Explore Your Feelings with an Emotion Diary

Do you ever wish you could understand your feelings better? An Emotion Diary is a great tool for that! It's like a regular diary, but it's all about your feelings!

Her's how it works:

Write about your feelings each day. For example, "I felt proud when I scored a goal in soccer." Beside your feeling, use the questions to tell the full story. What caused that feeling? How did it motivate me to act? How did it affect others? Once a week, look back at your Emotion Diary and see a record of how you felt. This record can help you be your own "feelings detective," and identify which situations make you feel particular ways.

Below is an example of an entry in the Emotion Diary describing scenario in which your friend has said something about you that you perceived as negative in front of a group.

First, you identify the emotion you felt:

Then, you recall what our emotion drove you to do, which actions your emotion motivated you to take:

The third step is reflecting on how our emotion communicated to others. This part is three questions in one:

  1. How was my emotion expressed to others? Here you recall your body language, what you said, and what you did.
  2. What message did my emotion express to others? This is an empathetic question—a way to consider this is: what would I have thought if I had seen one of my friends act the way I had?
  3. What was the effect of my emotion on others? In other words, what happened after you expressed this emotion? This is a good way to evaluate if the emotion you acted on served you productively, or if the action you took was beneficial to the situation.

Finally, you evaluate what your emotion communicated to you. This part is twofold:

  1. What was my emotion saying to me? This is how you can identify which situations make you feel a certain way.
  2. How did I check the facts? This is a powerful way to reflect. Sometimes our emotions can blind us to what's really happening, and acting on them doesn't work in our favor. Knowing whether we took time to check the facts of a situation can help us determine what the best course of action is when our strongest emotions take a hold of us. And if you didn't check the facts, it's okay to admit that to yourself.

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