Knowing Your Feelings

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Learning about and understanding your feelings will help you express yourself with confidence.

When you’re happy and in a good mood it’s easy to feel good about yourself. When you're feeling frustrated or scared, it's a lot harder to be confident. You might worry that others will embarrass or tease you.

Feelings & Moods

To communicate effectively you need to choose your words carefully and match your words with your body language.

Feelings and Moods Can Be Confusing

Once puberty hits our feelings and moods can change suddenly. And that can be confusing.

So why the change?
  • First of all, you’re thinking more for yourself when you’re a teen, and you definitely want to be more independent.
  • You start to realize that the world is a lot more complicated than you thought and there are many ways to do things.
  • Your body's growing fast and the hormones that make puberty happen also affect your moods.

The Four Core Emotions

Sadness, anger, joy and fear are the four core emotions that are recognized and experienced by people around the world. And while fear, anger and sadness are negative emotions, they, like joy, serve a certain purpose.

Of course, there are more than four feelings to deal with in life, such as love, excitement, surprise, shame, guilt and jealousy. Feelings also often happen in combination; for example, when you’ve graduated high school you feel happy and excited about what’s coming next, but sad that your group of friends may be going in different directions (some may get a job, go to college/university, et cetera).

What’s the Point of Feeling

Sad, Angry, Joyful or Scared?


Sad feelings help you know what you really care about. 

  • When you feel sad, it's natural to need time to think about what’s happened and why it's important to you.
  • Sadness goes much deeper when you lose something or someone you're really close to, like when a best friend moves away or your pet dies.
  • You might want to be alone for a while when you’re sad, and crying usually helps.

TIP: Get through a sad time by talking to an understanding friend or adult.  


Anger motivates you to fix problems.

  • You feel angry when something isn't working the way you want it to, or when your rights are overlooked or abused.
  • If someone is pressuring you to do something you think is stupid or unsafe, anger helps you be brave and stick up for yourself.
  • Anger can be hard to control when you feel strongly about something.

TIP: When you’re angry, take a walk or find some other way to cool down. Removing yourself from the situation will help you think clearly to solve the problem.


Joy represents all the great feelings you have when good things happen.

Happy feelings help you decide what you really want to do. They help you determine the kind of friends you want to spend time with, the type of sports or hobbies you enjoy, the courses you want to take and the career possibilities that suit you.

TIP: Choose work that really makes you feel happy while you’re doing it. It's easier to work hard and be successful in something you're really excited about, and success boosts confidence!


Fear protects you when a situation is dangerous. It tells you to be cautious or prepare for the unexpected. Fear occurs in risky or stressful situations.

  • Fear can spin out of control when a situation isn’t dangerous but requires you to have some courage to get started, like introducing yourself to a stranger at a party or doing a presentation.
  • Talking to yourself through new or tough situations will help you work through this kind of fear. Say to yourself, “I know I can do this”, or “I will just do my best.”
TIP: Make a promise to reward yourself for dealing with a fearful situation; for example, “When I get through this, I'm going to listen to my favourite CD.”

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