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History of Emotion Wheels

There are several different types of Emotion wheel but the most famous is probably the Plutchik Wheel of Emotion created by the Psychologist Robert Plutchik.

Plutchik believed that there were eight primary emotions—anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy all of which can trigger a physical reaction but triggering our fight-or-flight response and causing us to engage in survival behaviours. 

How to Use an Emotion Wheel for Better Mental Health

With burnout reportedly widespread and many of us juggling family and work commitments, keeping in touch with our emotions can often be neglected, the emotion wheel acts as an important visual reminder to help us acknowledge and respond to our emotions. 

emotion wheel

Around the outer edges you will find low-intensity emotions such as acceptance and boredom, towards the centre of the wheel you will find more intense emotions such as disgust and surprise, these are your basic emotions. In the very centre, you will find the most intense emotions such as amazement and loathing. Between the coloured leaves in our diagram, you will find what are referred to as mixed emotions such as contempt, which is a mixture of anger and disgust. 

 

Practical Tips:

  • Leave an emotion wheel on your desk and when you find yourself full of emotion after a partially tricky meeting you can use the wheel to take five, breathe and acknowledge your emotions.

  • Use the emotion wheel as a tool to help you slow down and respond thoughtfully rather than reacting thoughtlessly to your emotions.

  •  Once the emotion wheel has helped you to name your emotion you can then work out what steps you need to take to turn disappointment into serenity whether it be dabbing some CBD oil on your wrist, ten minutes of yoga or taking a long walk.

  • Emotion wheels can be great tools when dealing with hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, helping you make sense of the rush of emotions you may be experiencing. 

  • When going through a stressful situation such as a house move or a divorce, emotion wheels can be used to help you stay calm and focused and not make rash impulsive decisions 

 

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