This is part of an Illuminate series in which we’ll be exploring each of the learnable competencies of the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Model. 


How are you feeling today? And I mean, how are you REALLY feeling? That wasn’t just a nicety– this week’s topic is actually about naming + understanding your feelings. It’s what we call Enhancing Emotional Literacy, and it’s the first of eight competency in Six Seconds’ Emotional Intelligence Model.

How can you be more empowered with your emotions?


Illuminate: How Are You (Really) Feeling Today?

Sad. Depressed. Angry. Livid. Happy. Joyful. Scared. Terrified. Surprised. Amazed.

Because emotion is a human experience, each of our languages have given birth to so many words to describe different feelings. And guess what? Putting language to our emotions actually helps us feel a sense of agency over them (and helps turn down the volume dial on those unpleasant ones).

You’re the only person who has the power to tap into that agency of your own emotions. So what will you do with it? How would your life look different if you were more in-tune with your emotions?

Take a moment to tap into your current experience. What’s top of heart or mind for you? Now, using the beautiful Plutchik model below, choose an emotion that best describes your current reality. Write it down or say it aloud to yourself.

Then ask yourself: What else am I feeling? Using the chart, choose another emotion or two that are lying underneath that primary emotion.

It’s that simple: Naming your emotions regularly will help you grow the skill of Emotional Literacy as well as help you feel more empowered.


Some people notice their feelings in their bodies first, and others notice the word first. What body sensations pair with the feelings you identified above?

How do you feel now that you’ve put a word to your current emotion?

Don’t miss this article on another emotional intelligence skill related to self-awareness: Recognize Patterns.

Illuminate is a weekly e-mail series that provides practical tips + galvanizing inspirations for practicing an emotionally intelligent life. In our time together, we’ll operate from the assumption that you have all the wisdom you need inside of yourself + that you have a purpose the world needs to see. We will explore the tools + techniques to illuminate your own inner wisdom and purpose. If you’d like to receive this free gift of goodness in your inbox every week, subscribe here.

Maria Jackson
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