The Only Emotions and Their Symptoms

I just want to start by saying this line of teaching is from a DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) view point. It is something which I have found very helpful and I'm sharing in the hope you might find it helpful too.

As most of you will know, I took part in DBT therapy after my relapse in 2017. It is something which I sometimes I found very helpful and other times not so much. DBT was two hours every two weeks and we worked in a group. It centres around mindfulness as every other week in your course the class focuses on mindfulness techniques. I've shared before paperwork and assignments which we were given which I found particularly helpful.


I want to say if you have seen some of things which I have shared and thought "well this has taught me that DBT won't work for me", please if given the chance; still give it a go. Because I didn't find everything helpful, but the things I did find helpful, I found VERY helpful.


In DBT we were taught that their are only 10 emotions. At first I was very dismissive of this train of thought so if you're there, stick with me! I can find it really difficult to sometimes to express exactly how I feel or even know how I feel, I can also find it hard to work through why I feel that way (if there is a reason why). This helped me to work out exactly what I was feeling and made me less frustrated but also feel more normal. When I get wrapped up in myself and can't work out how I feel, I only know that I'm feeling something strong and overwhelming, and it adds to the feeling when I can't express myself or work out what is happening. It makes me feel odd, broken, like there is something wrong with me that I don't know my own emotions.


Below is the table of the 10 emotions and their symptoms.

Although this isn't a complete list, it's a good starter. It's also helpful to add your own symptoms or use the 10 emotions and create your own symptoms, what ever you feel will help you most.


I use this table whenever I feel my emotions are just completely in control and I have no idea what I'm dealing with. I can look at this table and see which symptoms I have and which emotion fits me best. This can even help me work out, "oh I'm feeling jealousy, this must be connected to [blank]".


I hope this is something you can use in the future and I'll bring out another post soon working through how to know when to act on your emotions which I also found very helpful. But I thought it would be more helpful to have the "help to identify the emotion" before I talk about whether or not to act on it.


Just remember even a little step, is a step in the right direction.


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