Learning Feelings

We are able to experience a multitude of feelings when we are born.  It does not matter where we are born, our gender, our ethnicity, our color, or our language.  We cry, we smile, we frown.  We feel happy, sad, frustrated, jealous, anxious, melancholy, excited, thrilled, depressed, ambivalent, and on and on.

There is great value in being taught the word that describes our feelings.  It draws attention to our experience by giving it a name.

I encourage parents and teachers to provide this lesson for children.  When a child cries, to ask, “What are you feeling?”  If there is no answer, the adult can follow up with, “Are you sad?  Are you angry?  Are you disappointed?”  This helps the child identify the feeling and it validates the right to feel.

If an adult can ask the child to talk about the feeling, what it feels like, what caused it, the child learns to feel and to express words to describe the experience.  This enables us to work through feelings rather than holding on to them and not disclosing the experience fully, even to ourselves.

Emotionally, we feel better when feelings are expressed.