Amy Morin recommends that we keep a list handy of various emotions so that we can become more aware of what we are feeling. For example, instead of using the word happy, we could describe our emotion as joyful, satisfied, or pleased. Our emotions affect our decision-making, so reflecting on them could prove very useful.
According to Dr. Lieberman’s PubMed article “Putting Feelings Into Words: Affect Labeling Disrupts Amygdala Activity in Response to Affective Stimuli,” labeling an emotion lowers emotional reactivity. Labeling an emotion decreases activity in the amygdala and other limbic regions — and increases activity in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.