Make your Own Emotions Wheel
Emotions are not really colors, but feelings. Not everyone agrees on emotions, what they mean, how they look, or where they might be placed on a visual image like our color wheel. Google lists over 6 million examples just for the term “emotion color”.
What are basic emotions?
What some people feel are basic emotions, like ‘love’ or ‘hate’, might appear to be a combination of feelings for others. The dictionary defines some emotions as synonyms for others, making it difficult to tell the difference between them. There are many more emotions than we have tried to show on our small color wheel (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion).
Customize your Emotions Color Wheel
You might not agree with which colors match emotions on our wheel. Yellow rather than green may feel happy to you. You may think some emotions are placed closer to other emotions than they belong, like ‘stress’ should be closer to ‘alarmed’ than ‘frustrated’. It is important to remember that the Emotions Color Wheel is just one possible visual image to help you understand and remember how emotions are connected. There are many others that are just as valid. Here are two Color Wheels with no emotions for you to customize. Use it to show the feelings in your life in whatever color or order is right for you.
Sometimes people think of the wheel as showing emotions going the other direction. That is, the center of the circle should be white and represent less intense feeling and the more intense emotions are on the outside of the wheel. This matches commonly used statements like ‘his emotions spiraled out of control’ or ‘he was calm at his center’. If you prefer to think of less intense emotions moving toward the center, you can customize a Color Wheel using the blank wheel shown above on the right.
As you make your own Emotions Color Wheel, use a journal to write a definition of what each emotion means and add some examples of when someone may feel that emotion. If you have a camera, try to show what that emotion would look like on your face if you felt it and see if others agree with your picture.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to think of emotions. Our Color Wheel is one possible guide that might help you visualize the ideas. If it does not work for you, try to understand the feelings behind the emotions and then make a visual representation that you can use.