The Body Sensations Wheel
Our bodies can feel emotions before we even recognize we’re feeling something, how amazing is that?!
The Body Sensations Wheel was designed to help you connect your physical sensations with the underlying emotions you might be feeling. Its design mirrors its sister tool, The Feelings Wheel, by offering a linear path that can help you narrow down broad concepts.The Body Sensations Wheel is perfect to use in therapy or to keep on you when you need a quick check-in with yourself! Printed on a heavy-duty laminate, so it lasts even while your emotions wax and wane.
How to use your Body Sensation Wheel
- Identify an area of your body that is experiencing a physical sensation, then locate that body part on one of The Body Sensations Wheel's six petals (i.e. "whole body")
- Use the first tier of words on the wheel to locate the specific sensation you're experiencing (i.e. "strong")
- Explore which emotions it may be connected to in the second tier (i.e. "empowered"). Remember that everyone experiences emotions differently so feel free to utilize the wheel as a starting point and diverge from the wheel if needed
- Take note of patterns or if any coping skills are needed.
When we talk about anxiety or depression we often use words that explain a physical sensation: feeling empty, "my chest feels heavy", or "I'm struggling to breathe". Whether we like it or not, our bodies experience emotions just as much as our minds do. Research has shown that emotions tend to show up in specific areas of the body (Nummenmaa, Glerean, Hari & Hientanen, 2014). With this knowledge, we can use our physical sensations to guide us in our emotional experiences. Combined with the benefits of emotional labeling, The Body Sensations Wheel creates a holistic approach to connecting mind and body.
Nummenmaa, L., Glerean, E., Hari, R., & Hietanen, J. K. (2014). Bodily maps of emotions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(2), 646-651.