You cannot feel things in your head – how to regulate your emotions.

When I was running emotional regulation workshops, I discovered that most children who had problems with emotional regulation could not name their feelings. Some of them could not locate the sensations in their bodies. They would say, “I feel it in my head”.

You cannot feel things in your head.

Some would say, “I feel like walking away from here” or “I feel like not talking to you”.

But what did that mean? How does it feel to want to walk out? Well, it could be being afraid or bored, equally agitated or excited about something happening after the session.

I was confused. I did not understand where the child was because I did not know how they felt.

Then, I discovered one fundamental truth: you cannot tell how you feel because you do not connect with your body.


You cannot tell how you feel because you do not have vocabulary.

We all know an old joke describing how you can say many things with one swear word articulated differently.

So we could be surprised, angry, amazed and use the same words to describe how we feel.

But do we know how we feel? Naming is significant in understanding why we feel the way we feel. You would be unable to tell why you are angry without knowing you are angry.

You cannot tell how you feel because it does not help with anything.

Well, it might be standing in the way of success. “Suck it up”, “no pain - no gain”, “push yourself”. The message is clear: do not feel – and push through it. Often, the measure of success is how much we can deprive our bodies of sleep, food or human contact.

In pursuit of eternal happiness, we learn not to feel.

You cannot tell how you feel because there was something that scared you so much that going back to your body is unambiguous with accepting death.

We sometimes say that we were so scared or shocked that we stepped outside our body and looked at the situation from above. It is difficult to return to the body that knows the pending feeling of annihilation.