The first version of Feeling Magnets (which I developed for myself, not knowing this would become something that others would want), had almost 500 Feelings without any categories. I had pulled these words together from different Feeling lists I found online or from courses I had taken. I quickly realized that it there were way too many words and when I later tested it with different people noticed that they found the selection of words to be overwhelming. So we reduced the number of words, first removing the ones that might be difficult for people to understand, then those that were already similar to another word, etc. We wanted to be sure that the Feelings in the box covered the full spectrum of Emotions we feel, without putting people off. To do this we looked at categories for Emotions by various Psychologists and Emotion Researchers to make sure that we covered all bases. What we found was that most of the groupings are very heavy on the “uncomfortable” feelings, and the “comfortable” or “positive” emotions, seemed to be sprinkled in a bit like an afterthought. This is likely because “positive” emotions have only been studied more closely in the last 10-15 years as the field of Positive Psychology* has emerged, but we felt strongly that this tool was about self-awareness, which includes all of our Feelings, and not only about highlighting the “unpleasant” ones. Ultimately, we didn’t find a list that we felt comfortable with and that met our criteria. We wanted to have a list of Feelings that…
- Covers the full spectrum of Emotions we feel (weak and strong, “pleasant” and “unpleasant”) in as few words as possible
- Has words that are commonly known
- Is equally balanced between the “comfortable” and “uncomfortable” Feelings
* Whereas traditional Psychology has focused on getting people from -10 to zero, Positive Psychology focuses on how to get people from a zero to a +10, where people are thriving and living fulfilling lives. One of the key pillars of Positive Psychology is “Positive” Emotions, which are key to our health, creativity, ability to learn, connect with others and much more.