What Emotion Are You Feeling?

How many emotions can you name?

In Brenè Brown’s book entitled Atlas of the Heart,Brown and her team surveyed 7,000 people in five years, and the average number of emotions that people can identify are three: happiness, sadness, and anger. However, these three emotions grossly underrepresent all the emotions we feel daily. In fact, Brown suggests that we feel 87 different emotions. She says that if we can adequately identify those emotions, we will better understand what we are experiencing and how to process what we are feeling. 

A short list

Different words you can use to describe how you are feeling:



















How we label our emotions

Our words help us communicate to ourselves and those around us what we are feeling. The words we use actually allow us to process what is happening with better understanding. Growing our emotional vocabulary will help us understand ourselves better and allow us to work through difficult times. A new emotional vocabulary can also help us recognize when we are content, peaceful, or filled with joy.

Counseling is a great place to learn about your emotions. With the help of a counselor, you can explore what you are feeling, why you are having these feelings and how you can respond to them. Working with a counselor helps you recognize and label the emotions you feel and learn how to process them. It’s helpful to have someone to walk with you through difficult times. A counselor can be a sounding board if you are feeling guilt or shame, joy or gratitude or if you are confused about what you are feeling.

Brenè Brown’s Book Atlas of the Heartand her website are great resources for exploring this topic further.

Written By: Christine, Masters Level Intern

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