Reading the two outer circles
As you progress from the center of the wheel to the outside, the emotions shown become ever more advanced, so that those in the outer two circles are comprised of the four-second circle emotions contained within their arc of the circle. For example, love comprises a combination of serenity, joy, humility, and trust, while aggression comprises various amounts of bravado, anger, confidence, and enthusiasm. Again, as with all the emotions in the wheel, each of the two outer circle emotions has an opposite emotion on the other side, so that love is the opposite of hate, and optimism is the opposite of disappointment.
You can also compare the emotions in the two outer circles with those in the inner circle, where you will see that aggression can also be caused by a combination of rage and expectation, while wonder can arise from a combination of terror and amazement.
Spinning the wheel
Use this technique to analyze your current emotional makeup in order to identify the feeling or emotion you would most like to change. Any emotion that touches another on the wheel is more similar to it than different, and whichever area of the wheel you look at is a related group of emotions, while the opposite area of the wheel features a related collection of opposite emotions. Bearing all this in mind here’s an exercise you can try to analyze how you feel right now:
- Relax and try to clear your head of all thoughts
- Slowly spin your eyes around the wheel. As you do so keep reading the emotions until you start to feel drawn to a certain section.
- After a while, you’ll make a decision and should place your finger on the exact spot you feel your mind is at right now.
- Once you have chosen your place on the wheel it’s time to look at all the emotions at or touching that point.
If you ended up pointing at anger, for example, you now have a tool to help you analyze why this is how you feel. In this case, it is very likely that one or more of the surrounding emotions (rage, bravado, contempt, and confidence) is also affecting you, and that some of the other nearby ones (such as aggression and despair) may also be a problem. Armed with this information about your current emotional state you will be better prepared to tailor your personal improvement exercises (such as creative visualization) towards altering your particular mood and feelings.
For example, if you selected the sadness area of the wheel, your objective will be to minimize those emotions near it that you dislike the most and to increase those on the exact opposite side of the wheel (joy, and the emotions surrounding it) that you most desire to feel. Of course, if you selected a positive emotion section of the wheel that you are happy with then great. But the wheel is still useful to you in that you can see exactly what types of positive emotions you are feeling right now, and you can decide whether or not you wish to work on increasing any other positive emotions nearby.
The point of the wheel is to never be too specific in analyzing the words that you select. We are very complex beings and have vastly more than 32 emotions. Those shown in the wheel can only ever be an approximate subset of the whole of human emotional experience. Bearing this in mind the idea of this technique is to examine the general areas around the point on the wheel you choose and its opposite location. By considering these two general areas (the point you selected and its opposite) you will help put your emotional makeup into a deeper perspective.
Just like weighing yourself too often when dieting (and consequently seeing the scales read all over the place), if you spin the wheel on consecutive days, or even at different times of the same day, you may well choose a different place on the wheel. However, after you have done it a few times over a few days, you are likely to find that on average the spot you point at is in the same general area. Therefore to see how your emotional life is developing on average, it’s probably better to perform this technique from time to time rather than frequently.
You may also like:
The Famous Wheel Of Emotion Can Determine Who You Are (Quiz)
How to Understand your Emotions Better and Be More in Touch with Them
15 Art Therapy Exercises to Control Your Mind and Channel Your Emotions
How To Fully Release Difficult Emotions That Hold You Back
7 Stages of Change: How to Cope with The Emotions Of Each