What's Your Conflict Style?

My New Feelings Wheel PDF

feelings wheel Jun 20, 2023
feelings wheel pdf

 Understanding Emotions with the Feelings Wheel PDF

I just got a new batch of feelings wheels printed for my office and wanted to share a Feelings Wheel PDF with you, just in case you're not able to swing by to pick one up! Link is at the bottom of this post.


What is a feelings wheel?

The Feelings Wheel, also known as the Emotions Wheel, was developed by Dr. Gloria Wilcox as a tool to help people explore, identify, and articulate their emotional state with greater depth and clarity. The wheel is organized in a series of concentric circles, each representing a different level of emotional complexity.

The Feelings Wheel is an excellent teaching tool for therapists who are looking to help clients improve emotional literacy, kids and teens and anyone that is looking to get more in touch with the information our emotions provide us. One way to think of feelings is to consider them as another type of information our body posts up to our consciousness. Who doesn't want all the information they can get?

How can a feelings wheel help me understand my emotions?

  • Increased Emotional Vocabulary: Often, we may know we're feeling 'mad' 'sad' or 'glad', but not be able to identify more nuanced emotions. An emotion wheel provides a broad spectrum of emotions, allowing you to refine your emotional vocabulary and identify feelings you might not have realized you were experiencing.
  • Connecting to Core Emotions: By working from the outer layers inward, you can connect the more complex and nuanced feelings you're experiencing to one of the simpler core emotions. This can help you to identify what's really at the root of your feelings and also make your emotions feel more manageable.
  • Understanding Emotional Complexity: The Feelings Wheel shows how multiple, nuanced emotions can stem from the same core feeling. This can help you understand that it's normal to feel a range of emotions in response to a single event or situation and that these complex feelings can be traced back to simpler, core emotions.
  • Promoting Emotional Intelligence: Regularly using the Feelings Wheel to identify and explore your emotions can help you become more emotionally intelligent. This can improve your ability to empathize with others, manage your emotions, handle stress, and communicate your feelings effectively.
  • Enhancing Therapy or Counseling: If you're in therapy or counseling, the Feelings Wheel can be a useful tool to help you articulate your emotions more clearly, both to yourself and your therapist. This can make your sessions more productive and promote better mental health.
  • Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution: Take your feelings wheel into conversations with your partner. It's a vital part of The Couples Check-In-Check List activity. By helping you identify the core emotions driving your reactions, the Feelings Wheel can also support better problem-solving and conflict resolution. For example, you might realize that you're not just 'angry' at your partner but feeling 'disrespected,' which can open up a more constructive conversation.

Are there any tips for using a feelings wheel effectively?

The most important tip there is for using a feelings wheel is this:

  • "start in the middle, and work your way out"

The Feelings Wheel can be a powerful tool for developing emotional intelligence, but it might be a little unclear how to use it effectively. Here are some steps and tips to get started.

  • Start with a Basic Emotion: Look at the innermost circle of the wheel. Do any of these core emotions resonate with how you're feeling right now? It's okay if you're unsure, or if more than one seems to apply.
  • Explore Secondary and Tertiary Emotions: If a core emotion does resonate with you, trace it outwards to the secondary and then tertiary emotions. Do these more specific emotions also ring true for you? If so, they may give you a more nuanced understanding of what you're feeling. Alternatively, if you're having trouble identifying a core emotion, start with the outer layer and work inwards. Find an emotion that seems to fit, and trace it back to see what core emotion it's associated with.
  • Reflect and Journal: Take some time to reflect on the emotions you've identified. Do they surprise you? Do they help clarify anything for you? It can be helpful to journal about your reactions and any insights you've gained.
  • Regular Check-Ins: Make it a regular practice to check in with your feelings using the wheel, I tell my Los Angeles-based clients to check in every time they come across a red-light on the way home. We do a lot of driving here, and the goal is to have a red-light become a cue to check in with feelings. Over time, you may start to notice patterns or trends in your emotions, which could provide further insights into your emotional life.
  • Use It as a Communication Tool: The Feelings Wheel can be useful not just for understanding your own emotions, but for explaining them to others. Consider sharing your findings with trusted friends, family members, or a therapist.

Where can I find a free feelings wheel PDF?

You can easily find a free feelings wheel PDF] by clicking here! You can download this printable one free- there are also lots of other alternatives that are super interesting - there's one that helps you with body sensations and feelings, and another that has to do with the needs associated with the feeling.



If you want to grow great relationships join us! 

My People Patterns shares the best tools, techniques and knowledge from a variety of psychotherapeutic orientations that are designed to bring powerful changes to all your relationships. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.