Are You Stressed or Something Else: Expand Your Emotion Vocabulary

Kim Regis
2 min readNov 15, 2020


Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it. ~Mark Twain

Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

COVID-19, killer bees, political woes, and social unrest. The only word that comes to mind is STRESSED. When and if people ask me how I am doing or how I am feeling my first response is “stressed”. The response is true. I am not lying. Yet the response is shallow and does not get to the heart of what I am feeling. No wonder a hot bath and clay mask are not cutting it on self-care Saturdays lately. Yikes!

Go One Level Deeper

DEEPER. I know deeper sounds scary right now. If you go too deep you might not be able to find your way out. Or maybe it will be happier and safer in there. To scratch the surface, start with asking yourself, “why am I stressed?”.

Your mind may try to be sneaky and avoid the question by stating the obvious. It could go something like, “Of course you’re stressed, everyone is stressed.”

Don’t let that trip you up. I have to confess, my mind tried to whammy me too. When I didn’t fall for it, I realized that underneath the stress was fear. Once I was able to identify the fear I was able to identify what was causing it and come up with some steps to address it. Guess what! The clay mask and hot bath were great, but they were not going to help me get rid of the fear I had about being good at my job, taking care of my family, and staying healthy. I needed a plan.

Going Deeper Propels You

PROPEL. Once you have ventured into the deep you are now able to propel forward with more accurate information. You now know what is really behind your feelings and your behavior. This gives you an opportunity to make a plan and to make decisions based on what you have learned.

If you find that going deep unearths more suffering and distress that can be frightening and it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. It may signal that something more serious is happening and seeking the help of a professional could be beneficial.

Bottom Line

There are many words to describe our emotions and during ths time in our lives we often default to stressed. Broaden your emotion vocabulary to get to the root of it. Name it to tame it is the old saying.



Kim Regis

Kim is a certified coach and leader with over 20 years of experience. Her passion is leading others toward unlocking their full potential.