Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

We all want to do our best to truly express how we are feeling. Being able to describe our emotions with the clearest and near words allows us to express ourselves and to be better understood. The Wheel of Emotions helps us see how emotions are relational so we can develop a comprehensive vocabulary.

Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions
Admiration Ecstasy Serenity Acceptance Vigilance Interest Rage Anger Annoyance Loathing Disgust Boredom Grief Sadness Pensiveness Amazement Surprise Distraction Terror Fear Joy Trust Apprehension Optimism Aggressiveness Contempt Remorse Disapproval Awe Submission Love Anticipation


Similar words: Connected, Proud

Typical sensations: Glowing

What is Admiration telling you? I want to support the person or thing

How can Admiration help you? Strengthen commitment to a person or idea


Similar words: Delighted, Giddy

Typical sensations: Abundance of energy

What is Ecstasy telling you? This is better than I imagined

How can Ecstasy help you? Strengthens relationship, increases creativity, builds memories


Similar words: Calm, Peaceful

Typical sensations: Relaxed, open hearted

What is Serenity telling you? Something is happening that's essential, pure, or purposeful

How can Serenity help you? Renew energy, make connections, reflect to learn


Similar words: Open, Welcoming

Typical sensations: Peaceful

What is Acceptance telling you? We are in this together

How can Acceptance help you? Create relationships, community


Similar words: Intense, Focused

Typical sensations: Highly focused

What is Vigilance telling you? Something big is coming

How can Vigilance help you? Get ready, look carefully, stay alert


Similar words: Open, Looking

Typical sensations: Mild sense of curiosity

What is Interest telling you? Something useful might come

How can Interest help you? Pay attention, explore


Similar words: Overwhelmed, Furious

Typical sensations: Pounding heart, see red

What is Rage telling you? I'm blocked from something vital

How can Rage help you? Attack an obstacle


Similar words: Mad, Fierce

Typical sensations: Strong and heated

What is Anger telling you? Something is in the way

How can Anger help you? Energize to break through a barrier


Similar words: Frustrated, Prickly

Typical sensations: Slightly agitated

What is Annoyance telling you? Something is unresolved

How can Annoyance help you? Notice minor issues


Similar words: Disturbed, Horrified

Typical sensations: Bilious & vehement

What is Loathing telling you? Fundamental values are violated

How can Loathing help you? Energize to block something vile


Similar words: Distrust, Rejecting

Typical sensations: Bitter & unwanted

What is Disgust telling you? Wrong; rules are violated

How can Disgust help you? Notice something unsafe or wrong


Similar words: Tired, Uninterested

Typical sensations: Drained, low energy

What is Boredom telling you? The potential for this situation isn't being met

How can Boredom help you? Take a rest, learn something new, refocus on what I can control about the situation


Similar words: Heartbroken, Distraught

Typical sensations: Hard to get up

What is Grief telling you? Love is lost

How can Grief help you? To know what we truly want


Similar words: Bummed, Loss

Typical sensations: Heavy

What is Sadness telling you? Love is going away

How can Sadness help you? Focus on what's important to us


Similar words: Blue, Unhappy

Typical sensations: Slow & disconnected

What is Pensiveness telling you? Love is distant

How can Pensiveness help you? Remembering people, things that are important


Similar words: Inspired, WOWed

Typical sensations: Heart stopping

What is Amazement telling you? Something is totally unexpected

How can Amazement help you? Remember this moment


Similar words: Shocked, Unexpected

Typical sensations: Heart pounding

What is Surprise telling you? Something new happened

How can Surprise help you? Pay attention to what's right here


Similar words: Scattered, Uncertain

Typical sensations: Unfocused

What is Distraction telling you? I don't know what to prioritize

How can Distraction help you? Consider what to prioritize


Similar words: Alarmed, Petrified

Typical sensations: Hard to breathe

What is Terror telling you? There is big danger

How can Terror help you? Seek safety for self/others


Similar words: Stressed, Scared

Typical sensations: Agitated

What is Fear telling you? Something I care about is at risk

How can Fear help you? Protect what we care about


Similar words: Excited, Pleased

Typical sensations: Sense of energy and possibility

What is Joy telling you? Life is going well

How can Joy help you? Sparks creativity, connection, gives energy


Similar words: Accepting, Safe

Typical sensations: Warm

What is Trust telling you? This is safe

How can Trust help you? Be open, connect, build alliance


Similar words: Worried, Anxious

Typical sensations: Can't relax

What is Apprehension telling you? There could be a problem

How can Apprehension help you? Seek out potential risks, don't ignore problem


Optimism is the combination of feeling Anticipation and Joy

Similar words: Hopeful, Looking Forward

Typical sensations: Energized

What is Optimism telling you? The future is better than the present

How can Optimism help you? Generate options, motivate action


Aggressiveness is the combination of feeling Anticipation and Anger

Similar words: Beligerant, Hostile, Argumentative

Typical sensations: Inflamed, tight, moving toward threat

What is Aggressiveness telling you? I/we need to fight against a coming threat

How can Aggressiveness help you? Prepare for conflict


Contempt is the combination of feeling Disgust and Anger

Similar words: Righteous, Horrified, Shaming

Typical sensations: Curled lip, hot

What is Contempt telling you? Something is bad/wrong and should be punished

How can Contempt help you? Enforce group norms or rules


Remorse is the combination of feeling Disgust and Sadness

Similar words: Guilt, Atonement, Responsibility

Typical sensations: Heaviness, hanging head

What is Remorse telling you? I am responsible for something important damaged or lost

How can Remorse help you? Take responsibility, make restitution, grow


Disapproval is the combination of feeling Surprise and Sadness

Similar words: Wrong, Shock, Lost

Typical sensations: Loss of breath, clenched muscles

What is Disapproval telling you? There's a tragedy or sudden loss

How can Disapproval help you? Quickly galvanize a group around an issue or loss


Awe is the combination of feeling Surprise and Fear

Similar words: Horrified, Vigilance, Shock

Typical sensations: Big eyes, pounding heart

What is Awe telling you? Something very risky has suddenly appeared [nb there are other kinds of Awe]

How can Awe help you? Rapidly react to threat


Submission is the combination of feeling Fear and Trust

Similar words: Obedience, Followership, Tribalism

Typical sensations: Narrowed eyes, head down

What is Submission telling you? This person (institution) has the strength to keep us safe

How can Submission help you? Protection from larger threat


Love is the combination of feeling Joy and Trust

Similar words: Accepted, Adored, Connected

Typical sensations: Peaceful, warm-hearted

What is Love telling you? I am deeply connected with this person / these people

How can Love help you? Safety for growth and development; nurturing of future generations


Similar words: Curious, Considering

Typical sensations: Alert and exploring

What is Anticipation telling you? Change is happening

How can Anticipation help you? Look ahead, look at what might be coming