How is your emotional vocabulary? When asked how you feel, do you answer, "I feel like sh*t". Or are you more precise in your experiences, "I am feeling gloomy or desperate or agitated."?
I just read an article describing "emotional granularity" which is the description for those people who have finely tuned feelings. They have precise language to explain the how and why of their feelings and experience. For example, instead of feeling sad about climate change, these folks might feel alarm tinged with sorrow or regret for a species facing extinction. This feeling might spur on some type of action, e.g. writing a letter to a congressman. Even if an action doesn't occur, the fact that there is a specific feeling evoked is better than the general, "I feel bad and therefore am just depressed about life in general." As the article states, "... people who learn diverse concepts of emotion are better equipped to create more finely tailored emotions."
Turns out that those people who have that diverse concept which is demonstrated through their word choices, have better resilience to those things that are troubling us. They can handle more stress and "bad news" whether is is personal or societal because they can clearly identify and "compartmentalize" the feeling. When we are able to clearly identify the feeling we don't get so bogged down with generalities. There is more of a feeling of "I can do something about this" because the feeling is broken down into a specific focus. Plus, if you can share specifically what is bothering you, it makes it easier for those who care about you to know what to do and say.
Of course, there are times when the only words to describe how we feel is, "I feel like sh*t." but I think it is worth looking into learning a more precise language. It may or may not help us cope but we certainly will sound not so much like we woke up in the gutter.
What about you? How's your emotional vocabulary? Do you need to learn some new words? Click on to the below list and try incorporating a new word into your vocabulary. As we have said before, we will always have stress in our lives. It is how we deal with it that sets us apart. I am all for watching my language if it can help me live a better life.