It happens every time we say hello. In person, in text, on the phone. Someone asks us how we’re doing. It’s politeness. It’s a social convention. And it’s a way to find out how we’re all doing and connect with each other.
But, more often than not, do you find yourself answering, automatically, with “fine, thanks?” You are not alone. Most of us do. But maybe, just maybe, if we said more than just “I’m fine,” we would know ourselves better, would connect a little more, and have more meaningful connections.
In fact, when we slow down and figure out what we’re really feeling, it can actually help us feel better and can improve the way we communicate with and relate to others. Knowing and saying what we really feel can improve our relationships.
The English language has literally thousands of words for emotions. Here are just some of them. Try them on for size. When we name precisely how we feel, it’s good for our mental health.
Excited Enthusiastic Delighted Amazed Passionate Aroused Alert Astonished Dazzled Energetic Awakened Eager Charged Exhilarated
Friendly Appreciative Delighted Pleased Amazed Affectionate Caring Loving Sympathetic Warm Doting Tender Attached Compassionate
Confident Bold Courageous Positive Fearless Optimistic Encouraged Powerful Proud Trusting Secure Brave Empowered
Ecstatic Thrilled Blissful Elated Enthralled Exuberant Radiant Rapturous Thrilled
Thankful Grateful Moved Touched Appreciative Recognized Indebtedness Included Understood Appreciated Accepted Acknowledged Recognized Welcomed Connected Supported Heard Respected Involved
Intrigued Absorbed Fascinated Interested Charmed Entertained Captivated Engaged Engrossed Curious Surprised
Joyful Cheerful Festive Lighthearted Upbeat Glad Merry Elated Delighted Jubilant Hopeful Tickled Pleased
Peaceful Calm Quiet Trusting Fulfilled Steady Collected Composed Comfortable Centered Content Relieved Mellow Level Restful Still At ease Satisfied Relaxed Clear Reassured Rested
Refreshed Stimulated Replenished Exhilarated Reinvigorated Revived Enlivened Restored Liberated Lively Passionate Vibrant
Afraid Nervous Dread Frightened Cowardly Terrified Alarmed Panicked Suspicious Worried Apprehensive Agitated Bothered Uncomfortable Uneasy
Frenzied Irritable Disturbed Troubled Unsettled Unnerved Restless Upset
Angry Furious Livid Irate Resentful Hateful Hostile Aggressive Worked up Provoked Outraged Defensive
Anxious Shaky Distraught Edgy Fidgety Frazzled Irritable Jittery Overwhelmed Restless Preoccupied Flustered
Confused Lost Disoriented Puzzled Chaotic Uncertain Stuck Indecisive Foggy Dazed Baffled Flustered Perturbed Perplexed Hesitant Immobilized Ambivalent Torn Disconnected
Lonely Isolated Bored Distant Removed Detached Separate Broken Aloof Numb Withdrawn Rejected Out-of-place Indifferent Misunderstood Abandoned Alienated
Disgusted Appalled Horrified Disturbed Repugnant Contempt Spiteful Animosity Hostile Bitter
Embarrassed Awkward Self-conscious Silly Mortified Humiliated Flustered Chagrined
Ashamed Put down Guilty Disgraced Envy Jealous Competitive Covetous Resentful Longing Insecure Inadequate Yearning Helpless Paralyzed Weak Defenseless Powerless Invalid Abandoned Alone Incapable Useless Inferior Vulnerable Empty
Distressed In pain Remorseful Regretful Disappointed Guilty Grieving Miserable Anguish Bruised Crushed Sadness Heartbroken Disappointed
Hopeless Regretful Depressed Pessimistic Melancholy Sorrowful Heavy-hearted Low Gloomy Miserable Stress Overwhelmed Frazzled Uneasy Cranky Distraught Dissatisfied Weighed down Overworked Anxious Shocked Frustrated
Tired Bored Fatigued Exhausted Uninterested Worn out Fed up Drained Weary Burned out Lethargic Sleepy Depleted Vulnerable Insecure Exposed Unguarded Sensitive Unsafe Inferior Weak Judged Inadequate
Mental Health America 2020: https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month
This article was written for Mental Health Week and originally appeared on CMHA National’s Mental Health Week website.