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Free Printable Feelings Wheel PDF -Download it Now

feelings wheel Jun 20, 2023
feelings wheel pdf

Understanding Emotions With A Feelings Wheel

I just got a new batch of the feels wheel printed for my office and wanted to share the PDF with you, just in case you're not able to swing by to pick up on this most valuable resource!

Link to the printable feelings wheel a free resource for you (and your emotional needs) is at the bottom of this post. But if you're in the mood for a different type of printable feelings chart for adults, click here

How does the feelings wheel benefit you?

The original feelings wheel was created by Dr. Gloria Wilcox, a psychologist and researcher in the field of emotions and relationships. It's one of those popular resources for therapists that I may have rolled my eyes at in grad school. Regardless of age, we all experience emotions in different ways that are sometimes difficult to articulate to others, that where the emotion wheel comes in. Being precise in our language when describing our emotional responses enhances our self-understanding and improves our communication with loved ones. Understanding the nuances between different emotional terms allows those around us to grasp our feelings more clearly, enabling them to provide more effective support and assistance as we navigate these emotions.


Using the feelings wheel also allows us to explore difficult or confusing emotions in a structured way, by breaking down primary feelings into more specific categories so they can be better understood. Once we have identified our feelings we can decide what the best way to address the needs attached to them is.


That's so important, I am writing it again!


Some feelings have needs attached to them - so if you're feeling lonely, you might need to call someone. If you're feeling hurt, you might need to ask for an apology. 


free feelings wheel

How to Use a Feelings Wheel

The most important tip there is for using this tool is this:

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

This Wheel Of Emotions is one of the most important teaching resources 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 Basic Emotions: Look at the innermost circle of the circle. Do any of these core and more basic emotions resonate with how you're feeling right now? Your body sensations might be a clue to help here. These are sometimes known as primary emotions as you feel these first.
  • Explore Secondary Emotions 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.
  • Reflect and Journal: Take some time to reflect on the emotions you've identified as it relates to mental health. Do they surprise you? Do they help clarify anything for you?
  • Regular Check-Ins: Make it a regular practice to check in with what's going on in your emotions, I tell my Los Angeles-based clients to check in every time they come across a red light on the way home.
  • Use It as a Communication Tool: This can be useful not just for understanding your own emotions, but for explaining them to others.
  • Emotional Literacy - the more attuned you get to your feelings,even the negative emotions, the more you're improving your emotional literacy, - this leads to more connection and a deeper understanding of your self.

When Can or Should You Use The Feelings Wheel?

The Feelings Wheel is a versatile tool that can be utilized at any time, without the constraints of a 'right' or 'wrong' occasion. Its primary purpose is to assist individuals in becoming more attuned to their emotional states. As a therapist, I often emphasize to my clients the importance of regular self-reflection on emotions. This process is not bound by specific circumstances or moments. Instead, it's about developing a habit of introspection and emotional awareness. The beauty of the Feelings Wheel lies in its accessibility and ease of use, making it a practical tool for everyday life.

To facilitate this regular emotional check-in, I suggest associating it with a routine visual cue. For instance, stopping at a red light can serve as a perfect reminder to pause and consult the Feelings Wheel. This method transforms a mundane activity into an opportunity for self-awareness, encouraging clients to momentarily step back and acknowledge their feelings. Such practices help in cultivating a deeper understanding of one's emotional landscape, which is essential for personal growth and emotional health. The Feelings Wheel, therefore, becomes more than just a tool; it is a constant companion in one's journey towards emotional clarity and well-being.


What age group is a feelings wheel printable PDF most appropriate for?

This tool is awesome for teaching children about different emotions, children are in desperate need of help understanding what is going on inside of them. It provides a visual representation of different feelings and can assist in building their emotional intelligence.

Teenagers may also find the feelings wheel printable PDF useful. Adolescence can be a challenging time when emotions can feel overwhelming and confusing. The wheel can help teenagers explore and articulate their emotions, fostering self-awareness and empathy.

Adults can also benefit from using a feelings wheel because we were not really taught about feelings growing up, and might have some catch-up to do. It can be a helpful tool in therapy sessions, couples counseling, or personal reflection.


Where can I download this printable Feelings Wheel PDF?

You can easily find a free copy 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 another that has to do with the needs associated with the feeling.


Learn more about conflict, family systems and growing great relationships

My People Patterns shares the best tools, techniques and knowledge from a family systems perspective - all aimed at helping you grow great relationships. Hit subscribe to learn more about our S.O.F.T approach to healthy connections.





Learn more about conflict, family systems and growing great relationships

My People Patterns shares the best tools, techniques and knowledge from a family systems perspective - all aimed at helping you grow great relationships. Hit subscribe to learn more about our S.O.F.T approach to healthy connections.

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