Name Those Feelings

Last week I was feeling florgy.  Florgy is the name I made up for an undefined feeling I have that hits me suddenly and without an immediately apparent cause.  It feels like I’m on the verge of throwing up and crying at the same time.  It happened so often I gave it a name.

What I used to do when I felt florgy was talk to some food about it as a distraction.  But, I didn’t do that last week.  I just said to myself “I’m feeling florgy” and went on with my day.

I checked what was happening on Twitter and Louis C.K. had tweeted a few times.  It was exciting because he rarely tweets.  He wrote:

It was an interesting theory.  And I felt better.  Reading that someone else felt “basic sad despair” lifted my florginess.  Just reading the words “sad” and “despair” lifted it.  Echoing sadness and despair triggered by something was causing my florgy feelings.  The cause didn’t matter so much as identifying my feelings.  Florgy was a start but I needed to get to the root.

Oliver Burkeman wrote in one of his “This Column Will Change Your Life” columns in The Guardian on unspeakable emotions that “research into the effects of meditation suggests that even naming your emotions to yourself – never mind discussing them with others – can partially release you from their grip.”  As soon as you name those hazy but powerful feelings, they no longer control you.  Instead of having you in their grip, you have them in yours.

So feel everything.  Name those feelings.  Use this wheel if you need help:



Make up your own words if you can’t find one that fits.  Go deep.  Find the root.  Those feelings at the center of the wheel are about as close to the truth as you’re going to get.


6 thoughts on “Name Those Feelings

  1. How timely this is for me. I was talking to my therapist yesterday about my extreme anxiety over financial issues during my pending divorce (as well as generally in my life). She told me to, first, accept that I have anxiety. Second, call it Anxiety with a capital A, and treat it as something separate from myself. Third, talk to it and let it know that it’s not going to control my life. She suggested even talking out loud to Anxiety. “Ok, Anxiety, I know you’re walking beside me, but you need to step back a bit and let me live my life.” That sort of thing. Seems like it might work, right?

    I haven’t yet made up my own names for emotions, but perhaps I’ll borrow “florgy” from you. 🙂


    1. I think it absolutely would work. It’s so simple. Everyone thinks the way to be happy is to avoid negative thoughts and feelings. I think acknowledging them is the better way. Please use florgy if it helps!


  2. This really resonated for me too. I also have occasional, unprovoked bursts of deep despair. Once shared that with friends who could understand, but not really relate and I felt like maybe there was something wrong with me. And, lately, I’ve been feeling this tension in my chest a lot more often. It’s this convulsive mix of anxiety and ager. Looked up feeling words just last night and “agitation” fit best, but that’s not right either. Maybe I need a word like florgy.

    This is my first time commenting, but I’m a regular reader and I always look forward your updates. Thank you for writing. It’s been a really rewarding journey to learn more about myself and you.


    1. Hi Teri — I bet you felt better just by describing how you felt whether you found the right words or not. Someone said once (I forget who) “what you look at disappears” or something like that and I think that’s what naming your feelings does. Makes them disappear for a while.
      Thank you for reading and finally commenting. The fact that you look forward to my posts really warms my heart and encourages me to keep sharing.


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