Put Your Feelings Into Words

DeStress Label Emotions

Translating ambiguous feelings into words can help you react to them more productively. Research suggests that verbalizing negative emotions like sadness and anger lessens their intensity and makes them less painful and distracting.

Mindful noticing and labeling is a technique that can be used to create distance between your emotions. By literally stating or writing down your feelings — sadness, joy, frustration, anger — you can analyze them in a non-judgmental way. Practicing mindfulness can activate areas of the brain that can better process emotions, and it can actually make you more interested in your own thinking and how you recognize different sensations.

Put mindful noticing and labeling into practice this Monday, by noticing the thoughts that wander into your head when you’re trying to focus on a mindfulness meditation. Kindly acknowledge the thought, label it without judgment or analysis, and allow your attention to return your focus to the present moment. With practice, you’ll hopefully become more capable of managing distracting emotions and thoughts and of staying in the present moment.

It’s easier to start practicing mindfulness and mindful noticing and labeling than you think, because every normal chore or errand can be transformed into an opportunity to be more present and aware. Whether it’s mindful eating, dressing, or handwashing, there’s always a chance to better understand your thoughts and feelings.