Emotion Body Map Pack

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Welcome to the Emotion Mapping Activity Pack

When a child isn’t able to communicate their emotion, body mapping could be a great way to explore them in relation to the physical sensations and how they may present in their body.  This resource also gives key vocabulary of weak to strong emotions, to explore the intensity of the physical sensations.

Objectives:

  • To help children visualise emotions as a physical sensation
  • To help children see where emotions are held in the body
  • To provide a tool to link physical sensations with emotional vocabulary

The Emotion Body Map Activity

The Emotion Body Map Activity pack is grounded in extensive research exploring the intricate connection between emotions and bodily sensations, known as “where people feel emotions in their body”.

This resource aims to seamlessly integrate external emotional expressions with internal sensory experiences, enhancing the ability to articulate these sensations through powerful language that reflects varying levels of emotional intensity.

Research Insights

Conducted with a diverse sample of 701 participants, the studies involved exposing individuals to a range of emotional stimuli including words, stories, movies, and facial expressions. Participants were asked to identify specific areas of their bodies that experienced heightened or diminished activity in response to each stimulus. Across multiple experiments, distinct patterns of bodily sensations consistently corresponded to different emotional states. Notably, these patterns were consistent among both Western European and East Asian participants, highlighting a potentially universal aspect of how emotions manifest physically. Statistical analyses underscored the efficacy of these bodily sensation patterns in accurately distinguishing between emotions, underscoring the critical role of bodily changes in emotional experiences.

Practical Application

This Emotion Body Map Activity pack translates these research findings into practical tools for educators, therapists, and individuals seeking to deepen their emotional awareness and expression. By using these resources, individuals can develop a clearer understanding of how emotions are physically felt and expressed, fostering better emotional regulation and communication skills.

  • More information on the body map images can be found here

This pack contains:

The pack contains mats for different emotions, showing

  • What it Looks Like (photograph images of emotions)
  • Light, Medium, and Strong Vocabulary of Emotions
  • Emotion Images of where you Feel it (linked to the research paper)
  • Emotion Body Maps include:
    • Happiness
    • Anger
    • Fear
    • Sadness
  • Emotion Body Images for: Sadness, Anxiety, Love, Anger, Fear, Happiness (linked to above research)

Pack information

  • Number of Pages: 8
  • Font:  Open Dyslexic
  • Format: High Quality PDF File

Resource Pack Ideas

  • Use as a Comparison: Utilise the body maps as visual aids to compare how different emotions are experienced in the body. Discuss with the child if they agree with the depicted sensations.
  • Link to a Story: Integrate the body maps into storytelling sessions. Prompt children to identify and describe how characters in the story might feel emotionally, where they might feel it in their bodies, and what words could best describe those sensations.
  • Explore Emotional Words: Use the body maps as prompts for discussing emotional vocabulary. Encourage children to identify and use words that reflect varying levels of emotional intensity, considering how these sensations might change with increased energy in the system.
  • Interactive Activities: Pair the body maps with interoception-based activities. Guide children through exercises that help them tune into their internal bodily sensations, using the maps as visual aids to enhance their awareness.
  • Emotional Regulation Practice: Incorporate the body maps into emotional regulation exercises. Encourage children to pinpoint where they feel different emotions in their bodies, facilitating better self-awareness and management.
  • Art Therapy Integration: Utilise the body maps in art therapy sessions (see training dates). Invite children to visually represent their emotional experiences through drawings or colour coding on the maps, fostering creative expression and emotional exploration.
  • Group Discussions: Use the body maps as prompts for group discussions about how different emotions impact individuals physically and emotionally. Facilitate conversations that promote empathy and understanding among peers.
  • Mindfulness Activities: Incorporate the body maps into mindfulness practices. Guide children through exercises where they focus on sensations in different parts of their bodies, using the maps to aid in their awareness of emotional responses.
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