Guide to Expressing Feelings

Here is a document for feeling feelings.   Source: Daily Affirmations For Adult Children of Alcoholics, Rokelle Lerner, Health Communications, 1985. p.361.

 There is a distinct difference between feelings and thoughts. Typically, Adult Children are unfamiliar with words that describe feelings. In dysfunctional families feelings are not allowed. As children we learned don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel, so feeling, trusting and talking become the healing process for us. We allow ACA meetings to come from our feelings rather than from our control because alcoholism and codependency are diseases of denial and control. Below is a list of “feeling” words.

My Feelings Are Worth My “Attention”

 Today I have a choice in how to deal with my feelings. My emotions are visitors that stay forever unless I talk them out or work them out. Otherwise, I will inevitably act them out. When I suppress my feelings, they often show up in the form of phobias, compulsions or physical ailments.

 Through the day, I will pay attention to how my body responds to feelings. If my throat is tight, perhaps I am angry. If my chest is heavy, perhaps I am sad. My body can give me much information if I don’t disconnect from my physiological responses. If I have alienated myself from my emotions, today is the day I will welcome them and allow them to pass.

 I realize now that my feelings are interrelated; when I can deny my sadness or pain, I can just as easily deny my joy and pleasure. When I unconsciously act out repressed emotions, I become out of touch with my own life. Today I will remember that from my feelings blossoms vulnerability, sensitivity, and healing.

Guidelines For Expressing Feelings:

    1. Expressing feelings begins with “I…” keeping the focus on me.

   2. Formula: “I feel ____ (adjective follows: happy, sad, embarrassed, elated, etc.) about…”

   3. Feelings are neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, they just are.

   4. Saying, “I feel THAT…,” is NOT expressing a feeling.

   5. If I can substitute “I think” for “I feel,” then I am expressing a thought.

Feeling Words:  angry, enraged, loved, exhausted, happy, sorry, generous, heavenly, sympathetic, grief stricken, afraid, bewildered, refreshed, inspired, discouraged, humble, frigid, abused, pensive, blah, romantic, taut, foolish, low, edgy, giddy, unglued, elated, pooped, groovy, privileged, distant, submissive, quiet, cooperative, uncertain, seductive, safe, panicky, confident, merry, rejected, paralyzed, stretched, affectionate, proud,enthusiastic, burdened, tearful, confused, important, bored, sexual, dishonest, ugly, heroic, wimpy, hopeless, miserable, apprehensive, seething, blocked, thankful, compassionate, at ease,  irritated, frustrated, loving, joyful, grateful, humiliated, scared, hot, powerless, disorganized, jealous, frightened, dependent, grief-stricken, weepy, resentful, depressed, worried, puzzled, relieved, anxious, tired, sad, thankful, playful, hurt, stagnated, disappointed.

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