Emotional skills


Processing and identifying your feelings

Emotional skills are skills that support mental well-being. Emotional skills mean that you learn to recognize your own and others’ feelings, and to understand what is happening with yourself and with others. 

Feelings are constantly involved in life. They are reactions to things that people face and make them act in a certain way. Feelings are experienced individually; not everyone experiences similar feelings in the same situations. At best, feelings provide strength. 

Feelings tell us what is important to our well-being and also make us avoid things that may be harmful to us. All feelings have a message and you should listen to them. All feelings are also allowed. It is not advisable to fear your own feelings, and even big feelings will pass. 

Drawing of two angry people. One screams and the other is giving the finger.

Love – affection and caring, tells us what is valuable to us

Joy – provides strength in life

Grief – helps to deal with losses and cleans the stress caused by experiences and feelings

Fear – warns of a threatening situation

Anxiety – informs a conflict that needs to be resolved

If you do not encounter and process your feelings, you may miss the message they send and the feelings may be locked in, making both the body and mind feel bad. Emotional skills help you to manage and process your feelings, give you strength, and increase your self-awareness and good mood.

Emotional skills in everyday life

Emotional skills are needed in many of the things we do every day. Sometimes they are a result of intense practicing, sometimes they have been characteristic to us since childhood. However, all these skills can be developed at different stages of life and throughout life.

Emotional skills also involve

  • the ability to see meaningfulness in your existence and in what you do
  • curious openness to new things, people and learning
  • internal motivation, i.e. the desire to commit to studying and understanding its meaning
  • initiative, i.e. action to achieve your own goals
  • independence and responsibility, i.e. the ability to decide on and assume responsibility for your own actions

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Ferriswheel of emotions (poster)
MIELI Mental Health Finland


MIELI Mental Health Finland

Erkko & Hannukkala 2013, Mielenterveys voimaksi, Suomen Mielenterveysseura

Törrönen, Hannukkala, Ruuskanen & Korhonen 2011, Hyvinvoiva oppilaitos, Mielen hyvinvoinnin opetus- ja koulutusaineisto toisen asteen oppilaitoksille, Suomen Mielenterveysseura