feelings lists

There are many ‘feelings lists’ in circulation; being a pernickety sort of a person I have objections to most of them, including the copyrighted (!) lists produced by CNVC.  These include many words which I would more likely use to label or describe other peoples’ behaviour, especially if I was writing a novel, rather than to express what is truly alive in me. They also include a mixture of nouns and adjectives, which I find confusing, as well as words which combine feelings with judgments. So, I made my own, much more restricted, lists of words which ring true for me as ‘feelings’ I might actually feel; I revise and change them often, and I invite you to make your own list and do the same!

Feelings divide conveniently into those which we instinctively enjoy and seek out, and those which are uncomfortable for us and which we generally try to avoid. In one sense you could say there are only two feelings – pleasant and unpleasant, though I see no cause to impoverish our descriptive language to that extent! Note however that an unpleasant feeling gives us as much valuable information about our needs as a pleasant one. Indeed there is often greater potential for learning and growth when we experience discomfort than when we experience ease…

feelings generally experienced as positive:

amazed

amused

calm

comfortable

confident

content

curious

delighted

energetic

enthusiastic

excited

fascinated

grateful

happy

hopeful

inspired

intrigued

moved

open

passionate

peaceful

pleased

joyful

refreshed

relaxed

relieved

satisfied

secure

stimulated

surprised

tender

thrilled

touched

warm

feelings generally experienced as negative:

afraid

agitated

alarmed

anxious

bewildered

bored

confused

dazed

disturbed

edgy

exhausted

flustered

fragile

frazzled

frightened

frustrated

heartbroken

helpless

hesitant

hurt

impatient

indifferent

insecure

irritable

listless

lonely

lost

miserable

nervous

numb

overwhelmed

panicky

puzzled

restless

sad

scared

shaky

shocked

sleepy

tense

terrified

tired

torn

troubled

uncomfortable

uneasy

unhappy

unsure

upset

vulnerable

wary

worried

Note that this list excludes a number of words which are very useful but which contain emotional judgments rather than simple feelings. These ‘combined pain and blame’ words have their own page here: anger, guilt, shame and depression