The 6 Main Types of Feelings Easily Explained to Create Emotional Mastery
I want to introduce you to the 6 main types of feelings. Feelings and emotions made simple. Bringing greater understanding to a complex psychological energy.
Good communication and healthy relationships require you to be in touch with your feelings. In order to communicate clearly and feel understood, you need to become extremely familiar with your feelings. And intimately aware of the different types of feelings in your body.
To simplify, I’ve categorized feelings into six different types of feelings. This will help you understand them on a deeper level – because your feelings are complex. They are vast far and wide, varied and subtle, strong and even overwhelming at times. Between your mind, your heart, your body, and your relationships, especially your closest relationships, (and the outer world) there’s lots going on regarding your feelings and emotions. It’s important to pay attention to them.
In this article, I would like to introduce you to the 6 types of feelings and their characteristics so that you can start to understand and recognize these feelings when you are having them.
Emotional awareness and thus emotional empowerment is crucial for creating a fulfilling life, healthy relationships and good, clear communication. All too often defense, disconnect, and power struggles are how we navigate relationships – often not even realizing it.
With all that said, how are you feeling? This is not always an easy question to answer. Especially if you’ve developed a pattern of putting on a smiley face, saying everything’s fine, or justifying someone’s upsetting behavior when the truth is… it hurt.
Types of Feelings
Let’s take a look at these categories that I’ve created. These categories will help you become familiar with the different types of feelings. Each category has many different types of feelings within them. Different sources will categorize them similar to how I’ve categorized them but this is what I’ve put together and what work for me and my students. Creating a structural understanding of these vast nuances of feelings and emotions will help you to define them within your body. Because that’s where they – in your body.
Categorizing them will assist you in developing a deeper relationship with your uncomfortable feelings. And those are the feelings we typically avoid, repress, and deny and they are also the feelings that will give you powerful insights to navigate your life in a more empowered way.
Let’s take a look. This is “feelings made simple.” I’ve categorized them into six different types:
6 Different Types of Feelings: Sad, Mad, Glad, Fear, Numb and Shame.
Out of these six different types of feelings, only one of them is a good feeling. The rest of them are uncomfortable feelings. No wonder we don’t want to feel our feelings. Our society is all set up to support us not to feel our feelings.
Whether it’s overeating, over drinking, over shopping, overworking – whatever it is for you to keep you from feeling your uncomfortable feelings, we all do it. It’s a chronic way of being in our world.
What I want you to know is that these uncomfortable feelings have extremely valuable information for you. They are actually your guideposts, letting you know what is out of balance in your life and in your relationships.
When you have an uncomfortable feeling it’s simply time to tune in instead of check out. It’s your body letting you know there’s something in your life that you need to tend to. And not brush off, reason away, suck it up, put a smiley face on, or justified another’s behavior.
Instead, it’s time to connect to yourself and give those uncomfortable feelings a compassionate voice. Simply put, when you’re having an uncomfortable feeling there’s an unmet need in your life that needs your attention.
I cover feelings in more depth in my Mastering Your Emotions 6 week immersion – hope you join me for that. For now, it’s important for you to become familiar with the different types of feelings and not let them be strangers to you. Embrace them so that you can learn to express them instead of repressing them. And know that an uncomfortable feeling comes up when you have a need that’s not being met.
Types of Feelings and Their Characteristic
Let’s look at each feeling and its characteristics.
Sad, Mad, Glad, Fear, Numb and Shame
First, let’s start with sad. What does sad feel like? What’s the characteristic of sad? Here are some variations of Sad.
Blue Depressed Gloomy Lonely Grief
Heartbroken Melancholy Unhappy Sorrowful Discouraged
Agony Hurt Hopeless Apathetic Bored
These are real feelings. Now the characteristic for me for Sad is more of a heavy feeling. A dark feeling. Like a cloud – where you can’t see clearly. That’s the characteristic of Sad.
What does sad feel like in your body? Where does sad reside in your body?
The next feeling is Mad. It’s easy to remember these feelings, especially the first three, because they rhyme – Sad, Mad, Glad.
I want you to get really familiar with all of the different types of feelings.
With Mad, what does Mad feel like in your body? Where is it located in your body?
Angry Bitter Furious Hostile Livid
Frustrated Resentful Incensed Annoyed Aggravated
Crank Grouchy Enraged Irritated Upset
These are only a few of the variations of Mad. What kind of characteristics does Mad have. Mad is fiery. Mad has lots of energy and force. As a matter of fact, when you’re mad, you can cause a lot of damage, destruction, and sabotage in your relationships. What does Mad feel like in your body? Where is it located in your body?
And now let’s discuss glad. Ahhh… Glad. This is what we all want. We all want to feel…
Happy Joyful Playful Cheerful Amused
Satisfied Creative Aware Delighted Thankful
Grateful Excited Upbeat Pleased Content
Glad (happy) is what we’re all chasing…right? We all want to be happy, but the other side of happy is sad. You can’t have happy without sad. We live in a dualistic world. So yes we all want to feel good but you have to move through the heavy more uncomfortable feeling to get there.
Right? What does glad feel like in your body? Where is it located in your body? When you’re authentically joyful how does it feel?
