The Emotions Wheel: What It Is + How To Use It


Can you guess how many emotions a human can experience? 


With so many emotions, how can one navigate all of those feelings without getting lost?

The answer: an emotion wheel. In this blog post I am going to be sharing with you what the emotion wheel is,  how to use it and why it is beneficial. 

First, let me ask you… How are you feeling? It’s okay if you don’t know. 

Putting words to our feelings can be a struggle. The emotion wheel is a tool that enables people to describe and verbalize their emotions, as well as, understand the relationship between and the intensity of their feelings. The ability to articulate and identify emotions is an important component of emotional intelligence. 

Before we can learn how to manage or regulate our emotions, we have to learn how to bring awareness to what emotions we are experiencing. By naming our emotions, we can better discern how to respond both effectively and appropriately to them. We can also let those people around us know how they can best support us while we are experiencing that emotion. 

Depending on the wheel you look at, there are some slight differences but the main concept is the same. Researchers have identified 7 main universal emotion categories: happy, sad, angry, surprised, fearful, disgust, or bad. These seven core emotions are found at the center of the wheel. But there are thousands of ways to describe how you feel. 


There isn’t a right or wrong way to use the wheel. You can either start in the middle by identifying the core emotion and then move outwards to find the more specific feeling. OR you can start from the outside and move inward.

To use the wheel:

When a feeling starts to arise, look at the wheel. Don’t necessarily “hunt” for the right word. Rather, as you look, notice which words resonate with you.

You can start with the inner-most wheel and move outward, moving from the core feelings toward any associated feelings that might be coming up for you.

Alternatively, if a core emotion is not clear, you can move from the outside in, identifying the associated feeling first and then making your way toward the core emotion. 

Once you have identified the exact feeling or emotion, you can better identify what you need in that moment to honor that emotion and to move through that emotion. It is important to also communicate that with those around you so they can know how to best support you in the moment while you are experiencing that emotion. 

All emotions and feelings are temporary. You are not your emotions. Be careful not to identify with an emotion and know that you are simply experiencing that feeling. It will pass. Good or bad. It will pass.

So the next time you are feeing “angry”, maybe instead you’ll label it more accurately as disrespected, jealous, annoyed or whatever it is the suits you best. 

Article Written by Taylor Berry

Watch Taylor Berry’s Podcast interview on Youtube or listen on Spotify or Apple Podcast. In this episode Holistic Health Coach Taylor Berry discusses how our connection of food can impact our decision making, she “Taylor’s” a few steps on how to make strides towards practicing better life habits towards a healthy balanced life and we discuss the new world of dating during pandemic.


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