Emotions and feelings

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Emotions and feelings 2018-08-13T16:44:52+01:00

Happy, excited, sad and angry are all different types of feelings. Everyone has feelings, they are part of us and our lives. Feelings change all the time, every day, every week and throughout our lives.

It is important not to be ashamed of having feelings. Everyone has them – good and bad.

Showing our feelings is important, it can be really helpful to ourselves and to others, but sometimes we can show them in ways that are hurtful to ourselves or other people.

There are things you can do to help yourself.

It’s normal to have negative emotions from time to time. It’s OK to feel sad, lonely, angry or frustrated, but sometimes these can overflow. There are things we can do to deal with our emotions.

  • Exercise is known to make us feel good; if you are feeling sad, angry or frustrated try going for a walk or a run. Swimming, dancing, playing on a Wii, anything that gets your heart beating faster will soon help you to feel happier.
  • Eating a healthy diet can help us stay physically and mentally well.
  • Try to write lists about things that are on your mind and also lists of all the good things you can think of. Sometimes we forget what is good in our lives and writing it down or drawing a picture can spark those good feelings.
  • Music is another way to feel good; either listening to your favourite band or singer or making your own music. Even if it’s a good old sing-song in the shower. Try it!

You’ll find more tips about feeling good on our ‘Looking after yourself’ pages.

It’s ok and normal to feel sad, lonely or angry from time to time.

Sometimes people hurt themselves as a release for negative emotions. If that is happening to you it is extremely important that you tell someone you trust.

Some of the reasons that children and young people say that they have hurt themselves include:

  • To cope with overwhelming and painful feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness.
  • To relieve or distract themselves from difficult feelings
  • To feel and gain a sense of control when they don’t have control in other areas of their lives.

Children and young people have found that some of these things have helped when they feel like hurting themselves:

  • distractions, for example going for a walk or run, cleaning the bedroom or listening to music
  • breathing or relaxation techniques
  • seeing a friend
  • delaying – wait five minutes, see how you feel, then wait five more, and so on. Often the strong feelings get a little easier to deal with
  • trying a less harmful way of hurting yourself, such as squeezing an ice cube, pinching yourself or flicking an elastic band against the skin

Getting angry sometimes is healthy and normal. If anger is used in a positive way it can help us to get our voices heard and make changes in our lives for the better. But if it’s hurting you or other people, you can get help and support to stop feeling so angry.

Look at our pages on anger for help about how to manage your anger.

  • Childline is a helpline for children to talk about any problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – call free on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk/get-support
  • If you are in an emergency and there is a risk to life (yours or someone else’s) call 999
  • To report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person call 01454 866000

There is more information in the ‘Getting help’ section.

Talk to a parent or carer or another adult you trust.

Your school can also help with your wellbeing – just ask a teacher or another member of staff.

Harmless: provides support and information to people who self-harm, their friends and family – info@harmless.org.uk, www.harmless.org.uk.