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Feeling Check-list

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Posted On: June 3, 2003          Updated On: June 03, 2003
Terence T. Gorski, 2001

Whenever you are having an important personal experience, it is helpful to know what you are feeling, what's causing you to feel that way, and how you can more effectively manage your feelings. You can do this by using the feeling check-list.

Part 1: Doing A Feeling Check: 

When you are having this experience do you tend to feel ...

1.  Strong orWeak

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

2.   Angry or Caring?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

3.    Happy or Sad?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

4.   Safe or Threatened?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

5.  Fulfilled or Frustrated?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

6.   Proud orAshamed?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

7.   Lonely or Connected?

      How intense is the feeling? (0 = Least intense; 10 = Most Intense) _____

      Why do you rate it this way? ________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________

Part 2: Three Strongest Feelings

What are the three strongest feelings that you tend to have when you are experiencing this warning that makes you want to use alcohol or other drugs? 

Feeling #1: __________________________________________________

          (1)  Why did you choose this feeling? __________________________________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (2) What are other people doing that's making you feel that way? ___________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (3) What's going on around you that's making you feel that way? ____________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (4) What are you thinking that's making you feel that way?

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (5) What are you doing that's making you feel that way?           

              _____________________________________________________________________

Feeling #2:___________________________________________________

          (1)  Why did you choose this feeling? __________________________________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (2) What are other people doing that's making you feel that way? ___________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (3) What's going on around you that's making you feel that way? ____________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (4) What are you thinking that's making you feel that way?

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (5) What are you doing that's making you feel that way?           

              _____________________________________________________________________

          (1)  Why did you choose this feeling? __________________________________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (2) What are other people doing that's making you feel that way? ___________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (3) What's going on around you that's making you feel that way? ____________________

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (4) What are you thinking that's making you feel that way?

              _____________________________________________________________________

        (5) What are you doing that's making you feel that way?           

              _____________________________________________________________________

Part 3: Managing Your Feelings

Keeping these three feelings in mind, read each of the following statements about your ability to manage your feelings and rate how true it is on a scale of 0 - 10.  (0 means the statement is not at all true.  10 means the statement is totally true.  Place your answer on the line in front of each statement.

__ Skill #1:  I am able to anticipate situations that are likely to provoke
      strong feelings and emotions.

__ Skill #2:  I am able to recognize when I am starting to have a strong
      feeling or emotion.

__ Skill #3:  I am able to stop myself from automatically reacting to the
      feeling without thinking it through.

__ Skill #4:  I am able to call a time out in emotionally charged situations
      before my feelings become unmanageable.

__ Skill #5:  I am able to use an immediate relaxation technique to bring
      down the intensity of the feeling.

__ Skill #6:  I am able to take a deep breath and notice what Im feeling.

__ Skill #7:  I am able to find words that describe what Im feeling and use
      the feeling list when necessary.

__ Skill #8:  I am able to rate the intensity of my feelings using a ten-point
      scale.

__ Skill #9:  I am able to consciously acknowledge the feeling and its intensity
      by saying to myself, Right now Im feeling ______________ and its okay
      to be feeling this way. 

__ Skill #10:  I am able to identify what Im thinking thats making me feel this
      way and  ask myself,  How can I change my thinking in a way that will make
      me feel better?

__ Skill #11:  I am able to identify what Im doing thats making me feel this way
      and ask myself, How can I change what Im doing in a way that will make
      me feel better?

__ Skill #12:  I am able to recognize and resist urges to create problems,
      hurt myself, or hurt other people in an attempt to make myself feel better.

__ Skill #13:  I am able to recognize my resistance to doing things that would
      help me or my situation, and force myself to do those things in spite of the
      resistance.

__ Skill #14:  I am able to get outside of myself and recognize and respond to
       what other people are feeling.

References

The GORSKI-CENAPS Model for managing feelings and emotions is part of a science-based model for recovery and relapse prevention from addiction and related personality and mental health problems. The research basis of the Feeling Check-list can be verified by reviewing the work of Daniel Goleman in the area of emotional intelligence.

Goleman, Daniel, Emotional intelligence - Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Bantam Books, New York 1995 <Click here to review the book>

Goleman, Daniel, Working With Emotional intelligence, Bantam Books, New York 1998 <Click here to review the book>

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