How to Express Your Feelings (with Pictures)

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How to Express Your Feelings (with Pictures)
How to Express Your Feelings (with Pictures)

Perhaps you are afraid of being inconvenient or upsetting someone by expressing your feelings. However, hiding emotions can cause sadness, anxiety, depression and even health problems, as well as affect your personal and professional relationships. Learning to express feelings will help you to be a self-aware person and will promote an increase in physical and mental health.


Part 1 of 3: Acquiring Feeling Awareness

Express Your Feelings Step 1

Step 1. Accept the emotions

Before doing anything else, you will need to recognize and accept that you have feelings, and that there is nothing wrong with that. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just exist.

When you feel something, don't be angry with yourself. Instead, say, "I'm feeling this way, and that's acceptable."

Express Your Feelings Step 2

Step 2. Recognize how the body reacts to feelings

Feelings are guided by emotions, which are controlled by the brain. When you feel something, write down your physiological reactions. For example, maybe you start sweating when you feel scared, your face gets hot when you're embarrassed, and your heart races when you feel angry. Focusing on bodily reactions will help you recognize feelings when they arise.

If you have difficulty tuning into your body, try to relax physically by sitting in a quiet place and breathing deeply. Repeat the mantra "What is this feeling?" to get a sense of the bodily reactions associated with each emotion

Express Your Feelings Step 3

Step 3. Learn the vocabulary of feelings

Expressing what we're feeling can be difficult when we don't know the right words to do it. Try analyzing a "feelings chart", which can be easily found through an internet search, to understand the range of different emotions and learn the words to describe them.

Try to learn words that make feelings as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying "good", which is very common, use words like "cheerful", "happy", "grateful" or "euphorical". On the other hand, instead of saying you feel "bad", say you feel "irritated", "insecure", "unmotivated" or "rejected"

Express Your Feelings Step 4

Step 4. Ask yourself why you feel a certain way

Ask a series of "why" questions to get to the root of what you're feeling. For example, "I feel like I'm going to cry. Why? Because I'm mad at my boss. Why? Because he offended me. Why? Because he doesn't respect me." Continue with the series of "why" questions until you get to the source of the feelings.

Express Your Feelings Step 5

Step 5. Dissect out complicated emotions

We often feel different emotions at once. It is important to be able to distinguish emotions from each other so that you can process each one separately. For example, if a family member who was sick for a long time passed away, you may feel sad about the loss, but also relieved that he is no longer suffering.

Complicated emotions can arise when we feel primary and secondary emotions at the same time. Primary emotions are the initial response to a situation and secondary emotions are the direct or indirect emotions we feel after the primary emotion. For example, if someone ends a relationship with you, at first you may feel anguished and then you may feel that you don't deserve to be loved. Decode primary and secondary emotions to get a more comprehensive picture of your mental processes

Part 2 of 3: Expressing Feelings to Other People

Express Your Feelings Step 6

Step 1. Use phrases starting with "I"

First person singular phrases are powerful when expressing feelings to someone because they create a connection and don't make the other person feel guilty. Saying something like, "You make me feel __" makes the other person feel guilty and responsible. Rephrase the sentence by saying something like this: "I feel __".

Affirmations beginning with "I" have three parts: the emotion, the behavior, and the why. When using first person singular statements, formulate a compound sentence. For example: "I feel angry when you argue with me about my work because it attacks my intelligence."

Express Your Feelings Step 7

Step 2. Start a conversation about your feelings

Deciding how to start a discussion about your feelings with others can be a daunting task. If you decide to talk to someone about how you feel, always start positively, saying nice things about the person and your relationship. Then start expressing how you feel, using phrases starting with "I" and being as sincere as possible.

  • For example, say something like, "I enjoy your company a lot. You are very important in my life and I would like us to relate on a deeper level. I feel a little nervous to talk about this, but I want to be honest with you. I feel…".
  • In a professional environment, start the conversation by being honest, direct, and positive. For example, say something like, "I really admire all the hard work you've been doing. Let's talk about how we can help you and the company succeed."
  • Allow the conversation to unfold naturally and don't get upset or offended by the other person's response.
Express Your Feelings Step 8

Step 3. Communicate clearly with others

Communication is extremely important when expressing feelings. Choose a group of dear and trusted people you can share your feelings with. As you speak, be as clear as possible using the vocabulary of feelings and phrases in the first person singular. If you are talking about how a particular situation made you feel, clearly describe the circumstances and the resulting feelings. Your loved ones will listen to you and validate your feelings.

