Using sensations to develop a language of emotions

In Blog by Celine Redfield2 Comments

Celine Elise Redfield- Portland Art Therapist- Inner Growth Therapy- SensesPersonally for me prior to my path of self discovery, I had a very difficult time knowing what my feelings were. I could tell when I had the basic emotions are anger, happiness, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. It wasn’t until I started learning how to notice the sensations in my body that I could effectively how to learn the secondary emotions. You maybe asking why is this important? Understanding secondary emotions helps you to learn what your triggers and needs are so that you can more effectively communicate your needs. Would you like to increase your emotional IQ? Let’s delve into the language of sensation:

1) Taking the time to check in with your senses

The first step to work developing an understanding of your sensations is to reconnect with your body. We have 5 senses and we are using them daily whether we are connected to them or not. Lets think about how our senses affect our life. Check out this great infographic to learn more about what your senses do:five senses info graphic- Inner Growth Therapy- Celine Elise-Alvarez

When we can become more connected to our sensations we can actually be present for our lives and everything that is happening in them. This is so important if we want to become more mindful in our lives. Take a moment right now:

  • Notice what does your skin feel like?
  • What can you hear presently?
  • Do you notice and specific smell?
  • What do your surroundings look like?
  • Is there a taste in your mouth?
2) Noticing and connecting with your body

I find that much of the time are disconnected from ourselves. Basically, we are brains that are walking around with bodies attached to them.  In our culture, we tend to value the mind and the intellect more than the bodies that house our minds. This is why it is important to reconnect with our sensations and our bodies.  A great way to do this is by doing a body scan.  You can do a body scan that I recorded here:

3) Once connected to your body take notice of how it feels after this meditation

Once you have completed the meditation. Use this list of sensations to notice your experience. Here is a list:


Once we begin to be aware of the sensations of our bodies we can connect them with our emotions. Our emotions connects us to our behavior. When we can connect the three of these things we begin to have a emotional intelligence and we can begin responding to thing instead of reacting to them. This is the way we can live our lives differently when we can pause when we become triggered and ask yourself, how am I feeling

Want to learn more about emotions? Below is a fantastic chart of emotions to help you to become aware of what you are experiencing in your body so that you can link your sensations with your emotions. You can download the PDF here.

“Awake my soul.
Awake my spirit.
Awake my desires.
Awake my light.
Awake my mind.
Awake my hope.
Awake my faith.
Awake my love.”
~Lailah Gifty Akita

I hope that this has been helpful to have begin to develop a connection between your sensations and your feelings. Please comment below.

Want help reconnecting with yourself more deeply? Please contact me to schedule an appointment or a phone consultation to see if we would be a good fit. Please contact me

Want to learn more about yourself and heal trauma? Check out the group the trauma group.

Have a Blessed Week.



  1. Pingback: How to use Grounding to Relieve Anxiety and Stress - Inner Growth Therapy

  2. Aloha, I am a body centered therapist but I also run a creative expressions group monthly for our agency as part of our wellness program. I did a sensory art experiential today and enjoyed reading some of your writing. I would like to keep in touch with your site, etc.


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