Feelings and Emotions

What are feelings and emotions?

We all have feelings - they are part of everyone. We feel different things at different times depending on what happens to us.

Sometimes we feel sad – like when someone we love goes away.

Sometimes we feel happy – like when we are having fun with friends.

Sometimes we feel scared, angry, guilty, lonely, embarrassed or worried. It is important not to be ashamed of having feelings.

Feelings are a reaction to how your body is feeling.

For example: If you feel scared your body is telling you to react, you might scream or run away. Your body is very clever!

Sometimes your body can feel angry. You might feel like hitting out or saying something hurtful. This is not always useful. In this case try to stop and think about why you are angry and who you are angry with. Take a deep breath and explain how you are feeling.

We can all learn to show our feelings in ways that are helpful to us and to others, not through ways that are hurtful.

What makes you feel the way you do?

The changes that happen in your body are caused by:

  • What has happened or is happening in your life. This may have been years ago or more recent. It may be the death of a loved one or a family breakup. It might be feeling left out by others in class or not doing so well in an exam.

  • How you feel about yourself. Do you generally feel good about yourself and happy most of the time, or do you feel unhappy with your life most of the time? This can have a huge impact on your feelings and emotions. If you are happy, you will usually think good thoughts and be a friendly person. You will probably be popular and get along well with lots of people.

  • If you are feeling unhappy most of the time, you may appear grumpy, angry and aggressive towards others. This will not attract friends to you. Other children might be afraid of you and not ask you to play with them.

How to handle your emotions.

Sometimes it is good to talk to a friend that you trust. Simply talking about your feelings can help lift a load of your chest.

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How do you handle strong emotions?

You are the boss of your body and your emotions. You choose how you react. If you are feeling angry, sad, unloved, lonely, left out you must do something about it. You must talk to someone about how you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. A teacher in school or a trusted adult at home will listen to you and help you work through your problem.

If someone you tell doesn’t listen, try another adult. You have the right to be listened to. Try writing down how you feel, or draw if you prefer, just don’t keep it in. By sharing your problem, you are beginning to offload your problem.