find it? What else could we have included to make it more informative? Were there any technical glitches? Or any other comments! Just type you feedback in the box below and press send :)