Dealing with emotions is not always easy. Do you recognize this? Your partner, colleague, or girlfriend says something to you in a certain way and that comes in wrong. The rejection you experienced as a child is affected. It hurts. Your breathing speeds up, a kind of blurring appears before your eyes, the adrenaline starts to flow and you feel the anger rising. Then you get angry or upset. Mental health is important.
In your life, you are not only dealing with your own emotions, but also with the emotions of others. If you can handle those emotions well, we call it emotional intelligence (EQ). This term was first used by Daniel Goleman and is now widely researched. The good news is that you can become more emotionally intelligent! Some characteristics of people with high EQ are:
- Can read emotions on the face of others
- Understand what certain emotions mean
- Can deal better with their own emotions and those of others
So emotional intelligence is not optimism, happiness, calmness, motivation, or kindness in general. It is much more specific the ability to recognize a wide spectrum of emotions in yourself and others. Sometimes though you need to bring it back to yourself and realize that you are the one that is feeling emotional. Perhaps you have recently had trouble at work and you have felt victimized or punished for something that wasn’t your fault. Perhaps you are having personal issues and feel as if the relationship has run its course; perhaps there are grounds for divorce and you wish to move on with your life. It is possible but accepting the emotions is the beginning.
Here are some techniques to assist you on your journey:
- Don’t shy away from feelings: This is probably the most important skill you can learn to get better with emotions. Do not try to avoid your emotions, but approach them in an inquiring way. That makes the emotions less scary and it ensures that you can learn something from your emotions.
- Don’t be too quick to judge your feelings: Many people tend to judge their feelings. You cannot influence what feeling you have, but you can influence how you deal with it.
- See if you can find connections between your feelings and your thoughts: The starting point of cognitive therapy is that your beliefs create feelings. Once you can look at feelings from a distance, you can ask yourself, “Why am I so afraid of this now?” or “What exactly makes me so anxious in this situation?”
- Pay attention to your body: In the theory of feeling, we have already seen that feelings are also partly physical. That is why it is worth paying attention to your body if you want to get to know your feelings better. Do you feel tension mainly in your stomach? Or does it rise in your chest? These kinds of things can give you more insight into your own emotions, but also the emotions of others.
- Keep track of your emotional state: Mappiness Is a useful tool for mapping your emotional state. Especially for people with a busy schedule, it is helpful to be forced to think about their emotional state. An app like Mappiness is very suitable for this, but a notebook can also work wonders.