Emotional Roadmap: Understanding Your 6 Core Emotions

Hi there!

I'm Rachel Tenny, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), dedicated to helping individuals navigate their emotional landscapes with understanding and compassion. 

Today, I want to dig into the realm of emotions and highlight the significance of not only acknowledging but fully embracing our core emotional experiences.

If you're here reading this, you've likely found yourself grappling with the challenge of understanding your emotions and needs. Feeling like your emotions and physical sensations don't align or you aren’t sure how to interpret them can be really overwhelming.

Before we dive into understanding more, I want to remind you that you aren’t alone. Countless individuals, including my clients, friends, family, and even myself, struggle with the challenge of not only recognizing our emotions but also deciphering the messages they are attempting to convey to our bodies.

Emotional Literacy: Where’s the disconnect?

In my practice, one of the initial questions I pose to new clients is about their understanding of emotions and what they believe those emotions are communicating. The responses vary widely, from blank stares to reflections on upbringing and societal influences. 

So let’s just say, based on this one question alone, it’s become clear to me that there is a universal lack of education surrounding emotional literacy AKA what our emotions are and what they are trying to tell us.

From infancy, we begin to internalize societal norms and family dynamics that dictate which emotions are allowed and how they should be expressed. Unfortunately, this often results in a disconnect between our emotional experiences and our ability to navigate them effectively.

So what are your 6 core emotions?

Our emotions serve as a compass, guiding us through life's twists and turns. Yet, when we're unable to understand or express them authentically, it can hinder our personal growth and interpersonal connections. Why? Because ALL other emotions and feelings go back into one of these 6 emotions! This is where understanding the core emotions becomes invaluable.

The 6 core emotions are:

  • Joy: A feeling of great pleasure or happiness.
  • Anger: A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
  • Disgust: A feeling of revulsion or strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive.
  • Fear: The feeling that someone or something is dangerous or a threat.
  • Sadness: The feeling or showing of sorrow, or unhappiness.
  • Surprise: An unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing

By familiarizing ourselves with these core emotions, we gain insight into the complex tapestry of our inner lives. Each emotion carries its own unique energy and significance, shaping our perceptions and influencing our behaviors.

So let’s talk about YOUR emotions

Take a moment to reflect on how you experience each emotion and how your body responds in turn. Consider the messages you received about each emotion during your upbringing—was it deemed acceptable to express joy openly, while sadness was met with dismissal or discomfort? These reflections can illuminate patterns in your emotional landscape and provide a foundation for deeper self-awareness.

It's crucial to remember that all emotions are valid and worthy of acknowledgment. Whether you're navigating the highs of joy or the lows of sadness, your emotional experiences matter.

Want more?

If you need more guidance on understanding your own emotions, I want to help!

Here are a few of the resources I have created that can help you start the journey to understanding your emotions more:

1. My Mini Course for Understanding Your Emotions & Needs is a great resource designed to support you in cultivating a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotional needs.

2. If you've ever struggled to pinpoint your emotions or felt disconnected from your body during challenging times, this workbook is designed specifically for you. Understanding Your Emotions & Needs Workbook,

3. Physical Sensations Worksheets help you get a better understand of the brain/body connection.

4.  Emotion Wheel print is a fun reminder you can keep literally anywhere!

Remember, your emotions are not obstacles to be overcome but rather allies guiding you toward greater authenticity and well-being. Embrace them with curiosity and compassion, and you'll discover a profound sense of connection—to yourself and the world around you.

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