B2 Personal Development

Feeling Wordy

Emotions are such complex things. It is normal if you find yourself struggling to describe your feelings sometimes. This would be true even if you knew all the thousands of words in English. That is because there are some emotions with no words for them in English.

Fortunately, words for those emotions can be found in other languages, and learning them has many benefits. For example, learning more words about different emotions allows us to notice and recognise new emotions. Knowing more words for feelings could help us manage our emotions better. After all, you need to be able to recognise and tell the difference between different emotions so you know what to do about how you feel. If you know you feel ‘annoyed’ instead of ‘anxious’, you will take a completely different approach to calming down.

As one would expect, all this has even greater benefits in the long term. Studies have shown that people who know how to describe their emotions well are also better at recovering from stress. They have a lower risk of drinking alcohol to cope with bad news too.

Having a bigger vocabulary about feelings can even help you get better grades. Kids who are able to name their feelings show better behaviour in class as well. So overall, learning more words about feelings helps lead to a better life. The problem is, there are some feelings that have no English words. On the other hand, some foreign words describe these feelings very well. Let’s start with some positive ones.

When you are in a new group, have you ever felt nervous at first? Later you forget how scared you were because you are having too much fun. The Portuguese call this feeling ‘desbundar’.

Feeling overjoyed or delighted by music, is called ‘tarab’ by the Arabs.




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cope (v) – to deal successfully with a difficult situation
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