Emotions, when considered biologically, are considered to be a mediator that carries the thoughts of your mind to the body and help you to feel accordingly depending on the nature of the thought. In other words, emotions are considered to be messengers that carry messages to your brain and help you in making appropriate decisions. The art of mastering, i.e; understanding and regulating your emotions is called Emotional Intelligence. Being high on Emotional Intelligence (EQ), not only enhances productivity and efficiency, but, it also improves decision making, both, in personal and professional life that further upgrades your work-life balance.
An average human being goes through several emotions in a day depending upon the activities taking place in the external environment. As an emotion is triggered, it comes with an array of feelings that aid you in filtering the events in the external environment. It also helps you in maintaining a positive attitude by bringing your focus to the ‘respond mode’ rather than ‘react mode’.
Why is it important to master your emotions?
Your life is a composition of your thoughts, feelings and actions. You create your past, present and future based on the quality of thoughts you give vale to and the kind of feelings that are triggered by those thoughts. The quality of your thoughts is largely dependent on your personal skills (what do we think about ourselves), and social skills (what relations we have with others).
These skills partly originate from your childhood experiences, your values, belief systems, and the society. An emotionally intelligent person has a balance of both, personal and social skills. This implies that when an external/internal crisis is experienced, the individual will be able to understand, regulate, and respond in a balanced manner, thereby accepting his/her emotions and navigate the same for a better outcome.
Ways to enhance your Emotional Intelligence:
- Accept yourself and your journey: Oftentimes, we tend to lose faith in ourselves by comparing our life’s journey with that of others. We forget to acknowledge our strengths and get stuck in a rat race. This takes us away from accepting ourselves and makes life more difficult and stressful, leading to a series of wrong decisions. Instead, we should accept and honour ourselves by stopping ourselves from having unreasonable expectations like we have to be somewhere else or reach at a certain point just because others are there. Sometimes, it’s important to know that it is not the destination, but the journey of learning and experiencing everything that matters. Focusing on the outcome hampers not just your productivity, but this experience leads to multiple experiences that enhances creativity.
- It is ‘OK’ to feel Negative:Only if we feel sad, hopeless and negative, can we understand the meaning and value of ourselves and the wide array of emotions we experience. Since childhood, we are taught that it is bad to feel negative emotions or to be sad, but it’s the experience of pain that leads to feelings of emptiness and it’s this emptiness that creates more space for creativity and novel ideas. The art of mastering emotions does not require you to dwell in your emotions, but it means that you should know ways to switch and navigate that particular emotion, and for you to release and move forward as nothing remains forever.
- Be a Good Listener:With a sedentary lifestyle and increased socialising, we all tend to speak more and listen less. This imbalanced attitude has reduced out power to listen carefully and accept critique. To be emotionally intelligent, we need to be good listeners which would enhance our power to observe, understand, and master the art of responding. Being a good listener also reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and misunderstandings as it makes you more mindful of the situation and the circumstances from where the situation stems.
- Empathise and be approachable: Empathy does not mean that we dwell in other people’s emotions with them or get affected with their emotional and mental states. To empathise means, to understand and welcome the ideas and opinions of everyone and have respect for them by being approachable and having a positive attitude. This depends on the level of our skills- the relationship we have built with ourselves.
- Self-awareness:We tend to distance ourselves from our situations if the outcome is not what we expected it to be. Rather than running away from the situation, challenge and face the situation/event for the only way to come out of something is to go through that difficult situation. There are no shortcuts. Practicing self-awareness means to become aware as to where is the emotion coming from and what are the different possibilities without getting fixated to the outcome.
Take away: Practice frequency shifter exercises next time when you feel overwhelmed with your emotions. Frequency shifter is a distraction exercise that involves doing something different in a day or every alternate day that makes you feel positive and happy. For instance, playing guitar, doing gardening, baking, reading etc. This will help you to come back to the present moment and enhance self-awareness.
Life is a basket of emotions. It is a series of observing, feeling, and doing. What we feel is how we act. So think good and feel good!!
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