The Feeling Body

Here’s a simple, yet complicated question:

When you are feeling feels, where do you feel them?

No, really. When an emotion hits, if you really think about it, where on your body do you feel it? It’s a fact that emotions effect different parts of the body. But these emotions are experienced physically in different ways by different people. According to this article in Psychology Today” ( “When people feel emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain”.

The Feeling Body by Bri Ketler

When a person feels angry, often they clench their jaws and/or fists. Some people feel their ears getting red and hot. When you feel sadness, shoulders, mouth, and heads droop. You may feel ‘choked up’ or feel as though there is a lump in your throat. When one feels confident, the head is help high and shoulders are back. Stress can result in ulcers and canker sores. As you complete this activity, close your eyes when reflecting on each emotion, and ask yourself how how your body reacts and where you are experiencing your emotions.

This article is short and sweet, the focus being on the activity rather than the discussion around how or why emotions are felt in this way.

Download and print this PDF and paste into your creative journal. Use your favorite medium – paints, watercolour, pencil crayon, etc. I opted for watercolour pastels in order to apply colour in distinct spots and shapes, and then blend with water. Fill in the legend at the bottom with the colours you feel best represent the emotion listed. Do not dwell on typical colour translations (ie. Sadness = blue, anger = red). Maybe for you, orange is the best colour to represent anger. Maybe yellow is your interpretation of sadness.

My hope is that in completing this activity, you may feel a deeper understanding about your emotions, and have a better handle on how to deal with the physical reactions to these emotions when they arise. Understanding your body and your feelings is a small step towards becoming a healthier, happier, and more confident you!

Bri Ketler

Bri Ketler is a thirty-something mother of two, artist, crafter, and volunteer in the Calgary area. A Calgary native, she decided to spread her wings and move to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2001 to pursue a degree in the arts.She graduated with her BA in Art and Design from Edinburgh College of Art in 2005.

She worked as an Interior Designer in Calgary until her passion for art overwhelmed her desire for wealth and fame.When she is not chasing after her two young kids, she is teaching art to teen girls in need and creating dolls for her small handcrafting business, Lil’Zo.

Bri believes that art is a powerful outlet, and many internal issues can be confronted, exposed, and resolved by simply letting go and allowing oneself to be creative – even if they don’t believe they are the ‘creative type’. Everyone can benefit from getting over their fears, and simply putting pen to paper, paint to canvas, click a shutter, put hands on clay, or whatever medium one chooses. Find her online here.

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