This week I’m starting a series about emotional intelligence and in this episode I introduce the importance of understanding and allowing our emotions and feelings.
Emotional intelligence is not something I have been taught in school. And the more I study it and practice it on myself and apply it with my coaching clients, the more I understand how important it is and how useful it would have been, had I been exposed to these concepts earlier in life!
But, as the Chinese proverb says ‘the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago. The next best time is today’, let’s get my contribution to this world about emotional intelligence out there so that we can all process and benefit from this increased self-awareness piece.
The emotions I am talking about here are the ones that are created by your thoughts:
- They start in the brain and create a sensation in your body.
- An uncomfortable feeling in your stomach, a sleepless night, agitation… these are vibrations in your body and they are the way your brain is communicating with you; and when you are in touch with these feelings and listen to them, then we can increase our agency over our actions.
Think about it:
- Every single thing we do in our lives is because of how we think it will make us feel.
- Every single thing we don’t do in our lives is because of how we think it will make us feel.
Isn’t it fascinating?
- We buy flowers to our loved ones because of how we think we will feel when we see their face of surprise and gratitude.
- We train for the marathon because of how we think we will feel when we run it, feeling euphoric and accomplished.
- We don’t speak up at the meeting because we think we will feel embarrassed or inadequate if we did.
Every decision we make, every dream we nurture or forget, and every relationship we nurture or damage is based on how we want to feel.
Emotions drive our actions. They are the fuel of our actions.
- When we feel excited, we show up with full energy.
- When we feel sad, our movements slow down, our back is not as straight and our actions are ineffective.
Emotions are always created by our thoughts. But sometimes it will be from unconscious thoughts.
Sometimes, negative emotions trigger the need for escape: you are bored and you grab your phone and check social media or any other form of distraction.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to entertain yourself, but the question is: how aware are of what just happened in your brain when you do that? Can you imagine allowing that negative emotion to be there and take the time to understand it; understand which thought is originating it and allowing that emotion to be there, without reacting to it?
Practicing being present with yourself without the need to numb away unconsciously and not deliberately is causing you to be detached from yourself and your emotions, and only when you start practicing giving space to any emotion, positive AND negative, you have a true agency over your behaviour and attitude, and can decide to show up as the person you want to be.
I would like to offer you to practice paying attention and be deliberate with your thoughts by doing this 4 steps process:
- Situation (neutral and factual):
To practice our emotions, I find it useful having a vocabulary to access. You can even practice picking up any of the emotions and think what you would need to think to be able to feel that emotion. It is a really interesting exercise you can do to practice your emotional awareness.
Here a wheel of emotions starting from the 6 basic emotions.
Tune in to listen to the full episode and leave me a comment!
Until next week.