Category Archives: Emotional Awareness in the News

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I Got to be on the Radio

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and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be.

There are things in life that are unknown, and because they are unknown they are scary. About a month ago I was contacted by someone I followed on twitter and was asked to be on her radio show. That was something that I’d never done before.

For a moment, when I read that my heart jumped up in my throat and I thought “Gack!” There was a little bit of fear. (and yes, I acknowledged it and recorded it in WeFeel).

However, I really believe in WeFeel and what we can offer to therapists and the general public so I wrote back and said, “Yes” because this would be a good way to get the message out there. At that point it was easy — the date was set a month away so I didn’t even really have to think about it. So I didn’t, because when I did there was that little bit of fear again. And then the day was upon me and it wasn’t so bad.

The host of Moments of Clarity, Tiffany Werhner, put me at ease and we had a great conversation about where WeFeel came from and how it can help.

If you’d like to listen to the interview, here’s the podcast:

 

or download it


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5 Steps of Emotion Coaching

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When my daughter was in kindergarten they had a series of special lessons on feelings. At the end of these lessons she brought home a chart that had her picture on a craft stick and a bunch of faces with different expressions around it. She could put her face on the stick behind any of the faces to show how she was feeling.

I had a chance later that week to talk to the specialist that taught those classes. She told me that being able to identify our feelings from the time we are small really helps kids develop more empathy and emotional control. We put the chart up on our fridge and my daughter used the chart occasionally to tell me how she felt. She moved her face from one emotion to another, kind of like she was trying them on. And as she tried on these emotions she got better at recognizing how she felt.

One day this article on the Five Steps of Emotion Coaching was recommended to me. As I read through the 5 steps I realized that the WeFeel app can help parents become emotional coaches for their kids, especially with the first 4 steps.

1. Be aware of emotions.
When the app asks you, or your child, how you feel throughout the day it gives you the opportunity to stop and take a moment to reflect on what you are feeling.

2. Connect with your child.
As your child adds entries you’ll be able to see what they are feeling in easy to understand charts that you can share with them. The charts give you a way to start a conversation.

3. Listen to your child.
Taking the time to track your own emotions and encouraging your child to track theirs shows them that it is important to you and gives you a way to listen to them even if they don’t have the words to share them with you.

4. Name emotions.
Not every child has a way to put words to what they are feeling, but that doesn’t mean they can’t identify them. Simple graphics combined with intensity allow anyone to identify their feelings even without a name to give it. And, all of the graphics are supported with the various synonyms that describe the emotions represented so that you can help your child (or yourself) begin to give your emotions names.

If you are interested in learning more about being an emotional coach for your child, I encourage you to read the article. Even though the article is recommended for 3 to 5 years old I have found it’s advice helpful for my older children as well.


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The Importance of Naming Your Emotions

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A recent article it the New York Times by Tony Schwartz talks about the importance of naming your emotions.

One of my favorite parts of the article says:

So what’s the value of getting people to express what they’re actually feeling, rather than keeping things relentlessly light and bland? The answer is that naming our emotions tends to diffuse their charge and lessen the burden they create. The psychologist Dan Siegel refers to this practice as “name it to tame it.””

Naming your emotions can defuse them; take away the power from them. When our emotions lose the ability to take away our power that makes us more powerful and effective in our lives. The article talks about being more productive in our jobs, but I have found that naming and acknowledging my emotions makes me more effective in every aspect of my life. One of our goals at WeFeel is to give everyone a way to acknowledge, track and analyze their feelings. More than just a journal that records your feelings, you will have the opportunity to see your feelings over time and in the places you are. You will have a set of tools at your fingertips that will help you name it. And like Dan Siegel in the article says, “name it to tame it.”

read the full article on the New York Times


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