Learning to Say How You Feel

Learn to say how you feel to improve your emotional hygiene. Being able to communicate your emotions will make it easier for you to spend time with others, set boundaries whenever you need to, and nourish your psychological health.
Learning to Say How You Feel
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Learning to say how you feel isn’t easy. Where can you start? You know what to say about your favorite TV show. It’s also fairly easy to describe other people’s actions and what others are doing or saying. However, understanding how you feel and putting it into words can be complex, painful, and intimate.

You could say that it’s like learning a new language. A language that unites emotions, feelings, and thoughts. You need something to help you channel your psychological ailments. Expressing yourself is cathartic and healing.

Daniel Goleman defines it as opening a cage and letting your emotions fly free. Easier said than done. Learning to say how you feel will make it hurt less. However, how can you do it? Who can help you do it?

These are important questions. Since it’s important to learn to say how you feel, it’s also relevant to have someone help you. Some people will make you feel small, while others will feel like wind under your wings.

Say how you feel among friends.

Tips on learning to say how you feel

Learning to say how you feel will make you feel better and invest in your well-being, self-esteem, and emotional stability. However, you need to understand something. Don’t wait until the last moment to express your bottled-up feelings. Your frustration can make you feel worse and keep you from moving forward.

Expressing your feelings every day is something you need to work on. If something makes you feel angry, you don’t need to hide it. Instead, you need to be assertive in how you express yourself. If certain people or situations hurt you or make you anxious or sad, don’t let it slide.

Facing what’s hurt you now can help your relationship with others. Being honest, knowing how to be assertive, and handling your emotions will improve your health and how you relate with others.

Understand what you’re feeling

The first step to emotional communication is self-awareness. For example, lately, you and your partner have been arguing a lot. You’re often angry with them. Thus, you need to think about what’s causing these arguments.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t the people you live with. Your job can be the cause of this, and all the stress you’ve been under. This unhappiness builds up until you get home.

Two women saying how they feel.

Emotions can’t be hidden for long

Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey, professors at the University of New Hampshire and Yale University, respectively, point out that each emotion is a code that holds specific information. Therefore, you need to understand this code and then translate it to others.

The problem is that nobody has taught you how to do it. People have probably tried to convince you to stay quiet. If something hurts, you don’t say anything. If you’re angry about something, you’re just polite and let it go.

You’ve been taught that there are bad emotions such as rage, anger, sadness, or disappointment. However, you need to give them space and learn how to read and use them in your favor as a great tool for your psychological well-being.

  • When I’m angry about something, saying how I feel will help me get through it.
  • If I’m enraged, it’s because something in my life needs to change.
  • When I’m feeling sad, I need to give myself time to feel better.
A couple hugging each other.

My mood is my own, but I can share it with people that understand me

Learning to say how you feel will improve your emotional intelligence. Likewise, your mood is your own and you don’t need to wait for others to solve your problems or put your happiness in other people’s hands. This is for you to work on.

You can expect support and understanding from the people around you. Choose them well. Try to avoid those that are quick to judge you, make you feel bad about yourself, and give you quick workarounds to problems that require further intervention.

In short, handling your emotions won’t be easy. But understanding your feelings and being assertive when expressing your emotions is the key to your well-being. Work on that!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.