Naming our nervous system state (ventral vagal [social engagement], sympathetic [flight/fight], or dorsal vagal [freeze] is an important part of making more visible what is happening within us.
The following diagram is another tool that can help us better name and understand our state of mind and emotions. The emotion wheel helps us map where we are at any moment. Starting from the center and the dominant emotion, work yourself out to the edges, fine tuning your sense of how you feel.
Finding that there are nuances, sometimes subtle variations to a feeling is an important realization that allows us to sense that there is movement within us when on a quick review we may seem to be quite frozen in place.
Use the wheel before and after yoga or writing practice or after our class sessions and write down what you were feeling at the time. Keeping track and finding patterns is an act of empowerment. It’s also what a writer does. We make meaning this way.