The Power of Emotional Awareness and Harnessing the Law of Names

Tara H

Tara H

Dec 04, 20233 min read


The Power of Emotional Awareness and Harnessing the Law of Names


In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, it's crucial to create space between stimulus and response. This article explores the significance of affect labeling, the law of names, and their impact on our emotional well-being. By delving into these concepts, we can gain valuable insights into understanding and managing our emotions effectively.

Affect Labeling: Unveiling the Power of Emotional Awareness

Research has shown that individuals who engage in affect labeling, the process of feeling and labeling their emotions, experience reduced physiological arousal and activity in the amygdala, which is associated with fear. Surprisingly, those who deeply felt their emotions but did not label them experienced heightened angst. Thus, affect labeling becomes a one-two punch for emotional regulation. It's not enough to merely feel our emotions; we must also label them to gain control over them.

The Law of Names: Empowering Ourselves through Emotional Identification

Ancient folklore introduces us to the law of names, which states that knowing something's true name grants power over it. This concept holds true for our emotions as well. By labeling our emotions, we gain a deeper understanding of them, empowering ourselves to manage them effectively. However, it is worth noting that naming our emotions can often be challenging. Thankfully, resources like the "writer's wheel of emotions" available on the internet can aid in this process, making it easier to identify and label our feelings accurately.

The Happiness Paradox: The Story of Anxiety and Certainty

In discussing the happiness paradox, it becomes evident that anxiety tends to affect young people more intensely. This can be attributed to the uncertainty and unlimited possibilities that lie ahead in their unwritten stories. On the other hand, individuals who are closer to the end of their life's journey, like author Atwood at 83, possess a certain knowledge of how their plot will unfold. This realization sheds light on the importance of understanding and managing anxiety, especially during pivotal stages of our lives.

Connecting the Dots: A Holistic Approach to Emotional Well-being

When we combine the power of affect labeling with the law of names and the happiness paradox, a holistic approach to emotional well-being emerges. By acknowledging and labeling our emotions, we gain control over them, granting us the ability to navigate through life's uncertainties with greater ease. Furthermore, recognizing that anxiety is a natural response to the unknown allows us to approach it with empathy and understanding.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Practice Emotional Journaling: Dedicate time each day to reflect on your emotions and label them in a journal. This habit will enhance your emotional awareness and provide a valuable resource for self-reflection.
  • 2. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to reach out to trusted friends, family, or professionals when facing overwhelming emotions. Sharing your feelings and seeking guidance can provide a fresh perspective and valuable insights.
  • 3. Embrace Uncertainty: Instead of fearing the unknown, view it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Embracing uncertainty allows us to cultivate resilience and develop the necessary skills to navigate life's challenges.


Creating space between stimulus and response is a powerful tool for emotional regulation. By practicing affect labeling and harnessing the law of names, we can gain control over our emotions and lead a more balanced life. The happiness paradox reminds us of the importance of managing anxiety, especially during transitional phases. By adopting a holistic approach to emotional well-being and implementing actionable strategies, we can thrive in the face of uncertainty and live a more fulfilling life.


  1. "How to Create Space Between Stimulus and Response - The Growth Equation", (Glasp)
  2. "Ten Charts I Can't Stop Thinking About", (Glasp)

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