Module 10: Recognising and Dealing with Feelings


This module aims to help you explore and gain an understanding of the following:

  • How your emotions influence your thinking and behaviour
  • How you cope with difficult emotions e.g. anger
  • How to become more assertive

Download module as a PDF.

What are emotions?

"An emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response."
(Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007)


The follow diagram helps to explain this:

Starting Point

Identify your current level of confidence (1 = no confidence; 2 = some confidence; 3 = very confident).

I can recognise changes in my body and identify how I feel 1 2 3
I can understand how my emotions influence my thinking and behaviour 1 2 3
I know how to manage negative emotions 1 2 3
I can identifying the warning signs when I am becoming angry and upset 1 2 3
I know how to be assertive 1 2 3

What happens in my body?

Here are some of the physical reactions we have to situations:

These reactions are generally preparing us for a ‘fight or flight’ response (so we could face a predator or flee to safety) which would have helped ensure our survival. Now these signs can be used to help us identify what we are feeling.

Exercise 1 - How in-tune with your feelings are you?

Below is a worksheet which will help you to identify what happens to you physically and how this affects you. By completing this in different situations you should be able to decide what emotion you experience.

Ask others Ask myself

What expression does my face show?



What does my body feel like?



How do I say I feel?



What am I thinking about?



What do I do?



What do I feel like doing?



Download printable template >


How does understanding my feelings apply to viewing sexual images of children?

Some of the common reasons identified by individuals who have accessed sexual images of children include dealing with negative emotions such as stress, loneliness, frustration, depression and anxiety.

They describe their on-line behaviour as a way of coping with negative feelings and situations -a form of escapism and stress relief.

They may be aware that viewing sexual images of children is not an appropriate coping strategy but for a variety of reasons struggle to identify other more positive ways of dealing with these feelings.  Improving your ability to regulate and manage your emotions and deal positively with problems in your life is likely to reduce the probability of engaging in problematic on-line activity.



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