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Emotion Wheel - Art Therapy Exercise

Materials needed:

  1. Paper (preferably a large sheet)

  2. Pencil, pen, or markers

  3. Compass or circular object to trace (optional)


  1. Start by sitting in a quiet and comfortable space where you won't be disturbed. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and relax.

  2. Take your paper and draw a large circle in the center. You can use a compass or trace around a circular object to ensure it's evenly round.

  3. Divide the circle into sections, like slices of a pie, using straight lines radiating from the center. You can decide how many sections you want based on how detailed you'd like your emotion wheel to be. Aim for at least 6 sections.

  4. In each section, think about different emotions you've been experiencing lately. These could be positive emotions like joy, love, or gratitude, as well as negative emotions like stress, anxiety, or sadness.

  5. Use your pencil, pen, or markers to represent each emotion visually within its section of the emotion wheel. You might use colors, shapes, lines, or symbols to convey the intensity and quality of each emotion.

  6. Take your time with this process and allow yourself to fully express each emotion as you fill in the sections of the wheel. Don't worry about making it perfect—this is a personal and expressive exercise.

  7. As you work on your emotion wheel, continue to check in with yourself and notice any shifts in your feelings or sensations. Allow the act of creating art to serve as a form of self-expression and self-awareness.

  8. Once you've filled in all the sections of your emotion wheel, take a step back and observe the finished piece. Notice how the different emotions are represented and how they interact with each other within the circular design.

  9. Reflect on your experience creating the emotion wheel. What insights did you gain about your emotions and how they impact you? Consider writing down any thoughts or feelings that arise during this reflection process.

Creating an emotion wheel can be a therapeutic way to explore and process your feelings, providing a sense of release and insight into your emotional landscape. It's also a visually engaging art therapy exercise that can help distract from stressors and promote mindfulness.


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