The Right Tool for the Job


Chapter 6 The Right Tool for the Job

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the connection between feelings and physiology, let’s put a finer point on the feelings part of that relationship. Since it’s impossible to address what we don’t (or won’t!) acknowledge, our first order of business is to name it. How strong is your “feelings vocabulary?”

If you’re like many people, it might be somewhat limited. There are so many words at our disposal to help express the intensity and nature of what we’re feeling. Let’s consider anger. When you consider this powerful emotion, your mind probably supplied you with a pretty clear representation of it. Depending on how intensely you focused just now, you might even have experienced a slight change in your body state from simply thinking about it! Read the following list of words, being aware of any shifts happening in your mind as you consider each:

enraged…furious…hostile…agitated…disturbed…annoyed…offended…resentful…dismayed…displeased…

I’m guessing you experienced a slightly different awareness of each of these words. After all, “enraged” is a far cry from “displeased,” and yet, they both fall on the continuum of “angry.” Why does it matter? In order for us to find a way to make sense of what’s what, and which emotion belongs with which body state, we have to know what exactly we’re talking about.

Brandee SmithComment