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Labeling Your Feelings

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Labeling Your Feelings

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Acknowledging your feelings—and expressing them to others—makes you feel better. Though you might expect that giving a voice to your feelings will amplify them, in fact the opposite is true. Think of it as getting up to answer an insistent knock at the door to your mind rather than just sitting there and hoping the pounding stops. 

Affect labeling is the clinical term for naming what you feel—sensations, intuitions, and emotions. Just complete this sentence as honestly as you can:

I feel ________________________.

Any response is valid:

I feel worried.

More specific responses are more powerful:

I feel like my gut is tied in knots.

Completing the same sentence in multiple specific ways is even more powerful:

I feel as if the roller coaster has ratcheted to the top of the track.
I feel as if my stomach is dropping even before the coaster takes the plunge.

Your Turn Complete the sentence starters to acknowledge your emotions. Try to be specific as you can. Share your answers with something you trust. 

  • I feel  ________________________.
  • I feel like  ________________________.

  • I feel as if  ________________________.

Teacher Support:

Click to find out more about this resource.

Answer Key:

Answers will vary.

Social-Emotional Intelligence:

Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.

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