We often misuse words to express how we feel. For example, instead of saying frustrated, we say we feel angry. This small misuse of the word often leads to many misunderstandings amongst the individuals of whom it is said.
However, it's completely understandable that sometimes it's just hard to find the right word to explain how we feel, not forgetting the fact that sometimes it takes the time to even figure out how we are feeling in the first place. Here is a handy vocabulary wheel that will help you narrow down the word that best expresses your current emotional state.
We often get accustomed to using key phrases in our lives that generalize our emotions, sometimes overusing them in the most horrible way. This wheel diagram, made by Kaitlin Robbs, an English teacher, assists in finding the right word for what you are feeling.
First, find the basic emotion you are feeling and start to move outward until you have the best word for the emotion.
Although the Feelings Wheel is a fun vocabulary tool for English, it was originally developed as a therapy/counseling aid. This specific wheel was made to focus on finding the right words for your emotions.
The categories are made in a way to help you not only get to the detailed definition of your emotion but to also understand the general form of it as well. For example, if you have a general Sad feeling, you can go through the wheel and find that you might specifically be feeling ignored. The opposite can also happen. For example, you may not realize that feeling overwhelmed might be due to fear of the situation.
There are many variants that are made to help you identify the opposite of what you're feeling, so you can either identify a goal, a limitation, or maybe even a cause.
Here is an example of that variant, published by Dr. Gloria Wilcox in 2001.
Anytime you are writing in your journal or trying to explain how you or your character in a book is feeling, refer to this wheel for a better description of what you are feeling. You never know where small discoveries of just understanding yourself can lead you to.