One of my colleagues, Bea Armstrong, MFT, created the following Feelings Spectrum to help people develop their vocabulary when talking about how they feel so they can communicate more effectively. The Feelings Spectrum includes the four basic feelings: sad, mad, glad and fear. To quote Armstrong:
Each feeling runs along a spectrum, based on how we experience that feeling in our body i.e., how strong of a reaction we might have to it or better known as how much it pushes our buttons.
See what synonyms you can come up with for each basic feeling and where you would place them on each spectrum from 1 to 10 based on how intensely you experience that feeling. Low response or button push would be 1-3, medium 4-6, and high 7 and up. The first time you do this exercise, I suggest you DONT use a thesaurus. You can do that later.
A couple of examples have been included to help you get started
Pay particular attention to the feelings that are difficult for you to describe, as this may be a sign of unfamiliar territory.
Please Note: The above exercise was designed by, and is the property of Bea Armstrong, MFT, http://www.beaarmstrong.com, by permission.