What are Feelings?

Feelings can be defined as ‘an emotional state or reaction’ that we experience.

Why do we have feelings?

Feelings are part of being human.  We experience many different feelings throughout the day – for example, we could feel happy, worried, excited, sympathetic, annoyed, proud…. the list goes on! We can even feel more than one emotion at the same time – for example, we could be both angry and sad.

Humans have developed feelings and emotions to help keep us safe, and to help us interact with others. For example, fear is a useful emotion when being chased by a lion, so that we keep running until we are safe. Disgust can save us from eating rotten food and perhaps becoming sick.

The main feelings that we experience are:

Our feelings are often reactions to events around us. While some emotions can be quite short-lived – for example; anger, or fear - others, such as love, may last for our entire lifetime.

What about other people’s feelings?

Recognising how other people feel is an important part of our relationship with those around us. We are all special and unique, and we each have our own feelings and emotions.

When we know what emotions another person is feeling, it helps us to understand how to respond to them.

When someone is sad, we might be sympathetic. When someone is excited about a success, we might be pleased and congratulate them.

How do I know what I am feeling?

Sometimes feelings can be confusing – and they can change very fast!

It helps to slow down and think about what is happening inside my body.

For example - when I am angry, I might feel my heart beat faster, I might feel hot, and I might breathe faster.

I might even want to cry, or hit something.

How can we choose to react to our feelings?

Other people around us are affected by our actions.

Although it is sometimes hard to stop and think before acting, here are some strategies that might help:

Remember - it is important not to leave the room without telling your teacher.

If you have a bad feeling that lasts for a long time you need to talk to your parents or someone that you trust.

Now you have read through our Fact Sheet, have a go at Harold's quiz below: