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How to Express and Describe Emotions

Updated on January 12, 2013
A face for every occasion and an occasion for every face! That's what emotions are about!
A face for every occasion and an occasion for every face! That's what emotions are about! | Source


There are many ways to express and describe your emotions to the world, to your loved ones, or just to yourself. The whole concept of emotions is a rather vast field in the study of psychology, and it seems like every person expresses these in a different manner. No matter if you are a man or a woman, old or young, it is okay to express your emotions. I'd like to think that the "old days" where men aren't supposed to cry are long gone!

So, read on as I mention some of the many ways one can express and describe their emotions!


Body Language

Perhaps the most basic way any human can express their emotions is through body language. When we are sad, we tend to drop our shoulders and our faces look downcast. When we are angry, on the other hand, we clench our teeth, our pulse quickens, and some of us may even cry. When we are worried or anxious, we tend to exaggerate our body movements, especially those of the face.

An easy way to tell when someone is lying is precisely their body language. The body is often times more truthful than our mind.

Smilies (Emoticons)

Smilies have become all the craze ever since they made their first appearance in society in 1953. They rank as one of my personal favorite ways to express my emotions while surfing the Internet. Matter of fact, that first picture to the right of the Introduction section features a lot of my favorite smilies.

Also called Emoticons, they are useful for expressing emotion in text form, where sentences can frequently be understood in multiple tones. For example, if you tell your friend over text to shut up, they may get offended. However, if you follow up the phrase with an appropriate smiley, you will change the entire tone of the phrase. A smiley that's sticking its tongue out can turn the phrase from insulting to teasing. Hence, smilies are one of the most important forms of emotional display over the Internet.

Pair of birds talking. Hey, if they can talk about emotions, so can you!
Pair of birds talking. Hey, if they can talk about emotions, so can you! | Source


We talk about things all the time, don't we? We talk to our friends at school, our co-workers at work, our parents at home. However, it seems that many people do not take the time to actually express or describe their emotions through speech. To be fair, it can be really hard to express your true feelings to anybody. For most of the world, truly opening up and talking about how they feel is the hardest thing in the world.

Think back on the first time you ever had to confess your love to the person you liked. If you're anything like me, the words probably came out slower than molasses. That is, if they ever came out at all. It's because of the fact that we fear rejection or other adverse reactions that we have such a hard time expressing ourselves in that situation.

We also tend to be careful with how we talk about our emotions around people we don't want to hurt or people who we are worried would hurt us.


Writing is a powerful way to release things you have cooped up, such as emotions. Poems are the ultimate piece of writing for emotions. As a wise man once said: "Writers write for the mind, poets write for the soul". If you're feeling down one day, just sit down with a piece of paper and try to form a poem with your thoughts. Don't hold back or think about how silly or stupid you look. Just do it and free write. You may be quite surprised at the results.

Many Hubbers here on this site write poems and many of them are quite heartfelt. It is my personal belief that you can tell a lot about a person just by reading their poems. This is partially the reason why I haven't published any poems over the Internet. I may do it one day, but not for now.


In conclusion, how can you express and describe your emotions? However you wish!

  • Go out to a hill and scream until your voice gives out.
  • Write the longest poem of your life.
  • Cry with all your might, and then smile as if the world would never end.
  • Smack a punching bag around until you get tired.

At the end of the day, you can express and describe your emotions however you wish and no one can ever take that right away from you! Even if it hurts, emotions are what make us human!

Feel free to express yourself in the comments section!

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)



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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      This is great, well-written, and original. Voted up and interesting.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 4 years ago

      Dear Wintergate - Thanks for the short overview of ways to express emotions in daily life. I suppose people naturally use one method over another. Blessings, Debby

    • Mike3537 profile image

      Mike3537 4 years ago from Nashville

      Writing is an exceptional way to get it touch with emotions and feelings that occasionally are deeply hidden by our own defense mechanism of denial. Although denial can sometimes be useful, this same mechanism can more often hide those emotional scars, which left untreated fester and exacerbate a variety of mental disorders. I have watched in group therapy people try to get in-touch with issues stemming from abandonment to co-dependence. Emotional traumas such as PTSD that make some people seek relief through self-medication, be it alcohol and or drugs. Emotional pain left untreated and often undiscovered, drive some people to risk losing freedom, family, and friends for a moment of relief. Often groups of like-minded people can help direct someone suffering to find a way out of pain. However, my experience putting pen to paper and writing about the personal effects of emotional pain is a deeper study with greater rewards. The point you make is it is positive and healthy to express our emotions. The point I make is it can be devastating to our quality of life to bottle up our emotions.

    • Winterfate profile image

      Darrin Perez 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Hello there Mike! Thank you very much for reading! I figured I should write something a little different and see what people thought about it. :)

    • Mike3537 profile image

      Mike3537 4 years ago from Nashville

      I liked your article and think the methods mentioned are all excellent in the important need to express emotions. You talk of society's new acceptance of men expressing how they feel. A positive step in mental health, broadly accepted starting only in the last part of the 20th century. It is those people who cannot express their feelings (for a myriad of reasons) that as a result have mental and physical health issues arise.