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Talking about feelings

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Everyone has feelings

Feelings are there to help us. They tell us when things are going well and make us feel good like being happy, excited or proud. Feelings also tell us when things aren’t going well and can make us feel angry, scared or worried.

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Talking about feelings can be tough

Sometimes we don’t know how to say what we feel or we worry about how the other person might react. You might feel uncomfortable talking about how you feel or think that other people should already know how you are feeling.

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It’s OK to talk about your feelings

Talking about feelings helps us to feel close to those who care. It helps us to work through problems and cope better. Putting feelings into words can also help us stay in control when we are angry or upset.

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When you know how you feel, it’s easier to talk about it

Spend some time alone thinking about how you feel. Try to put a name to that feeling. Are you feeling: happy, sad, angry, nervous, worried, confused, scared, excited, jealous, shy, embarrassed, annoyed or surprised? If you’re having trouble finding the right word, look up some feeling lists.

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Get to know your feelings

Ask questions like: How big is this feeling? Where in your body do you feel it? What does it feel like inside your body? What does it make you feel like doing?

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What made you feel that way?

Think about what happened to make you feel that way. If you don't know why, that’s ok. You can still talk about it. You could say something like "I feel sad, but I don't know why."

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Practice talking about your feelings

Try putting how you feel and why into these sentences:

I feel _____ because ____________.

I feel ______ when ________ happens.

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Talk to someone about your feelings

Pick a person you feel comfortable to talk to. It could be a friend, parent, teacher or relative. Find a time when they aren’t busy and let them know that you want to talk. Tell them how you feel and why.

Girls playing in rain near sad boy

It helps to talk about how you feel – the good and the bad

Saying how you feel and why can help you cope and feel better. Sometimes it makes your feelings less upsetting and scary. It helps to know you are not alone with a problem or worry.

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We're here if you need help to practice

Practice helps! The more you talk about your feelings the easier it will get. Try starting with feelings that make you feel good and work your way up to the hard ones. Contact us if you need some help talking about your feelings - give us a call, send an email or start a WebChat.

You can also check out Head to Health for other digital services and resources.

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This content was last reviewed 01/06/2018