Yesterday I was in something I like to refer to as an emotional wreckage. I was all in my feels for absolutely no reason, no cause, and no real triggers. I’m blaming it on the solar eclipse, new moon, and my hormones. When these moments happen it’s a great opportunity for to practice improving your emotional literacy and recognizing patterns, two skills needed to improve your emotional intelligence.
Two Skills Needed to Improve Emotional Intelligence
Improving Emotional Literacy includes increasing awareness and understanding of feelings, including the ability to accurately label emotions.
Recognizing Patterns is extremely important because it helps identify recurring reactions of thought, feeling, and action.
Working on both of these skills has not only helped me improve my relationships with those around me, but also helped me develop a stronger sense of self and create the loving relationship I want with myself.
Here are 6 tips improve your emotional intelligence and awareness.
Get fluent in the language of emotions! Most of the time we feel a multitude of different emotions all at once. Especially if you’re in a state of emotional wreckage. Understanding the profile of each emotional helps define it and understand the message its trying to tell you. It also helps when communicating how your feeling to the those around you, especially your loved ones.
Name the your emotional gremlin. A gremlin is a negative voice that we have inside that gives negative feedback. It often can say things like “I’m stuck. I feel powerless. I’m not good enough. What’s wrong with me?” Neuroscience research has revealed this as a simple practice that can help calm the stormy waters.
Observe without trying to fix. Let yourself be frustrated, or angry, or sad. We have been socialized to think of some emotions as bad, and because of that, we have a tendency to try to push them away as soon as we feel them. Give yourself and body time to absorb whatever emotional chemical reactions are coming up for you.
Feel your emotions in your body. We often feel our emotions in our physical body. Emotional feelings are often manifested in the body, become aware of where you feel them. Decreased limb sensations with sadness, increased sensations in the upper limbs with anger, sensations around the throat and the digestive system with disgust, sensations in the chest with surprise and fear, and enhanced sensations all over the body with happiness.
Rewrite the myth of bad emotions. We often get stuck antagonizing the relationship we have with our emotions thinking them as bad or worse seeing ourselves as bad for having these emotions.They are neurohormones that we release as a response to our perceptions about the world. They focus our attention and motivate us toward a specific course of action. So there aren’t good and bad emotions. They all have a unique purpose and message.
Recognize recurring patterns that happen when you’re in this state. This is probably the most transformative part of radical self-acceptance. Our brains will naturally follow the same neural pathways that currently exist. Whether you’re in a relationship with someone else or trying to build a better relationship with yourself, we all tend to form and follow patterns. Not all patterns serve us well and we have the ability to change the partners that aren’t. The first step to changing an existing pattern is recognizing the pattern in yourself.
Emotions are simply data. They offer us incredible insight on how we perceive ourselves and the world. Self-acceptance is about opening up yourself to the data, the next step is to choose where you want to go once you’ve gain better clarity and understanding.
Feelings are complicated and historically we’re only really taught a handful of core emotions. The Feelings Wheel developed by Dr Gloria Willcox is very useful in identifying the specific feelings and emotions you are experiencing at any given point in time so that they can be addressed and resolved. You can download this the Feelings Wheel by clicking the button below which includes two steps on how to use this wheel.