Loved ones can also provide new perspectives on certain situations that you may not have even considered. They will be able to act as a great group of advisors and will help you to deal with your feelings

Express Your Feelings Step 9

Step 4. Listen to others when they are speaking

Communication is a two-way street, so you will need to learn to listen carefully in order to communicate effectively. When someone is talking to you, give your full attention (put your cell phone away!), shake your head to respond nonverbally, and offer an opinion as to what is being said.

Your opinion may include requests for clarification such as: "I heard you say you feel…" or reflecting on the other person's words such as: "This sounds important to you because…"

Express Your Feelings Step 10

Step 5. Breathe deeply

Before reacting emotionally to a situation, take a deep breath. Deep breathing is scientifically proven to relax the body and lower blood pressure. If you take a breath before taking action, you can cool off and act responsibly.

For greatest effectiveness, practice deep breathing at least three times a week

Express Your Feelings Step 11

Step 6. Surround yourself with positive, trustworthy people

As social creatures, we tend to match the tone of the situation. If you are surrounded by people who speak ill of others, you will be inclined to embrace that negativity. On the other hand, if you are surrounded by positivity, you will evolve and feel protected. The friends we choose to keep around us will provide the environment for us to succeed or not. If you have a good group of friends, you will feel more comfortable expressing your true feelings.

Choosing the right friends can be a long process of trial and error. Choose friends who inspire you, support you and make you feel better and refreshed

Express Your Feelings Step 12

Step 7. Seek emotional support if you are having difficulty expressing emotions

There is nothing wrong with you if you have difficulty expressing your feelings. You may need to see a trained professional to talk about your feelings and help you express yours. You may need in-person guidance from a professional, not only to express your emotions, but also to get to the root of why you can't express them.

Use therapists, renowned websites, helplines, and even religious leaders to talk about your feelings

Part 3 of 3: Expressing emotions to yourself

Express Your Feelings Step 13

Step 1. Meditate

Meditation is a powerful tool to help you focus energy and calm yourself down when you are stressed or anxious. To start meditating, find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit. Start by breathing normally and then breathe slowly and deeply, inhaling through your nose and allowing your chest to rise as your lungs fill. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.

As you breathe, think about each feeling, where they come from, and how you intend to respond to each one

Express Your Feelings Step 14

Step 2. Write about feelings

Get into the habit of writing your feelings down on paper or in your cell phone's notebook. Putting feelings into a tangible form will help you organize and understand them better. Studies show that keeping a journal can dramatically reduce stress levels, strengthen the immune system, and increase overall well-being.

  • Every day, try to set aside just 20 minutes to write in your journal. Don't care about grammar or punctuation. Write quickly to block out any unnecessary thoughts. This is your personal diary, so don't be afraid to write incoherently or illegible.
  • First, try writing about a positive experience so you can anchor your thoughts, and then start writing about how that experience made you feel.
  • Try translating feelings into colors, moods, or songs. For example, if you felt happy today, describe what color or type of weather that happiness would be.
Express Your Feelings Step 15

Step 3. Start exercising

On those days that seem unbearable and filled with anger, stress, and anxiety, you need to let go of those feelings. You shouldn't suppress them, this will only cause even more negative emotions and may even cause depression or health problems.

You can also get rid of negative feelings by doing yoga, getting gentle facial massages, and participating in pleasurable activities

Express Your Feelings Step 16

Step 4. Indulge yourself

When you have positive feelings, such as excitement, happiness, satisfaction, and joy, let that feeling linger and pamper yourself: go shopping, eat a dessert, or go out with friends.

Using positive reinforcement to reward yourself for good feelings, your brain begins to make an association that when you feel good on the inside, good things happen on the outside. Then you can condition yourself to think positively

Express Your Feelings Step 17

Step 5. Visualize different options for expressing feelings in a given situation

Only you can decide how you express what you feel. In every circumstance, you can react negatively or positively, and visualizing all possible reactions will help you find your true feelings about a situation.

For example, a close friend is moving to another city and you find yourself sad and upset about his departure. You could decide to avoid him or start fighting with him to minimize his suffering, or decide to spend as much time with him as possible


  • Sometimes feelings become too heavy to bear, and you need to stop thinking about them for a while. This does not mean to ignore their existence, but rather that you need a break and will deal with them when you are ready.
  • Be kind to yourself and don't get too upset if you're having trouble expressing your feelings.
  • Identifying and expressing emotions is not a simple process. Understanding yourself and identifying how different circumstances affect you takes a lot of practice.


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