Do you struggling with anxiety or depression? How do you experience emotion?
What do you notice when you look at the picture of the emotional wheel? Have you felt any of these emotions before? Maybe you’ve felt some more than others. Maybe you want to feel more of some, such as acceptance and joy.
The wheel of emotions shows us that one emotion isn’t better than an other. They are all valid and worthy human emotions. Sure, some are more pleasant while other unpleasant, but that doesn’t take away the fact that they are all just emotions. In fact, they’re all just neutral. We assign meaning to them based on our own subjective experience and reality.
We need al of the emotions to be a full thriving being. All of the emotions serve a purpose. As much as we’d like to get rid of the fear, annoyance, grief, or disgust they are a necessary part of the human experience. One cannot expect to experience joy, trust, and amazement without also feeling apprehension, sadness, and anger.
The problem arises when too much focus is put on the unpleasant emotions. This can arise as part of anxiety. We can get sucked into a vortex of thinking that all we experience is worry, fear, anger, or disgust. We forget about the times we’ve experienced loving and optimistic emotions. That is, if we feel any emotions at all. Depression can lead to a numbness that completely blocks out emotions. Therefore, there is little if any space for joy and other loving emotions.
Much of this is a result of trauma. Thus, we can learn to tap back into the wheel of emotions and embody that wholeness that we are.