Increase your Emotional Discernment and Comprehension
“Emotions” refers to the mental and physiological states characterized as feelings. It’s often hard to put a name on what you’re experiencing because it’s likely that your brain is processing more than one reaction at a time. Not only do feelings overlap and blend, but there are hundreds of emotions, each with many gradations of intensity, that make emotional awareness a difficult skill to master. Yet, the more adept you are at discerning the force that is shaping your mood and mental status, the greater will be your ability to manage your behavior.
You can choose to act in the moment based on possibilities instead of reacting to the moment based on habit. In other words, you respond with intelligence instead of impulse. The result is greater effectiveness, productivity and confidence. And, as you come to comprehend your own emotions and behavior, you increase your understanding for what drives the actions of those around you. With this knowledge, you can improve your relationships, and above all, your happiness. Emotional intelligence is a key factor to enhancing your quality of life.
For the next two weeks, carry a watch or travel alarm with you. At the times listed on the schedule below, fill in the blanks with
1) what you are doing and who you are doing it with (working alone, talking with family, attending a meeting, leading a meeting, driving, eating with a friend, watching a movie alone, etc.)?
2) the emotions you are feeling in the moment and why. Consider what is the source of the emotions. What do you think triggered the emotions you are feeling?
Use the inventory to help you identify what you are feeling. If you are sleeping during the times listed, then adjust the hours on the assessment to fit your schedule. The exact times are not essential. It’s more important to begin to recognize emotional patterns, and to determine what circumstances elicit specific responses. However, it’s important to try to access what you are feeling in the moment instead of relying on memory. Emotional intelligence is the art of identifying your feelings at the time they occur so you can better understand behavior, yours and others, and to learn how to rationally choose your reactions.
Remember, you are seeking to understand your feelings. You are not trying to change them. They are not right or wrong. Therefore, honesty is important. However, recognition alone can often diffuse or increase an emotional reaction. You may find that over time, the intensity of some moods decrease, while other sensations, hopefully the more pleasant ones, increase. That’s why emotional intelligence helps in all aspects of your personal growth.
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