What is the difference between feeling and thought?

A difference between feelings and thoughts?  It’s possibly as simple as breaking it down to this:

Do I feel  X? or Do I feel like X?  One is a feeling (the first) and the other (the second) is a thought.

Why is this an issue for me?

I have begun a process of “talking therapy†as a way to search for a way forward at this time of complex transition in my life.  I also believe that greater awareness and the building of tools that help me to achieve greater awareness will help me to become a better writer, teacher, artist, parent, and individual.

One part of that journey has opened my awareness and need, in many ways, to understand the difference(s) between feelings and thoughts.  I am motivated to do this as I search for effective strategies, solutions, and paradigmatic models for change in my life.  I seek greater understanding and ability to differentiate between thoughts and feelings because this will probably facilitate a better chance that will understand myself better and will increase my chances of being understood by others.  I sense that I have a tendency to over-think everything, but I probably won’t be able to change that tendency.  But at least I can apply my analysis for the purpose of consciously recognizing my feelings as distinct from my thoughts.

(PIC: Carl Jung (L) and Sigmund Freud (R) after a kill, presumably in east Africa).  I am the horned-beast lying dead between the two killers!

In my search, I came across some helpful and practical bits of theory, with useful and simple advice, on a website by Dr. Jim Hutt (SEE: http://www.counselorlink.com/counsletterletter3-06-16-08/).

I intend to apply this simple advice in my journey to greater awareness and improvement:

HUTT Writes:

The difference between the two is as follows:

EXPRESSING A FEELING: â€œI feel (or “I amâ€)____________________.†(fill in the blank with a feeling word below:)


(elated, enthralled, captivated, addicted, isolated—keep going, don’t be limited to the basic words…)

EXPRESSING A THOUGHT (UNWITTINGLY) DISGUISED AS A FEELING: â€œI feel like you always (fill in the blank.)â€

SAME SENTENCE AS A FEELING: â€œI feel scared when you raise your voice.

EXPRESSING A THOUGHT: â€œIt is my perception you yell more often than not when you get angry.â€

When you start your sentence by saying, “I feel LIKE or THAT (fill in the blank) you are probably not expressing a feeling. This does not provide the listener an accurate account of your emotional state. Next time, take out the word “like†or “that,†and fill in the blank with a feeling word.

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