And all of these different types of feelings are fleeting. They come, and they go.
However, it’s when you push them down and deny them that they grow, fester and then come out sideway in what I call the three D’s, Disease, Drama, and Depression. You can add Disaster to that as well. Plus, repressed feelings are the contributor to addictive behaviors. When you learn how to feel your feelings – compulsion, addictions and obsessive behavior GO AWAY. You become free. That’s the benefit and power of learning how to feel your feelings.
What does glad feel like in your body? Where is it located in your body?
Next, let’s go to fear. A common feeling for many of us. We are often motivated by fear but want to avoid it.
Afraid Alarmed Shocked Anxious Worried
Concerned Untrusting Terrified Frightened Apprehensive
Helpless Horrified Nervous Dread Suspicious
The characteristic of fear is kind of a prickly energy. It moves through the body. There is energy to it. Whereas sad is more slow and heavy, fear is kind of prickly and vibrating inside your body. It can be paralyzing creating a lack of forward motion. It’s not an outward energy like anger would be.
What is the characteristic of fear for you? And what does fear feel like in your body? Where is it located? It’s different than sad, or mad or glad.
What does fear feel like in your body?
Continuing on, the next one is numb. Numb isn’t really a feeling. It’s actually a lack of feeling. It’s when you’re not feeling. But I included it in the categories because it’s an important aspect to be aware of when learning how to feel your feelings.
Alienated Detached Drunk High Removed
Indifferent Uninterested Disconnected Withdrawn Checked Out
Walled Off Distant or Cold Armored Blocked Non-Feeling
Are you navigating your relationships in a state of numbness? That’s why it’s important for you to understand when you are feeling numb. Numbness keeps you from intimacy. It keeps you from connection and the juice and joy of life.
What does numb feel like in your body? Where are you numb in your body?
And if you’re feeling numb that’s okay. That’s the beginning of breaking through the self-imposed wall that’s keeping you from your true feelings and your truth, your true identity and your true power.
Realizing you’re feeling numb is big.
The last one is shame. What does shame feel like in your body?
Ashamed Guilty Dread Mortified Remorse
Embarrassed Humiliation Self-Conscious Regretful Self-Disgust
Disgrace Bad Inadequate Insecure Dishonor Flustered
Shame is a very interesting feeling. Shame and guilt are related though different I have put them into the same category just to simplify things. The difference between shame and guilt is that with guilt your actions were bad whereas shame is the feeling that you are bad.
Shame is an embarrassing type of feeling, it’s a guilty feeling, it’s humiliation. I guess the best way to describe shame is kind of a yucky feeling – wanting to hide. Wanting to just contract into a box and not show yourself. It’s the opposite of confidence.
What does shame feel like in your body? Where is it located in your body?
Types of Feelings: Which One Are You Feeling Right now?
With all of this information that we just covered – Sad, Mad, Glad, Fear, Numb, Shame and all of their unique different characteristics take a moment and become still. Tune in. What are you feeling in this moment? Right now. And where are you feeling it in your body?
Are you feeling sad? Mad? Glad? Are you feeling fear? Numb? Possibly shame? And these feelings can blend and intertwine. When they are not activated, they do not speak to you as loudly. But when you’re triggered, they become loud, listen to them, do not push them down.
Right now, tune in for a moment. What type of feeling are you feeling in this moment? Feelings can be both subtle and incredibly strong. At this moment, if you are not triggered, you may have a hard time deciphering what you’re feeling. That’s why it’s a good practice to do it while you’re not triggered. It refines your feeling skills.
Plus, don’t be worried if you don’t really know what you’re feeling. This is the beginning of you developing this powerful and new skill of self-awareness. And if you’re not feeling anything, then you are feeling numb. And it’s all good. Feeling numbness is often the first step to developing your feeling awareness.
I want to encourage you, going forward, to ask yourself, “what am I feeling in this moment.”
Develop the habit of checking in with yourself during the day and noticing the different types of feelings you are experiencing. This is a powerful practice and helps you to become more present in your body, with your relationships, and in your life overall. This is the path to emotional empowerment and being able to communicate more clearly in your relationships.
My Personal Story
The very first time I was given this assignment by my therapist to feel my feelings during the day and do this before our next appointment, what I felt was shame and embarrassment.
I had pushed it away and repressed it and ignored it most of my life. I was in my early 40’s then. I’d kept myself busy busy busy not knowing how to be present and feel. Gosh, where would I have learned this skill to feel? Definitely not from my family of origin or society.
So, the first time I consciously tuned into my feelings I felt shame and embarrassment for being me. It was very telling. It was powerful. And powerfully revealing.
Don’t be ashamed of these feelings. See what comes up and ask yourself many times during the day when you remember, “what am I feeling in this moment.” See what comes up for you.
In conclusion, get in touch with your feelings. It’s the cornerstone of good communication and learning how to communicate to create connection and create deeper, more fulfilling, more authentic loving relationships.
I’m Anna-Thea, an author and Certified DivineFeminine Educator. If you’d like to learn more about mastering your emotions make sure to check out my online course – How to Make Yourself Feel Better.