Getting married is a stress test for all of the relationships in your life.
My husband-to-be, Ally, and I have been going through a rollercoaster ride of emotions as we uncover the friendships and family relationships that are less balanced in terms of our investment than we realised.
This of course happens throughout life, but as I’m sure those of you who have had a big wedding will know – some relationships are never the same afterwards.
As I find myself grieving some significant emotional losses, I go up and down from rage, to sadness, to despondence, and back again. When feeling tangled up between your emotions, it can be hard to tell what you’re even feeling – especially when it’s changing so frequently.
Enter the Wheel of Emotions!
This psychological tool can provide enough clarity to help us see clearly through our anguish in order to find a way out.
When we can see our emotions for what they truly are – instead of just feeling their pain – then we can begin the journey of coming to terms with them, processing them, and reframing them as necessary.
My favourite part of the wheel is what happens in the transition between the middle circle and the outer circle. Blinding bitterness can be viewed clearly as feeling violated, and the humiliation boils down to a lack of respect.
This is exactly the kind of clarity that we’re missing when struggling against the grip of intense emotions.
Once you can accurately identify the emotions that you’re feeling, it takes part of the mental anguish away. Specifically, the part that arises from confusion over what we’re experiencing – and how we should choose to respond.
Using this wheel created by Robert Plutchik allows us to develop our emotional intelligence by navigating through our emotions with an easy-to-read road map. Being able to identify what’s happening in our mind closes the gap between what we can perceive at the time and the underlying root of the issue.
When this happens, we are able to respond in a way which will honour our true emotion instead of staying lost in confusion. Translate your emotions using this wheel and then choose the best way to respond.
Patience becomes easier with understanding, and when we can understand ourselves better then we can be more patient with ourselves during the healing process.
I hope that this wheel can help to provide you with the emotional direction that you need next time you feel lost somewhere between your own emotions.