How do u know how you're feeling?

I’m autistic and the i thing I have always struggled with is figuring out how I’m feeling. I know sick happy, sad
Asked by Theresa

Hi Theresa! 

Thank you for reaching out for some help with that! Identifying your feelings can be a huge step in learning more about how to control them. 

As humans, we have six basic emotions; sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. There are many, many feelings that branch off of those categories. It sounds like you are already able to identify when you are happy and sad, which is a great place to start! 

Our feelings are closely related to our thoughts. These are both closely related to our behaviors. Usually happiness is when you are having positive thoughts. Sadness and anger are related to more negative thoughts. Angry negative thoughts usually contain more energy than sad negative thoughts. Sad ones usually cause our behaviors to be more quiet and reserved while anger causes our behaviors to become louder and more aggressive. 

Fear, surprise and disgust can be a little more difficult to identify. Usually when someone is afraid, they are thinking that they or someone they care about is going to get hurt in some way. Surprise is a feeling you get when your thoughts are unexpected. Disgust is what happens when you really dislike something someone else or you yourself did, or said. Pay attention to your thoughts and it will be helpful in identifying your emotions. 

If you start with identifying those six basic emotions as you feel them, you can eventually grow to identify some more intricate feelings. That is a difficult skill though. Not many people could state the difference between joy and happiness or between irritated and frustrated and that's okay! It is also okay for every one to have their own variations to describe their feelings. 

If you have difficulties identifying your own feelings, try identifying the feelings of people in TV shows. You can also identify the feelings of people who you trust, with their knowledge and permission that you are reading their emotions. They might be able to help tell you what their feelings are and what their face looks like in those feelings to help you learn more about emotions in general. 

I wish you the best!